Desperate Love ~ D.E. Daum
Well-bred and genteel, Valerie Johnson travels by train and stagecoach from Boston to join her husband three thousand miles away in Virginia City, Nevada, only to discover she is a widow. Low on money, unable to find respectable employment, she accepts a temporary position as a courtesan at Rosie’s Parlor—an elegant Virginia City brothel.
When godlike Duke Dugan picks Valerie, they both wonder if it is lust or love at first sight.
Fascinated by the beautiful, flaming-haired prostitute he calls Red, Duke, wishing to learn more about her, takes her to dinner in Virginia City’s finest restaurant. To her dismay, Valerie finds out that Duke is a rebel captain, who, along with his two brothers, is on a desperate mission for the despised Confederacy. She would tell the authorities, except there’s one problem—she’s fallen in love with him.