Merging the elements of homespun, Americana romance with a strong western atmosphere, Cowan succeeds at tackling big themes in a tender way.
Hotel owner Russ Baldwin is curious about his new business partner, Lydia Kent. Once he meets the strong-willed woman he's determined to uncover her secrets.
Lydia has her reasons for leaving her Southern home quickly. She has the money to invest in a new hotel venture in far-off Texas, where she hopes she will be safe. But her heart isn't safe from her business partner. Russ awakens feelings she has never had before. She wishes she could trust him, but she can't endanger her mission or his life -- until her past comes crashing back and she's forced to. (HARLEQUIN, Feb., 300 pp., $5.99)