The glitter and excitement of the 1893 World’s Fair — depicted in charming photographs interspersed with the text — is the colorful backdrop for Gist’s novel, which pits a determined woman doctor and a Texas Ranger in a battle of wills that’s brighter than any fairground fireworks. Gist delivers a lovely story brimming with touching emotions and carrying a message about love, commitment and our duty to care for children that will resonate with readers.
Billy Jack Tate is a woman with a man’s name, which only makes her fight harder for her right to practice medicine, and for the rights of all women. Texas Ranger Hunter Scott isn’t thrilled to have been moved from chasing desperados to protecting the women working at the World's Fair, but he meets his match in the feisty doctor. A freak accident and an abandoned infant bring them closer together, but trying to help one child isn’t enough. Hunter and Billy soon find themselves working to build play areas around the city where low-income children can have a safe, environment to grow and flourish. But as their plan unfolds and the fair comes to a close, Billy and Hunter have to decide what is important in their personal lives: their love or their careers? (HOWARD, May, 433 pp, $15.99)