Since her uncle won a ranch in a card game, Emily Spoon believes the family can end their outlaw days and settle down as respectable citizens. No one will ever take away her family, home and security again. Then she meets the sheriff, Clint Barclay, the man who had once destroyed her happiness.

Clint has no illusions about the notorious Spoon Gang. He certainly cannot believe Emilys trumped-up tale of their going straight. But when he steals a kiss at a town social, Clint begins to think differently about the sharp-tongued Emily.

Emily has to find some way to get Clint off her familys back and prove to him that they have a legitimate claim to their ranch. When suspicions arise about not only the ranch but the Spoon Gangs past, Clint and Emily are torn between love and loyalty.

Jill Gregory knows the American West, the land and the courageous people, and she always finds a way to tell unique, memorable stories every time she picks up her pen. ONCE AN OUTLAW is funny, poignant, tender, enchanting, lively, action-packed and captivating. Her three-dimensional characters move their way into your heart, and youll wish you were part of Forlorn Valleys community. SENSUAL (Dec., 355 pp., $6.50)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin