Avon, Dec 2002, 5.99, 384 pp.
After prospecting in Alaska for a few years together, Cole Mackenzie says goodbye to his gold prospecting partner Pop O'Shea and the man's teenage daughter Maggie in a stop at Seattle. Cole heads to San Francisco while Pops and Maggie travel to Lawford, New Mexico.
Two years later in 1898 Cole receives a telegram from Pops, pleading with his former partner to come quickly, as he needs help. Cole would do anything for Pop so he packs his bags immediately and hit the trail for New Mexico. He arrives in time to attend Pop's funeral. Apparently, Pop who ran a stageline broke his neck in a mining accident. Cole decides to stay in town to insure Maggie's safety and to learn more about Pop's death that just does not feel right to him. As accidents pile up with the stageline, Cole falls in love with Maggie, who has loved him since she was a tomboy prospecting in Alaska, but both feel they must uncover the identity of the person sabotaging the business and perhaps killed Pop too.
As with the stories of other Mackenzies, Cole's tale is an exciting Americana romantic suspense that fans of the series and sub-genre readers in general will attain much pleasure from the antics of the lead couple. Cole and Maggie are strong and intrepid, but much of their relationship is humorous relieving a bit of the tension that Ana Leigh spins with this book. The twists and turns add perplexity and uncertainty even to the obvious lead romance as Ms. Leigh provides the audience with a winning entry.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner