Mara Marsden's life changes when she discovers an inheritance left to her deceased mother 10 years ago. She boards a train for Silver Springs, just a few miles by buckboard from her ranch at Trail's End. Her attorney informs her that the mine on her land is played out, but Mara is pleased to be a woman of property anyway.

An interesting array of individuals cross Mara's path. They seem benign at first but become more menacing. The pleasant-seeming gentlemen she encounters may be linked to events designed to drive Mara from her property, even though she doesn't understand such furor over her worthless piece of land. Her wealthy neighbor Emmett Grandison seems adversarial at first, but he turns into a rescuing hero.

The characters are well drawn in this Gothic tale of the fading Old West, but the romance is slight, and the story is contrived. SWEET (Mar., 282 pp., $11.95)
Reviewed by: 
Donna M. Brown