Author Sharon Sala continues to sparkle with QUEEN, the second novel in her series spotlighting sisters Diamond, Queen, and Lucky Houston as they each follow their own paths towards their destinies.The very talented Sharon Sala strikes gold with her warm and endearing tale of wary, lonesome people learning to accept love and trust their hearts.

The oldest child, Queen Houston has taken care of her two younger sisters for most of her life. Now for the first time she is free to discover the world for herself. Gathering her cash and meager possessions, Queen boards a bus heading west and winds up in Snow Gap, Colorado.

When Queen saw the local sheriff and social worker trying to take the three young brothers into protective custody, she just had to step in. Claiming to be their Aunt Queenie come from Tennessee to take care of them, Queen quickly takes charge of the Bonner boys. Donny, the oldest at thirteen, is terribly worried because their father Cody didn't return the night before. When Cody Bonner does show up, frantic with worry over his sons, he has a hard time explaining to a disbelieving Queen how he wound up in jail by accident.

A recently-retired Desert Storm veteran, Cody has been attempting to deal with residual nightmares from his experiences, and build a new life for his motherless sons. The boys' maternal grand[parents have attempted to gain custody in the past, so when they get wind of the latest incident they arrive unannounced. For the boys' sake, Queen agrees to stay on as housekeeper until the Whittiers leave. But the lure of the Bonner men is strong and Queen finds herself more attached than she would like.

Meanwhile, Lenore Whittier is determined to prevent Queen and Cody's relationship from blossoming, so she hires third-rate private investigator Wally Morrow to dig up dirt on Queen. Life and the importance of relationships come sharply into focus when an escaped murderer terrorizes the town and kidnaps Queen. Can a desperate Cody reach her in time?

(Nov., 359 pp., $4.50)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith