cover image Finding Promise

Finding Promise

Scarlett Dunn. Kensington/Zebra Inspirational, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4201-3891-7

No amount of vivid descriptions of the landscape or daily life on a cattle ranch can rescue this slow and tepid 19th-century western. When Promise Sinclair left Charleston, S.C., with a wagon train, she was looking for adventure in Colorado. What she found was a gang of thieves, who massacred her fellow travelers and left her for dead. Rancher and ex-U.S. Marshal Jake McBride, on his way to Wyoming, is sickened by the destruction; not only does he get a doctor for Promise, he detours to Colorado to find her relatives and track down the murderers. Jake is the quintessential romance hero: strong, fiercely loyal to his family, and dedicated to justice. It’s no surprise that Promise falls in love with him, especially since he saved her life. But readers will yawn as the supposedly willful Promise waits dutifully on the McBride ranch for the killers to be caught and for Jake to realize he loves her. Jake crisscrosses the west until he admits he wants Promise, and then he heads home for the requisite marriage proposal. There are no moments of the lovers learning about each other and falling in love together, making the ending unsatisfying. Agent: Mary Sue Seymour, Seymour Agency. (Jan.)