Gentry captures the spirit of western Americana in this installment of her Texans series, and she’s smart enough to let adorable children and a dog steal the show, touching everyone’s hearts. With the orphan train, a land rush, a wounded Ranger and a saloon girl in disguise — along with gentle touches of a tender love and family bonds — Gentry’s story will please her fans.
Wounded in a shoot-out, Ranger Travis Prescott is on his way back to Texas and a new life. When saloon girl Violet LaFarge finds four orphans in need of a home she’s determined to give them a family. She knows just the man to help. Masquerading as a 14-year-old, she cons Travis into finding a way to keep the family together, getting a job and locating a house. Once honorable Travis promises to care for the children, he won’t back down. More than anything, he wants to protect Violet. The more she is with Travis, the more in love she falls; how can she let him know she’s not a teenager but a passionate woman, before the past catches up to her? (ZEBRA, Feb., 352 pp., $6.99)