Kansas-born Trey McAllister can't leave Louisiana fast enough now that the war is over. But as he is steering for home, something draws him back to a small town enduring a lot of struggles. Actually, nine somethings to be exact. That's how many women live alone in Sassy Gap. Being the gentleman Trey is, he can't ignore the problems the females are facing.

What he doesn't know is that by befriending Mirelle Dupree, he's just brought a heap of trouble on himself. Despite her tyrannical father, who will stop at nothing to get his way, Trey can't resist the fiery Cajun beauty. Is he strong enough to help her and the citizens of Sassy Gap, or will Mirelle's father take all?

This novel requires a balancing act between the many characters, and Copeland delivers, to a point. The ending is wrapped up too neatly, with the women paired off in practically just a few paragraphs. But overall the book is consistent with the author's trademark storytelling expertise. (Feb. 328 pp., $11.99)
Reviewed by: 
Bev Huston