Fern Michaels continues Nealy Coleman's story, opening with the birth of Triple Crown winner Flyby's first foal. Nealy has learned her rule of life wellthe horses come first. She expects her daughter Emmie and son Nick to live by that rule as well.

For the first time ever, Nealy allows her children and herself to take a week's vacation. Without informing their mother, both children take an additional week. Emmie needs the extra time to recoup after her husband demands a divorce then disappears and Nick elopes to Las Vegas with the woman he secretly loves.

When they return, Nealy fires them both and throws them off the Blue Diamond farm. She can't bear to have them live under her tyrannical thumb any longer. So Native American Hatch Littletree, the former law partner of Nealy's deceased husband, takes the job.

The attraction between Nealy and Hatch is prodigious and intense until Nealy suffers burn scars and sends him away. The ending shouldn't surprise the reader as much as the identity of the novel's spirit guide but both have Fern Michaels's magic touch. (May, 323 pp., $24.00)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger