cover image Texas Embrace

Texas Embrace

Rosanne Bittner. Zebra, $5.99 (319pp) ISBN 978-0-8217-5625-6

Known for her western romances, Bittner (Eagle's Song) gives readers a hero much like Clint Eastwood in the macho mold of an old spaghetti Western--at least until he confesses his love and becomes sappily reflective. Texas Ranger John Hawkins rides into a den of ruthless outlaws to rescue Tess Carey and in due course, she returns the favor, rescuing John's life. He is attracted to Tess, to her courage and strength, but as romance would have it, love's impossible because he's a half-breed and she's white. Even accompanying her home leaves Tess open to town gossip and speculation. When she finds herself compromised, Tess asks John to marry her and is surprised by the strength of his passion. Long separations, Tess's fear of intimacy, and a ring of cattle rustlers out to kill them give the newlyweds more than enough to worry about. Sensitivity is all very well and good for the hero, but not when worn like a badge. Luckily, there's enough action to propel the plot through the stickier bits. (Apr.)