THE BAD MAN'S BRIDE
The first of Susan Kay Laws trilogy, Marrying Miss Bright sends Anthea Bright from Philadelphia to the small town of Haven, Kansas. Never was a place so misnamed, for Haven is no place of shelter for Anthea.
Ill prepared for her new job as a teacher, Anthea finds that living in a soddy is almost as difficult as managing a classroom of unruly children. But this is nothing compared to meeting the towns bad boy, Gabriel Jackson.
Gabriel has had a reputation for as long as he can remember. Rumors abound of his own illegitimacy and of his daughter Lilys parentage. Believing the new schoolmarm is not properly teaching Lily, he visits Anthea, demanding an explanation.
Anthea cannot understand how this charismatic man is Havens most-disgraced citizen. He makes her heart turn and flips her usually practical world upside down. Their battle over what is best for Lily brings them into one confrontation after another, and finally into each others arms.
But there are many obstacles to overcome and prejudices to set aside before Anthea can become a bride. That is what turns this tale into a remarkably entertaining and touching read. Antheas growth as a woman and a teacher, along with Gabriel and Lilys bonding is a joy to behold. SENSUAL (Jun., 372 pp., $5.99)