When Ruth Caldwell's mother falls ill, she learns she'll live with her father when her mother dies. When Ruth arrives in California, she learns her father is deceased she stands to inherit half his ranch.

Joshua McCain, a partner in the ranch, feels threatened by Ruth, especially when she's invited to live on the ranch until legal issues are resolved. Joshua vows to keep his distance, but when deceit is uncovered, Joshua and Ruth must work together to save the ranch.

This is a fascinating book, with subtle clues that are cleverly peppered throughout and that vividly merge in the end. Hake skillfully combines humor with grief, love and self-identity. This is a story you'll want to read again. (Aug., 302 pp., $19.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jennifer Reyes