Leisure, Jun 2004, 6.99, 384 pp.
In 1879 Michael Donovan comes home to Hard Luck, Texas to find his father Frank crippled from an ambush. His first thought is that the Turners did this as the families have argued for years.
Jack Turner knows he is dying, but death does not frighten him. What does worry Jack is that his beloved daughter Casey is safe, but with bank loans due on the family property Jack knows he must take extreme action.
Frank, worried about the future of his spread, and Jack agree that Michael and Casey must marry so that not only does the spat end, but also their ranches merge and are that much powerful. Very reluctantly, their respective children agree to a marriage of convenience to save the ranches. As the couple falls in love, a third party working behind the scenes manipulates events to insure that Michael and Casey fail to save their respective family's heritage.
Though the plot theme has been often told, Bobbi Smith creates a brisk BRAZEN book due to a fine cast that enables the audience to see deep inside the love yet mistrust of the lead characters. Michael struggles between desire and hope vs. doubt and suspicion, but discovers that Casey is a sabra, tough on the outside, but sweet and loving on the inside. Fans of late nineteenth century Texas romances will relish this fine novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner