Though a charming, humorous and enjoyable read, The Rascal would have benefitted from more character development. The heroine and hero come off
as caricatures of a suffragette and a saloon owner.
Jack Murphy has come to Morrow Creek to begin a new life where nobody knows of his scandalous past. Jack is running a successful saloon and wants to expand to include a boarding house. To that end, he must get his upstairs neighbor Grace Crabtree, who is the bane of his existence, out.
Grace is a suffragist whose plans
to run her father's newspaper after he retires do not include finding a husband. But when her father hires an editor from New York, Grace is devastated and unfortunately, Jack is the one who helps her when he sees her crying. Jack decides Grace needs a husband and sets out to find her one. Little does he know that the tables are going to turn.
Grace decides that she needs to
civilize Jack and is surprised when
she develops feelings for him. Things are going smoothly until Jack's past catches up with him. Can Grace and Jack get past their fears and hurts to
find happiness together? (Harlequin,
Nov., 300 pp., $5.50)