When her brother disappears out West, Esmeralda Fine, the duke of Whyndham's granddaughter, heads straight for New Mexico Territory and Billy Darling.

A wanted man, Billy is one of the infamous Darling brothers, the only one to "do an honest day's work" as a bounty hunter. He might be responsible for her brother's disappearance, so she takes no chances when she walks into Calamity's saloon and points a gun at him.

Instead of killing Billy, Esmeralda hires him to find Bartholomew, who is known as the bank-robbing outlaw Black Bart. She has no idea what she's getting into or why Billy's crooked smile makes her heart beat faster.

Somehow she gets involved in a bank robbery that goes awry, and meets up with Billy's brothers, his ham-fisted mother and a cast of unusual characters. She falls hopelessly in love with a gunman who longs to be a lawman.

From the saloons, banks and streets of the Wild West to a Wild West show on a stage in London, Esmeralda and Billy learn to fight and love, becoming each other's darlings.

There is so much joy, so much magic and just the right amount of poignancy that you'll find tears mixed with your laughter. Ms. Medeiros enchants and captivates with her unique brand of romance. This is a book you'll reread simply to relive the pleasure because NOBODY'S DARLING is sure to become everybody's darling. SENSUAL (May, 380 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin