When old Joe Roark dies, leaving his ranch to his daughters with a proviso, they must work together to drive their herd of longhorns to Abilene. If they fail, their father's fourth wife, Lola, will inherit everything. His parting words are "may the best man win."

Freddy Roark and her half-sisters have never been more like enemies. Each with different interests and dreams, they must put all that aside or risk losing a fortune and a chance for their individual futures.

They must first find a man to teach them how to lead their cattle across 700 miles of open land. Dal Frisco is just desperate enough to take the job.

He knows he'll have a devil of a time with the three women: headstrong Freddy and her high strung sisters, Alex and Les. There's a lot to learn about herding and roping, and also some surprising lessons on love to be learned on the wild trail ride to Kansas.

The women, Dal, and his two male companions each have their own set of problems. Then there is the nefarious Lola, who will do what she must to ensure the sisters never reach Abilene. Maggie Osborne understands women and their relationships with sisters, friends, fathers and lovers. Her strong belief that we can be our own best friends shines through every page. Ms. Osborne's touch for humor and deep understanding of the human heart makes THE BEST MAN a sure bet. It's a feminist, humorous, and sensual western that wins the hearts of readers. SENSUAL (Apr., 417 pp., $5.50)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin