Fred Harvey decided to civilize the West with a string of restaurant/hotels situated near railroad depots. These restaurant/inns were probably the first businesses to standardize dress, meal serving times and server/waitress behavior in each hotel.
Jenny Munday was the chosen daughter who gave up an independent life to take care of her parents and siblings. After 28 years, Jenny decides to leave the familys Iowa farm and strike out on her own. Shes tired of the monotony of cooking, cleaning and tending other folks children.
Jenny decides to become a waitress as a Harveys Girl. On the train going to training and a job, Jenny meets August McCormick, a federal marshal, and sparks fly. The dialogue is witty and snappy. The child, True, is also introduced on the train.
True and the old sheriff, Jim Spider Morris, provide much of the humor in the story. The two books in this series highlight a lost tradition of the American West Harvey girls and their distinctive dress (solid black dresses with a large white apron covering most of the front of the gown).
A book about the Harvey Girls: http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Harvey_Girls.html?
id=fPWeC7k51g0C There was also a Judy Garland movie about them.
There was an involved plot that provided plenty of action and surprises. I felt this was more interesting than the second book, To Tame a Texans Heart.
Harvey Girls Series
1) The Texan and the Lady
2) To Tame a Texans Heart
This book splits the plot between two love stories, which gets kind of annoying. However, Jodi Thomas deals with each relationship seperately and the writing is wonderful.
fast paced story with likable characters. I especially liked the character of true
Jennie Munday left her sleepy Iowa home to become a Harvey Girl. On a train bound for Kansas and her exciting new life, she met Austin McCormick, a gruff, abrasive Texas marshal who seemed to be everything she disliked in a man. But when their train is held up by gunslinging outlaws, Jennie is thrown together with the stubborn Texan-and learns that the law can be deadly and dangerously fulled with desire...