Harlequin HQN, Feb 2008, $6.99
In 1894 New Mexico territory, his dying father demanded Rafael McKenzie make a death bed vow to soon marry a virtuous woman. He agreed though part of his reasoning was to honor his dad, but he also knows the stipulation if he is to fully inherit the family’s Diamond Ranch.
Four years earlier Charles Montgomery informed his fourteen years old daughter Isabella, living in the Convent of the Sisters of Charity, that sometime in the next few years she will marry dark soul Juan Garcia. Now Charles tells his offspring the contract with Juan will be fulfilled immediately. Rafael believes the pristine Isabel is the ideal woman as stipulated by his father on the death bed. He decides he will marry her so he abducts her taking her to his ranch where he hopes to convince her they should wed. On the trek to his spread, both feels an attraction, but each is wary to act upon it. When they reach The Diamond Ranch, Rafael introduces his intended bride to a distant relative staying there, the lovely vivacious Lucia.
Lucia steals the show from the lead couple as her actions ignite the story line as Isabella turns jealous and Rafael confused. Although the romance between Isabella and Rafael is enjoyable to follow, it seems too formal when compared to Lucia’s kick off her heels. Fans will enjoy this entertaining historical romance as Lucia heats the sheets.