Leisure, Nov 2001, 5.99, 362 pp.
After allowing his younger brother Collier to run the family estate for the past two years, Lord Edgar Pembroke decides to take over the operation. Even more shocking to the second son is that the agreement they had is eradicated because Edgar plans to marry and have children to protect the name of his family and more important his male lover. A stunned Collier leaves for America.
In 1989 Wyoming, Laurel Garrison claims land that she plans to live on and make a living. The local bank refuses to lend money to a mere female and her father Jacob, a very successful rancher, worries about his daughter alone on the mountain during the upcoming winter. Jacob arranges for Collier to meet his obstinate daughter and soon the exiled noble and Laurel agree to a marriage of convenience centering on the ranch. As the two work side by side, they fall in love, but she feels inadequate when she meets his family in Denver, making anything permanent seem remote even if Laurel carries Cole's child.
PROVING HERSELF could easily be called "Proving Themselves" as both Laurel and Cole have an urgent need to show to their respective families they can succeed. The story line engages the reader though the arrival of his family but it feels more like an intrusion than a key subplot. The lead couple charms the audience, which is not easy to do when toiling on a mountain. Fans of western romance will enjoy this novel, seek previous Rancher's Daughters books, and look forward to the other tales by Yvonne Jocks.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner