cover image Notorious


Janet Dailey. HarperCollins Publishers, $24 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-017697-6

Some formulas never go out of style, and the prolific Dailey (Legacies, 1995) always mixes the ingredients well. As she has done some 90 times previously, first in Harlequin romances and later in hardcover (here for the first time for HarperCollins), Dailey arranges for a tough-minded heroine to meet a strong alpha male. A broken-down pickup truck strands Kincade (a nod to the hero of The Bridges of Madison County?) Harris, a washed-up rodeo rider, in the small town of Friendly, Nev. Almost immediately, he rescues pretty Eden Rossiter, owner of the Spur Ranch, from a stampeding herd of cattle. Sparks fly, and she hires Kincade as a ranch hand. But Eden is skittish when it comes to men: about 10 years ago, she was acquitted of killing Jeff DePard during an attempted rape. Now Jeff's brother is determined to drive Spur Ranch out of business; he's abetted by Eden's own brother, whose gambling addiction makes him DePard's pawn. Steering clear of vapid introspection and dialogue, the novel succeeds on the strength of Dailey's well-paced plot and emotion-packed ending. $250,000 ad/promo; Doubleday Book Club main selection; Reader's Digest Condensed Books selection; author tour; U.K., translation, dramatic rights: Richard Curtis. (Apr.)