'Spirit of the Wolf' by Susan Mallery. In April 1886
in Whitehorn, Montana, Ruth Whitefeather escorts young
runaway Zeke Kincaid home though she knows his widowed
father Caleb lives there. Years ago, the half-Cheyenne
Ruth rejected Caleb's proposal of marriage. When he sees
her with his son, Caleb wonders if he has a second chance
at love or will Ruth reject him again.
'As Good as Gold' by Bronwyn Williams. In June,
Caleb's sibling Will returns to Whitehorn to open a bank.
Will worries that his older brother has not forgiven him
for taking ranch money years ago. Meanwhile Lizzy works
the saloon because her brother paid off his gambling debt
by 'indenturing' her. Will begins to protect Lizzy in
exchange for bedroom privileges even as he admires her
'The Gamble' by Carolyn Davidson. By August, Will
worries about his decadent cousin James so he insures his
relative becomes Whitehorn's sheriff to give him esteem.
That has little impact on James' fragile ego. When James
rescues schoolmarm Kate Elliot from bandits, he quickly
realizes she has rescued him from a life as a black sheep
by teaching him how to care and love for someone else.
All three novellas are well written western romances
that emphasize consistent characterizations (what you get
in one-story remains true in another tale). The story
lines provide complex relationship dramas that showcase the
collaboration and talents of Susan Mallery, Bronwyn
Williams and Carolyn Davidson. Readers will find late
nineteenth century Montana appealing as seen through the
eyes of the Kincaid kin in this warm anthology.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted July 24, 2001