Long Time Gone

Mary Connealy. Bethany House, $14.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-7642-1182-9

Continuing the strains from No Way Up, Connealy expands upon the tale of the Boden family, ranchers in 1880s New Mexico Territory, who are attempting to ferret out the identities of who attacked their family patriarch. When eldest brother Cole is seriously wounded, his younger brother Justin takes on the task of defending the homestead and solving the mystery. He doesn’t expect to be drawn into romance during such a trying time, but Angie DuPree, the doctor’s assistant, is a distraction he can’t resist. Angie, a young widow with a hidden past, admires the Bodens (and Justin most of all) for their confident faith and loving familial bond. She must come to grips with her own self-worth and decide how much she is willing to risk for love. Connealy spins a sweet love story within a fast-paced adventure, and she knows her westerns. This second installment of a three-part series jumps right into the action, so new readers may want to start at book one to get a full grasp of the larger plot. [em]Agent: Natasha Kern, Natasha Kern Literary. (Mar.) [/em]