cover image DESERT HEAT


Kat Martin, . . Zebra, $6.99 (380pp) ISBN 978-0-8217-7381-9

Young Bostonian Patience Sinclair and her sisters, Hope and Charity, have vowed to have one grand adventure before marrying or settling into a career. For Patience, a season on the western rodeo circuit, researching historic and current female competitors for her doctoral dissertation, seems both an exciting escapade and a timely escape from spoiled society brat Tyler Stanfield, a rejected ex-lover who's been stalking her. Despite the instant, if prickly, attraction that Patience shares with handsome Dallas Kingman, a World Champion All-Around Cowboy, the pair's commitment to very different careers makes anything more than a summer fling seem impossible. But the two grow closer, even as mysterious malignant forces strive to tear the Circle C rodeo, owned by Dallas's uncle, apart. Passion predominates over intrigue in Martin's second Sinclair Sisters installment (after Midnight Sun ), but the suspense serves to keep reader interest piqued as the protagonists agonize their way through apparently insoluble personal conflicts. A parallel suspense subplot involving historic rodeo murders lends the story some complexity, and several side romances and romantic rivalries add considerable charm to this satisfying tale. Agent, Robert Gottlieb. (May)