From Publishers Weekly
Following a slew of well-received romance paperbacks (Come Spring; Blue Moon; etc.), Landis serves up a tender, satisfying historical romance as her hardcover debut. Born in 1842, Kate Whittington, abandoned daughter of the Applesby, Maine, town tramp, is raised in a cloistered orphanage. Approaching spinsterhood at the age of 30, Kate answers the newspaper ad of Reed Benton, a widowed Texas rancher seeking a mail-order bride. After months of correspondence, she agrees to a marriage by proxy, packs her bags and heads off to the Texas frontier. When she arrives at Benton's sprawling Lone Star ranch, she is surprised to discover that her new husband is a Texas ranger who defends the frontier against Native Americans, has recently been wounded during a raid on a Comanche village and has captured an eight-year-old Comanche boy he believes may be his long-lost son, Daniel. Even more surprising, Reed Benton denies having ever placed the ad, written the letters or married Kate. Devastated by her crushed dreams yet determined to tame young, wild-haired Daniel, who is fierce in his conviction that he is a true Comanche, Kate agrees to stay on at the ranch to take care of the boy. As Reed convalesces, he finds himself lusting after Kate despite his suspicion that she is a charlatan, responsible for their sham of a marriage. Fully recovered, Reed returns to the frontier as a ranger, only to return to the ranch soon after because Daniel has run away. Kate and Reed team up in their search and not only find the boy but also discover that they have fallen in love. This sweet but not-too-sugary romance is a breezy, beach-blanket read, offering up well-developed characters, a compelling plot line and a pleasing slice of Americana.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Kate Whittington is caught between a rock and a hard place. The orphanage in the Maine seacoast village where she grew up and later taught has closed. As she scans the newspaper's help-wanted ads, she finds that a Texas widower wants a mail-order bride. After corresponding with the rancher, Kate is married by proxy to Reed Barton. When she arrives at his home, she is told that he had been wounded in a raid on a Comanche village and had brought a boy home with him who was thought to be his son, captured by Indians five years earlier. Reed swears that he never heard of Kate, never wrote to her, or received any letters from her. He makes it clear that he doesn't want a wife but needs someone to care for his son. The wild, frightened little boy touches Kate's heart and she agrees to stay. Well-developed characters drive this story. Daniel Barton struggles to find his identity in the white world. He had Indian parents who loved and cared for him, and he now finds himself in a foreign culture with people who don't understand his ways. His story is reminiscent in some ways of Cynthia Ann Parker's story in Carolyn Meyer's Where the Broken Heart Still Beats (Harcourt, 1992). An interesting and heartwarming story set in the latter half of the 19th century on the Texas frontier.
Carol Clark, formerly at Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the