WANTED: THE TEXAN
Smith's westerns are always full of strong, virile heroes and independent, feisty heroines. In her latest romance, which pits a city miss against a jaded bounty hunter, the characters are engaging and the action is constant. Though the plot is predictable, it is still a satisfying read.
Texas bounty hunter Josh Grady, wounded after a gunfight with two killers, decides to start fresh. He buys into a cattle ranch and puts his past behind him, until the boss dies and Josh gets a new partner -- the boss's proper daughter Emmie Ryan.
Raised in Philadelphia, Emmie has spent only summers with her father. When she returns to Texas to run her father's ranch, she finds herself saddled with a headstrong cowboy. Clashes are unavoidable, and soon, so are heated embraces. Then Josh's past comes back to haunt them, and he becomes a wanted man, with bounty hunters and a killer on his trail. He wants to settle his past before committing to a future with Emmie, but she refuses to let him fight alone. She'll stand by her man, and he might as well get used to it. (Leisure, Jan., 336 pp., $7.99)