Bantam, Aug 2001, 6.99, 470 pp.
In 1840 Texas, rancher Rip Stewart orders his youngest daughter Cricket to take his middle daughter Bay hunting and not to return without a kill. Cricket knows that Bay is too soft to kill anything, but they go anyway. During the hunt, Cricket finds a naked man bathing in the river with several of her father's horses nearby. After quite a tussle and with a lot of help from her three pet wolves and some shaky assistance from Bay, they capture the horse thief. On the way home, Cricket suffers from the monthly miseries, using alcohol to ease her pain. She leaves the tied up prisoner in the barn for Rip to handle.
The next day, Cricket learns that her prisoner is Texas Ranger Jarrett Creed, who regained the stolen horses from the Comanche. As Cricket and Creed fight and squabble they begin to fall in love. However, he wants someone more feminine and she wants no man in her life. However the catalyst of a deadly conspiracy hangs over their heads and when the Comanche captures Cricket, it makes them both reassess their values.
FRONTIER WOMAN is a reprint of a novel from the late 1980s miniseries starring the ancestors of the modern day Bitter Creek tales. The enticing story line remains fresh as Joan Johnston instills problems for her hero and heroine (i.e., a cramping period while riding) that seem genuine while providing a taste of the Lone Star Republic. Fans of the Bitter Creek books will want to read this novel as well as the upcoming reprints that tell the stories of Cricket's two sisters.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner