Leisure, Sep 2002, 5.99, 338 pp.
In 1883 while her father visits Egypt, Sinclair Readford leaves Philadelphia to meet her Aunt Matilda “Tilly” Haynes whom she never knew existed. Her aunt's letters to her were hidden for no apparent reason that Sinclair could fathom. Sinclair's plan is to travel to the Montana Territory to introduce herself to her aunt, a successful businesswoman, before returning to her home prior to her father coming back from overseas.
Sinclair reaches the Blue Willow, which is not quite what she expected since the place is a whorehouse. She learns Aunt Tilly is on extended vacation and apparently is the Madam of this cathouse. Shocked, Sinclair climbs out a window to escape the bordello, but lands in the lap of rancher Jefferson McCloud. He takes the scantily clad Sinclair with him to his ranch as they agreed where she could stay for now if she becomes the teacher caretaker to his sister Maddie. As they live in close proximity, they fall in love, but she is boisterous east and he is taciturn west leaving both of them and Maddie to wonder if that is enough.
BENEATH A SILVER MOON is an entertaining western romance that captures the attention of sub-genre fans from the moment the heroine nose dives in her “failed” attempt out a third story window. The story line vividly describes the old west while the lead couple is delightful opposites. However, the tale belongs to Maddie who steals the hearts of the audience. Deborah Schneider's character driven plot provides pleasure to those readers who prefer a strong cast starring in a western romantic cozy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner