The trip to the Broken Buck Dude Ranch was supposed to provide a distraction for Jessica Garrett, but all she feels is hot, tired, and dusty. Then shes pricked by a cameo pin, and thinks being kidnapped by the Recklaw Gang is part of the show.
The Recklaws are real enough, especially Cole, their handsome leader, who brings her to the hideout where Ma takes her under her wing.
When it becomes clear she has traveled back in time, Jessica doesnt know what to do. Ma forces the boys to clean up and court Jessie, real proper-like, although Cole wants nothing to do with her.
Jessie tries to make them into upstanding citizens, encouraging them to go to church and meet other women. She even teaches them to read and write. What Jessie cant control are her feelings for Cole. Their love-making leaves her shattered.
Intent upon helping the miners correct conditions in the mines, the gang robs the mine owners. Jessie cannot condone their act, but she does understand. However, now the gang is in danger of being exposed and she has to do something before she is whisked back to 1999.
Ms. Rileys tale is filled with humor, although she does leave some unanswered questions. The characters are delightful, as are the various subplots that make this a wonderful romance. (July, 391 pp., $5.99)