cover image Sunrise Canyon: Americana, Book 1

Sunrise Canyon: Americana, Book 1

Janet Dailey. Zebra, $7.99 mass market (312p) ISBN 978-1-4201-4010-1

In romance legend Dailey’s touching first Americana novel (set in present-day Arizona’s Sonoran Desert), wayward veteran Jake O’Reilly finally returns home after spending three years running from his wartime PTSD and his grief over the death of his wife, Wendy. Jake’s daughter, Paige, now five years old, has been raised by his wife’s cousin, therapist Kira Bolton. When Kira’s grandfather tracks Jake down in jail, he agrees to post bail in exchange for Jake returning to the ranch, to the dismay of Kira, who’s been keeping secrets about Wendy that she knows will only cause him more pain. Jake indirectly receives treatment by assisting Kira with her program of equine therapy for troubled teens; this shift in focus incorporates interesting subplots, provides a fresh take on PTSD treatment, and keeps the growing romance between Jake and Kira—rather than Jake’s recovery—in the forefront. Paige and her sweet innocence will tug at heartstrings, but there’s no sugarcoating the work that Kira and Jake will have to put in to reach a happy ending, and the harsh truths of their story make this well-written, steady-paced story believable. (Mar.)