Former RT reviewer Connealy has a strong historical voice sprinkled with humor and a knack for depicting the communication gap between men and women. Though the pacing slows in a few places and the writing isn't always strong, historical readers will eagerly turn the pages of this debut novel.

Sophie Edwards has been a widow for two years, raising four daughters on her own. Life is difficult for her in the tough west, but she's doing a fine job. When she and the girls rescue an injured man, Sophie learns what it's like to be loved and cared for. Will she be able to give up her independence and desire for vengeance to let someone look after her? (Barbour, Feb., 320 pp., $9.97)
Reviewed by: 
Bev Huston