Leisure, Aug 1 2010, $6.99
In 1883 in the Montana Territory, while on a drive cattleman Luke McCutchen hears a scream while riding. He investigates a wagon where he finds a woman biting on wood. He goes to help her, but her young “son” Cullen hits him with a frying pan. He helps Faith Brown give birth.
Faith has fled Nebraska and her late husband’s family. They accused her of killing her spouse Samuel and demand she marry her evil brother-in-law Ward, who covets her spread near Kearney. A desperate Faith takes a chance on Luke and his men keeping her and her kids safe although she fears she has placed Luke and the others in peril when the odious Ward catches up to her as she expects. While falling in love on the trail, her lies keeps her from fully turning to Luke, who loves the three stragglers he found.
Caroline Fyffe’s second late nineteenth century Great Plains Americana romance (see Where the Wind Blows) is a superb tale that grips the audience the moment that Luke investigates the scream and never slows down for even a paragraph. Like the beleaguered heroine, readers anticipate the high noon showdown in Big Sky Country as heroic Luke and despicable Ward will face off while Faith tries to do the noble thing in spite of her lies. This is an exciting winner even with stereotypical opposites of a noble hero and a vile villain.