Ballantine, Jul 2001, 15.95, 336 pp.
In 1851 Maine, Kate Whittington's mother, a prostitute, leaves her at an orphanage where she stays for the next eighteen years until the school closes. With no place to go, Kate reads an ad from a Texas rancher wanting a wife, so she corresponds with him. She and Reed Benton hit it off by mail, marry by proxy, and she heads to his ranch.
When Kate arrives at his ranch, she finds her father-in-law has just died. Her husband is recovering from a bullet he received during a Texas Ranger raid on a Comanche camp. His son Daniel behaves more like an Indian because that is where he has been raised for five years.
Everything is a shocker to Kate, but she and Reed make love that night. The next day, Reed asks Kate who she is? Kate says they wed by proxy, but they conclude that his deceased father forged his signature. Reed keeps Kate as a temporary housekeeper to help him with Daniel, who wants to return to his tribe. She falls in love with the father and his son, but Reed refuses to acknowledge his love for Kate.
SUMMER MOON is an exciting Americana romance that stars strong realistic characters struggling to do the right thing especially for Daniel. The story line is interesting as the reader becomes very familiar with Kate, Reed, and Daniel, which in turn allows understanding of each one's motives. Award winning Jill Marie Landis shows why she is held in high esteem by sub-genre fans and who adore a strong mid-nineteenth century tale of love.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner