Janet Dailey, . . Kensington, $24 (296pp) ISBN 978-0-7582-0067-9

Dailey, veteran author of more than 100 romance novels, seven of which belong to the Calder family saga (Green Calder Grass, etc.), adds another immensely readable installment to this two-decades-old series. At the novel's outset, patriarch Chase Calder is shot and presumed dead while on a business trip in Texas. The incident leaves Chase with a mild head wound and a case of amnesia. The only people he feels he can trust are the man who saved him, a mysterious cowboy named Laredo Smith, and Laredo's mother, Hattie, who is a registered nurse. When Laredo learns Chase's identity from the hotel where Chase had been staying, he packs Hattie and Chase in his truck and heads to the Triple C Ranch in Montana, where Chase's "funeral" is underway. There he forms an alliance with Chase's widowed daughter-in-law, Jessy, and they make plans to stash Chase away in an old line-shack on the ranch until he regains his memory or until Laredo unmasks Chase's shooter. Although Dailey's prose is occasionally awkward ("In swift reaction, he came to full alertness"), readers can count on the usual dose of romance between Laredo and Jessy, as well as the reappearance of countless characters from previous Calder books—including spiteful Tara Calder, colorful Culley O'Rourke and Sheriff Logan Echohawk. This book will be a homecoming for many of the series' followers, but new readers would be wise to start with book one (This Calder Sky, 1981) before immersing themselves in this homespun tale. (July)