Jezebel

Katherine Sutcliffe, Author
Katherine Sutcliffe, Author Jove Books $6.5 (336p) ISBN 978-0-515-12172-8
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-1-56865-558-1
Paperback - 978-0-515-12202-2
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On his way to Hell, Texas, to avenge the murders of his young wife and son, Rafael de Bastitas takes shelter from a storm. Inside a shanty he finds crazed Charity Bell, the preacher's widow, giving birth. Sutcliffe (Devotion) has given us some of the great damaged heroes of recent years, but Rafe is less convincing. Here, he delivers the infant, nurses Charity back to health, bakes biscuits, hoes fields, rescues animals, carves a cradle, plays the flute and is capable of transforming himself from a peace-loving Spanish aristocrat into a greased-lightning gunslinger. In short, he is part protector, part great lover, and part home appliance. Sutcliffe is a fine writer, and the first half of this story, which deals with the budding relationship of beleaguered Charity and Rafe, the reluctant Samaritan, is gritty, sexy and a little offbeat. However, by the second half, Sutcliffe's set-up is so overstuffed (land-grabbing villains, bounty hunters, revenge, and tons of personal issues) that the resolution is improbable. (Nov.)
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