Though raised in a New York City convent, Texas newcomer Catherine Donnelly can handle almost anything, even a near-dead Texas Ranger on her doorstep.

Jericho Blue is chasing the MacDougal Gang when he's ambushed. The last thing he remembers is the face of a young boy holding a rifle. When he awakens, it's to a dark-haired angel tending to his wounds. Then he meets Catherine's brother, Andrew, the boy with the gun.

Jericho convalesces at Catherine's and hopes to learn of her involvement with the infamous outlaws. But the longer he stays, the more attracted he is to her. How can he kiss her and then arrest her brother?

Cowan takes the qualities of an Americana western, adds the grit of a chase and writes a tale that also has deep family ties, pulsing sexual tension (including Jericho's loving tenderness when Catherine tells him of her fear of men) and the harsh reality of the West. This is a solid western with an added poignancy that truly tugs at the heart. SWEET (Sep., 300 pp., $5.25)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin