Leisure, Jul 2003, 5.99, 304 pp.
In 1861 Northern California, Janet Garret, disguised as a male, somewhat blames herself for the death of her Pa during a holdup that went bad. Before he died Pa made Janet vow she would get out of the outlawing business and marry a respectful person. Though the Marshal has the drop on her and her brother Clint, Janet and her sibling manage to escape, but she shoots the other lawman. Feeling guilty for being a “softy” Marshal Dagger Blackthorn vows to bring in the last two members of the Garret gang especially that blond male who crippled his brother.
Janet becomes a schoolmarm in Whiskeytown, but Dagger begins to wonder about her especially when she cusses, beats up bullies, and shoots more accurately than any man he knows. His suspicions grow as he falls in love with Janet Donner. She surprises herself by reciprocating, but Clint is coming to town with plans to reform the Garret gang and he needs his sis to succeed.
A STOLEN TIMES will live up to its title as readers will find western romance steals time from other activities to finish in one sitting. The story line is fun to follow as the assertive Janet takes no prisoners while learning life on the legal side and working her way through two conflicting loves that of her brother and that of her Marshal. She also fears that when he learns the truth, he will hate her while locking her up and throwing away the key. Though Dagger overcomes his obsession too easily, fans will appreciate this delightful novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner