Monday, September 8, 2008

Texas Loving

By Leigh Greenwood
Leisure Books 2008
Historical Romance
Setting: Texas Hill Country 1889

I finally made the decision. Leigh Greenwood is my all time favorite writer. When you realize I’ve also read Thomas Wolfe, John O’Hara, Camus, Steinbeck, Updike, etc. that puts Greenwood in pretty lofty company. As far as I know, he is the only man writing historical romance. And does he ever write it! His stories are great, his characters are well developed and believable. There’s some mystery, problem solving, relationship building, and of course, a happy ending. This is the newest book in the Cowboys series. Jake and Isabelle Maxwell married in Texas. They had one daughter, Eden, and adopted ten boys and one girl. This book focuses on Eden.

Summary: One day an old cowboy in strange dress rode up to the Broken Circle Ranch. From a distance Eden could see that he was old. She met him as he arrived and asked if she could help him find someone. He said that he had found the person he sought and she looked exactly like her grandmother when she was young. It turns out that this man is her grandfather and he is from England. It seems that Isabelle’s aunt was actually her mother who had left England while pregnant and come to America. This visitor is
Alastair Davenport, the Earl of Southampton, and Isabelle’s father. Isabelle’s mother had thought herself not fit to marry an Earl so had left England to avoid a scandal. After asking many questions, the Earl decided that he wanted to take Isabelle, Jake, and Eden to England to get better acquainted and to introduce them to their family.

They arrived in England, and Eden was introduced to Edward Davenport toe heir to the Earldom. Life was very different there and Eden wasn’t comfortable with the lack of candor from these people with the strange accents. Daphne, the daughter of a wealthy banker was visiting ands expected Edward to propose to her. The Davenport family was facing bankruptcy and Edward was expected to marry an heiress who would supply money in exchange for a title. Eden thought that marrying for any reason other than love was ridiculous. And, of course, she said that with passion and volume.

Eden shared information with Edward that she had gotten from Edward’s nurse, who spent her retirement trying to hide the fact that she drank a lot of alcohol. This information put Edward in a tailspin and he disappeared at the same time the Maxwell family returned to America.

Upon her return home, Eden went to the ranch that belonged to two of her adopted brothers to help their wives deliver their babies. When she arrived she was shocked to find that Edward was right there in Texas at the brother’s ranch.

The rest of the story takes place in Texas. It involved cattle rustling, cut fences, burned barns, injured horses and a horse race that Edward needs to win so that he can buy a ranch of his own. This is a good study in close family and how they band together when the need arises. And, of course, anticipate the happy ending.

This book is a delightful read! If you haven’t read the other books in the Cowboy series, contact and they’ll round them up for you.

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