Here to Stay
Signet, Feb 1 2011, $7.99
At Bronco Bart’s watering hole in Crystal Falls, Oregon, Zach Harrigan surveys the females who all look identical with breast implants and bleached hair as if a virus struck. A ruckus occurs when a cowboy tries to pick up a thin brunette who is with a blind man. The cowboy trips up the blind person. Zach calls the man a moron, so the brute punches him in the face; Zach kicks back. The cops arrest Zach who thinks of a magazine article about training tiny horses though if he decides to do so he will have to do it quietly to avoid ridicule from his older brothers.
Two years later, Zach has trained Rosebud the miniature horse to serves as guide for the blind. Twenty-eight year old Mandy Pajeck wants Rosebud to help her nineteen year old blind brother Luke. Zach agrees if Luke and Rosebud come together as a team. Instead Luke is petulant and only his attraction to the teen’s sister has kept Zach from pulling the plug. Zach begins to learn the childhood traumas that shape the relationship between the siblings, he knows he loves Mandy, but she has vowed to never marry.
Here to Stay is an engaging Harrigan contemporary romance (see Star Bright) starring a former hellion and a woman loaded with phobias from her childhood. The support cast is powerful especially Luke and Rosebud, but also Zach’s extended family. A cold case investigation into what happened to the siblings’ mom years ago adds tension, but the freshness comes from training guide horses (even with Rosebud pooping in the pharmacy) as Catherine Anderson provides a profound look at training including the link between the steed and the person. This is a special work by a talented author.