|Anachronistic 1962 cover!|
My brother got me this great little paperback romance novel for Christmas (off his work book-trade table; we don't really buy gifts for adult siblings, just for the kids). It was published in 1945, but as you see, my copy is from 1962. The blurb on the back is irresistible:
As the Second World War raged across the world, lovely, raven-haired Kit Marlowe and her brother sought peace and quiet at her brother's Double-H Ranch. Then war came to this remote cattle country. Enemy agents were stealing the Double-H beeves needed to feed our fighting men. And Kit knew her luck was bad when she stumbled on the identity of the head of the saboteurs, for this fanatical enemy would use any means to silence her forever. Irrevocably trapped, only one man could help her - bold and charming Colonel Rex Danton, the man who had stolen her brother's fiancée - the man she had sworn to hate!Cattle-rustling Nazis, who doesn't want to read that? In true paperback fashion, however, the plot is not really quite like the blurb. Kit's brother, an ex-Army officer suffering from war trauma, has bought the ranch as his new career and Kit is there to look after him. An evil, conniving ex-fiancée, dodgy cowhands, an overly-persistent suitor, and many other elements combine to make Kit's life a lot more exciting than she bargained for. Are escaped German POW's plotting to high-jack (sic!) the Double-H beeves? No they are not! That's a cover-up for their much more dastardly plot.
The text is bizarrely educational in spots, citing (for example) the exact number of acres of Wyoming ranch land taken over by the military for training grounds, or what the most important industry for Our Fighting Men is. There is a lot about Our Fighting Men! There is also, less surprisingly, a lot about fashion; Kit looks beautiful in everything, and since this is a romance novel, she has WAY more clothes than your average young woman did in 1944. Otherwise, she is a model young woman who is desperate to help with the war effort, and has to keep reminding herself that the job she's doing is valuable too.
It was an entertaining historical artifact, so I had fun. Emilie Loring was pretty popular back in the day (so I gather) and it was neat to see what people read for light pleasure back then.