cover image The Cowboy’s Honor

The Cowboy’s Honor

Amy Sandas. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (416p) ISBN 978-1-4926-5200-7

Sandas continues her Runaway Brides series (The Gunslinger’s Vow) with this well-characterized and smartly plotted Western historical. When feisty Boston socialite Courtney Adams runs away from her own wedding and decides to escape to the wilds of Montana, her life changes in ways she didn’t see coming. Crabby but deeply honorable rancher Dean Lawton believes Courtney’s a mail-order bride sent by his brother, who hasn’t given up trying to get his reluctant brother hitched. After a quickie civil ceremony, Dean discovers that Courtney is fleeing Boston and that she didn’t realize the audience with the judge was their wedding. But the judge who married them refuses to grant an annulment for at least four weeks, and soon Dean and Courtney turn their animosity to passion. When unexpected guests arrive, and someone starts killing Dean’s cattle, Dean and Courtney’s idyll evaporates. The mystery is solved when the cattle slayer attacks Courtney and forces Dean to take decisive action. Sandas has a gift for creating characters readers will root for, and her plotting includes a few curveballs. Equal parts sweet and sassy, this tale will satisfy Sandas’s existing fans and win her new ones. Agent: Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Associates. (Mar.)