In Lord of the High Lonesome , the first entry in this two-tale holiday offering, Kit Bonner, feisty North Dakota ranch manager, is antagonized at first sight by the spread's powerfully masculine and arrogant absentee owner, who immediately one-ups her on horsemanship. By the story's finish, she's wearing dresses, perfume and eye shadow; the shrew has been tamed. In the second offering, Heart of Stone , Ivy League grad Stephanie Hall, accountant of an exclusive New Hampshire inn, falls, at first sight, for the resort's powerfully masculine and arrogant playboy owner, who travels with his own "two-legged entertainment system." By the finish, she's given up her hard-earned career to marry the reformed rake. Happy endings? Definitely, as these were first published back in the 1980s as part of Dailey's career-making Americana series (one book for every U.S. state) for Harlequin. Despite a few references to e-mail and MTV, the dated sexual/gender dynamics may cause puzzled postfeminist readers to wonder what year this is. For longtime Dailey fans, however, who missed the book first time around, this nostalgic re-release will seem like a good old-fashioned Christmas gift. Agent, Richard Curtis. (Oct.)
Forecast: Though this is a re-release, it should hit bestseller lists with ease due to Dailey's popularity and the festive packaging, which doesn't betray the fact that these novellas have been previously published.
Release date: 10/01/2004