Leisure, Jan 2002, 5.99, 315 pp.
In 1868 in San Juan Capistrano, California, Matilda Rose Applebee wakes up Cooper Davis in his hotel room while pointing the muzzle of a gun at his heart. Matty plans to bring back Cooper to her family ranch in order for the low down snake oil salesman to marry her younger sister Phoebe, pregnant with his child. Though he admits he attended the social she mentions, Cooper denies having his way with Phoebe or any other woman that night, but Matty refuses to listen to his argument.
Cooper is an undercover Pinkerton Agent whose trail of an outlaw gang has gone cold. Since he needs to start over in San Francisco, Cooper decides to escort Matty back to her ranch, which is on the way. He informs her that he will return with her as her prisoner. On the trek to her family ranch, Matty and Cooper begin to fall in love. However, he cannot afford an entangling relationship if he is to remain in law enforcement and she wonders if he sired her sibling's unborn child.
HEAVEN SENT is a congenial western romance that entices the audience with its likable lead couple. The story line moves briskly forward as Matty and Cooper struggle with their attraction for one another vs. their doubts about anything permanent. Though some intrigue adds excitement to the story, that subplot takes away from Sandra Madden's tremendous Americana historical relationship drama.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner