cover image Liberty Blue

Liberty Blue

Robin Lee Hatcher. HarperCollins Publishers, $5.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-108389-1

Using an overworked plot and stereotypical characters, Hatcher tells the story of Liberty Blue, aka Olivia Vanderhoff, who, ignoring her father's command that she marry a man 35 years her senior, hops the first train out of San Francisco and begins a new life in the wilds of Idaho. Not one to let an asset (which is what Libby's father considers her) slip away, the elder Vanderhoff hires Pinkerton agent Remington Walker to find and fetch his daughter. Remington, whose own father had been financially ruined by Vanderhoff years earlier, plans to use Libby to even the score. What he doesn't count on is falling in love. Libby's character loses our sympathy when we learn that she's strong enough to run a failing ranch, raise a child that isn't hers and fend off a devious neighbor who wants her land but can't stand up to her father. Remington is equally annoying in his steadfast preference for silence over honesty. The final unfortunate coup de grace comes in the form of a contrived ending that will try the patience of the most devout romance fan. (Oct.)