Avon, $5.99, ISBN 0-380-80774-2
Historical Romance, 2000
It all started with a bed. A big, big bed the town of Burr had rarely – if ever – seen before being carted into town. Newly self-made man Jack Donovan is furnishing his new big ranch with the biggest and most expensive furniture, and everyone knows what that means – he’s looking for a woman.
Sarah Calhoun is not a happy woman. Her lover murdered her father three years ago, and now Sarah tries hard to live a nice and quiet life as an editor in her father’s newspaper. The last thing she wants is the demons of her scarlet past being stirred up when Jack starts sniffing around her skirts.
Sarah, however, senses that there is a great story behind this bed thing, so she puts on her sexy dress and try to ferret out information from Jack in a country dance. Jack sees through her right away, and tells her that honey, she may not be the homely type he wants for a wife, but he sure doesn’t mind some tickle-me-fancy in that big bed with her.
Outraged, our heroine announces in her newspaper that Jack is looking for a wife. Free-for-all, ladies!
The battle lines are drawn, and I have lots of fun. Donovan’s Bed boasts the boring guilt-ridden mosh from Sarah who’s yet another Ally McBeal in disguise, but Jack’s fun. He’s a rascal who has the sense to see that Sarah is the one soon into the story. And my, he sure knows how to put up a courtship. Sarah is a match for him despite her tendency to indulge in gratuitous teary-eye guilt fests.
This is a fun slice of Western romance, a complete turnaround for this author after her debut. Too bad it’s also predictable and I could see the plot twist coming a mile away. Oh well.