cover image Desperate


Millie Criswell / Author Grand Central Publishing $20.5 (372p)

With its wide-eyed orphans, vile desperadoes, a beautiful woman in distress, an ex-Texas Ranger out to avenge unspeakable acts, bestselling romance author Criswell's new action-filled western (after Prim Rose) is steps above her previous efforts. Wealthy Bostonian Emmaline St. Joseph is on a mission to establish an orphanage in California in the memory of her late philanthropist brother. Ex-Texas Ranger Rafe Bodine too is on a mission--to wipe out the vermin who raped and murdered his pregnant wife--when stumbles upon the vulnerable and stranded Emmaline. Readers will be hooked the moment Rafe addresses Emmaline as ""little lady"" and images of John Wayne at his most gallant come to mind. This is a tightly plotted book and a good read. (July)