Texas Ranger Judd Dunn married Christabel Gaines when she was 16 to protect her half of their jointly owned ranch. The marriage was just on paper, and few people knew about it. Now he's 34 and she's coming up on 21, when she can legally take on her half of the ranch. The plan had been that they'd annul the marriage at this point.

Chrissy isn't looking for an annulment, however. She wants Judd to finally see her as a woman. But these dreams begin slipping through her fingers when he brings a movie crew in to film at the ranch. Financially, they need all the help they can get, but the beautiful leading lady with an eye for Judd has Chrissy seeing all her own shortcomings.

Assistant chief of police Cash Grier sees Chrissy very much as a woman. She enjoys the attention, but is oblivious to the jealousy rearing in Judd. Cash takes her seriously though, especially when she becomes convinced that mysterious goings-on at the ranch are criminal and not accidental.

Both Christabel and Judd carry unresolved issues that can easily become walls, but the sheer energy of their love is apparent to others and may be enough to conquer their fears.

Diana Palmer's characters leap off the page. She captures their emotions and scars beautifully and makes them come alive for readers—so much so that most will be eager to read Cash's story in an upcoming book. (Jul., 304 pp., $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Debbie Richardson