Berkley, Apr 5 2011, $7.99
In 1875 Texas Ranger Duncan “Duck” McMurray informs his friend gambler Lewton Paterson that he plans to insure good marriages for his three female cousins by sending good citizens with upstanding families their way. Lewton yearns for that respectability so at Crystal’s, after he meets Walter Freeport the Fourth, a pompous abusive fool who hit a server, he decides to replace the nasty gentleman. A card game leads to Lewt possessing the train ticket,
Lewton meets the three ladies and finds each nice and pretty, but is drawn specifically to ranch manger Emily. However, though she is attracted to her cousin’s selection, she refuses to marry as that will cost her the independence that she cherishes. When they learn that Duncan has been held prisoner in Mexico, Lewt and Em ride out to rescue him.
The latest Whispering Mountain historical romance (see The Lone Texan) is once again a great read. The lead couple is a fabulous pairing of an independent ranch owner and a likable card shark posing as a dandy. From the moment they meet, sparks fly, as he says to the three cousins he will marry any of them as long as she is wealthy while she distrusts any male except kin ever since she helplessly witnessed an assault on her mom. Readers will enjoy this coupling as both have issues wider than Texas.