cover image Calder Brand

Calder Brand

Janet Dailey. Kensington, $26 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4967-2744-2

Dailey (1944–2013) posthumously launches a spin-off to her Calder series with this fast-paced return to the 19th-century American West. Sixteen-year-old Joe Dollarhide is working on a cattle drive for Chase Benteen Calder when he meets beautiful Sarah Foxworth and saves her from an attack. Their encounter is brief, but leaves Joe smitten. When Joe is injured in a stampede, Calder leaves him for dead, but he’s rescued by passing outlaws. Two years later, Joe is shot while working to steal Calder’s cattle—but one of Calder’s cowhands, recognizing his former coworker, arranges for the injured Joe to be taken to a local woman known for her medical skills. It turns out to be Sarah, who nurses Joe back to health. Their mutual attraction builds to an affair, but Joe is determined to get revenge on Calder and leaves her, not knowing she is pregnant. When he learns of his child, he must choose between his plans for retribution and the chance at a family. Dailey highlights the brutal reality of survival in the American West while building a sprawling, emotional love story for Joe and Sarah. Both fans and newcomers to Dailey’s novels will be pleased. Agent: Richard Curtis, Richard Curtis Assoc. (Mar.)