Malachite is an angry Comanche half-breed. Called to his mother's deathbed, he finally learns the identity of his white father. He goes to Texas determined to confront the man who abandoned his mother. Though Onyx Jewel is dead, he finds four half-sisters who welcome him with open arms.

After visiting his father's grave, Malachite decides to stay for a chance to catch the wild mustang, Diablo, taking a room at Millie Potter's boarding house. Millie, a young widow with three little girls, is drawn to Malachite. He spends time with her children, drawing them out of their shells.

When Millie and the girls are caught in a blizzard, Malachite rescues them, taking them to the Jewel ranch. They are snowbound together. It is a place out of time for them both-not a person for miles can invade their private world. What Millie feels for Malachite is like nothing she has ever felt before.

When Malachite manages to capture the rogue stallion, Millie is fearful, believing the horse is cursed. Malachite calms her fears as he tames the mustang. They then return to town, with Malachite riding Diablo.

But someone has been causing turmoil and blaming it on the horse. Malachite and his sisters' husbands are determined to find out what is going on. They walk straight into danger and Millie is unwittingly caught in the middle of a showdown.

In MALACHITE, the final book in the remarkable Jewels of the West series, Ms. Langan once again draws you in with her wonderful characterization. The book stands on its own as a exciting, delightful western romance, while fans of the series will enjoy meeting old friends. SENSUAL (Apr., 350 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill Brager