Unwilling to witness her ex-husband Andrew's marriage to the bimbo he left her for, Claire Wilder goes blonde, ditches the job she's always hated, throws some things in her Mercedes and gets out of town fast.

Intent upon learning something about the father she barely remembers, she heads for Valentine, Oklahoma, and takes a room at the rundown Goodnight Motel.

The theft of her car leaves her stranded and dependent on the kindness of strangers, and the townsfolk rise to the occasion. Claire's attraction to one of the locals, rancher Larkin Ford, is beginning to be reciprocated when Andrew shows up, wanting her back. But can Claire fit into her old life again?

The lovable residents of Valentine are back in Sweet Dreams at the Goodnight Motel, a multilayered, warmly amusing story that's vintage Matlock. One quibble: A little more attention given to Claire and Larkin's budding romance would have been lovely. (Oct., 366 pp., $12.95)
Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer