Thomas, the undisputed queen of Texas romance, delivers a story that is as rough around the edges as the rugged Texas landscape, yet as romantic as the people who tamed this harsh land. Her stories never skimp on reality, yet they capture the romanticism that readers associate with the Wild West. Filled with characters that readers will clasp to their hearts and a tender love story that will move them to tears, this is a winner.
Lewton Paterson might be friends with Texas Ranger Duncan McMurry, but he’s a gambling man through and through. Still Lewt yearns for respectability and gets his chance when he learns that the McMurry cousins are looking for husbands. He cons a true suitor out of his ticket to Whispering Mountain, but soon discovers it’s not simple to woo and win a McMurry. Emily McMurry is more comfortable with horses and cattle than with men, which is why she has her friend pretend to be her while the suitors are on the ranch, while she continues to work. But one of the greenhorns has taken to following her around. Lewt finds Emily, the ranch hand, far more intriguing than the other women and asks her to help him learn the ropes. Spending time together leads to an unexpected friendship and Emily begins losing her fears as Lewt begins to understand what it means to fall in love. But when her brother’s life is in danger Lewt and Emily face hard truths and uncover their real desires. (BERKLEY, Apr., 326 pp., $7.99)