Nialla has been on the run since she found her horse-trainer father murdered. The police didn't seem to be interested in finding her father's killer and everyone else took advantage of her naivete, including her father's ex-employer, who brutally raped her. Terrified that someone will find her, she dyes her red hair a mousy brown and keeps on the move, traveling from horse show to horse show. Her greatest loves are her horses, Orfeo & Phi Bete, and her coon cat, Dice, until she meets Rafe Cleary. Rafe is unlike any other man she has ever met and she finds herself falling in love with him before she can stop herself. Without Nialla knowing it, Rafe does some digging into her background and realizes that she is in desperate need of his protection, whether she wants it or not. He quickly marries her and sweeps her off to his beautiful country estate. Nialla is happier than she has ever been, but will her all too-perfect storybook ending last?
This is a quick, fun read written in an old-fashioned romantic style. All of McCaffrey's characters were great: Nialla is a strong woman, but not afraid to lean on someone else for help, Rafe is a fascinating, mysterious man whom readers will want to learn a lot more about, Mr. Marchmount is the villain who the reader actually begins to feel sorry for because he is so pathetic, but the animals are the best characters and have so much personality, especially Dice, that it is worth reading the book simply to read about them. This book is a far cry from McCaffrey's popular Pern series, but is very well written and enjoyable all the same!
This report prepared by Debbie