Joan Johnston, Author . Dell $6.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-440-23472-2

Although the Blackthornes and the Creeds have been enemies for countless generations, love has found a way to transcend their feuding in the last two entries in Johnston's Bitter Creek series (The Cowboy; The Texan). This turbulent third installment follows the romance between Summer Blackthorne, who discovers she is not a Blackthorne after all, and "Bad" Billy Coburn, who learns that his father is none other than Jackson Blackthorne, Summer's father. When Billy returns to Bitter Creek to tend to his dying mother, Jackson attempts to run him off and away from Summer by sabotaging his efforts to find employment. The young couple thwart Jackson's schemes by quickly marrying, but Billy's pride and insecurity prevent him from believing that Summer, heir to thousands of acres of prime West Texas land, could love him. Further complications arise when Jackson leaves his wife, Eve, for Ren Creed, and a jealous Eve plans her suicide to implicate Jackson as her murderer. Uniting to save family members, Summer and Billy discover the truth behind Eve's death and finally realize the strength of their own love in a satisfying, though saccharine, denouement. Johnston employs more plot twists than a soap opera, but she carefully controls each entanglement to craft a warm and charming homespun tale. (Apr. 2)

Reviewed on: 03/18/2002
Release date: 03/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 202 pages - 978-0-307-56969-1
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