I read this too fast. I finished reading it last night and I wasn't ready to leave Tombstone or say goodbye to the Earp's. All good things must end and I'm a tad bit more knowledgeable about Wyatt Earp and his beautiful, vivacious wife, Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp. Because Josephine fiercely protected her privacy, very little was known about her real life spent in Tombstone, and even those facts are questionable. Thelma Adams does a remarkable job of filling in the blanks with historical fiction at it's finest. Josie, or Sadie (as she was often called), is a woman filled with passion, emotion, an adventurous soul, and a deep love for a man she spent nearly fifty years with. Adams recreates a love story that would make Josephine more than proud. Who needs to play a meager roll in H.M.S Pinafore when you're already starring in real life, with a living legend? Matter of fact, I would enjoy seeing a movie version of this book, but only if Adams writes the screenplay.
Josephine is a lovable character who seeks adventure at an early age. She runs away twice, once to join a dance troupe and again to marry Johnny Behan in Tombstone. While stepping off the stagecoach in Tombstone, Josie spots the tall, attractive Wyatt Earp. She is immediately bowled over by his stature and great looks but her hand is promised to Behan. Initially, things look promising for Josie and Johnny. Champagne flows in the nicest restaraunts and Johnny is attentive, kind, and loving. But, it isn't long before Josephine realizes that her life with Johnny is a sham. Does she love Johnny Behan or the idea of love? Besides, the real man behind that beautiful smile is not what he promised. Josephine begins to question her choices. What was she thinking, coming to this rugged outpost with no family, no money, and nothing but her looks to support her. Josie was beautiful, the Belle of Tombstone. She was foolish to believe that her beauty was enough. She had left her family behind, in San Francisco, in complete disgrace. However, Josephine Sarah Marcus would rather sell her soul than return to a coward like Johnny Behan. Madame Mustache, the notorious French bawd, had offered a room. What were her choices in Tombstone? Enter Wyatt Earp. Josephine's real adventures have just begun.
What an adventure! From the first chapter to the very last, I was completely besotted with this story, with Josephine, Wyatt Earp, and the rough riding cowboys of Tombstone. One of my favorite scenes occurred when Josie met Madame Mustache, a character I won't forget any time soon. Of course, that was just one of many favorite parts of a richly imagined story from the past. I cannot thank Thelma Adams enough for introducing me to a history I knew very little about. Fascinating look at the woman behind one of the West's most famous lawmen. Adams brought all the characters to life, so much so that I can feel the dust on my neck. I got to experience Tombstone and witness the shootout at the O.K. Corral through Josephine's eyes. I had a front row seat. Most importantly, I got to meet Mrs.Wyatt Earp and it was a pleasure. I loved everything about this book.
Many thanks to Thelma Adams for sending me this gorgeous ARC, my latest book crush.
Thelma Adams is an established figure in the entertainment industry, covering film for the New York Post, US Weekly, and Yahoo Movies. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Huffington Post, and O: The Oprah Magazine. She writes regularly for The Huffington Post, Marie Caire, and iVillage.com. Her debut novel, Playdate, won critical acclaim. Adams sits on the Hamptons International Film Festival Advisory Board and twice chaired the New York Film Critics Circle. As a respected film critic, Thelma has appeared on CNN, E!, Fox News Channel, NBC's The Today Show, Entertainment Tonight, and CBS's Early Show. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a history from UC Berkeley and earned an MBA from Columbia University. She lives in Hyde Park, New York, with her family.
**This title is 2nd book completed for the May Clean Sweep ARC Challenge. #CleanSweepARC