Wolf Shadow

Callie’s Cowboy by Madeline Baker
(Silh. Romance #1728, $4.25, PG) ISBN 0-373-19728-4
This is an interesting look at the world of the romance writer. The irony is that one of the sub-plots is the heroine’s efforts to get a man to pose for her cover because he is part Indian and she has always wanted an Indian on the covers of her westerns. The man on this cover looks nothing like the hero depicted in the story. Luckily Callie’s Cowboy is a decent tale, so one can overlook the annoyance.

Callie Walker is an author on her way to a convention in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She is driving (because she hates to fly) and to do research for her next western. She gets lost and wrecks her car. The man of her dreams (tall dark, Indian and gorgeous) finds her and helps her out. Cade Kills Thunder is a semi-tractor driver and part-time rancher. He is a ladies man, and admits if he were a sailor he’d have a woman or two in every port. He takes Callie to his ranch and helps her get her car fixed. Upon his arrival, he discovers his grandfather, Jacob Red Crow, a full-blooded Indian who lives with him, has had a vision and believes Callie is Cade’s destiny.

Jacob finagles things so that Cade ends up driving Callie to the convention and staying with her so she can return to get her car. (This is a bit far-fetched, but it is a short book and things have to move along somehow, so this slight annoyance can be forgiven too.) While at the convention, the sparks fly and the attraction they feel is tested. Kisses are the only thing they indulge in, but these are some hot kisses.

When Callie tries to convince Cade to pose for the cover, he adamantly refuses, but her author friends trick him into a contest and he is chosen. He still refuses and they both realize that attraction is not everything. Or can they overcome their differences?

Callie is a fun heroine, not drop dead-gorgeous, just an average redhead. Cade is the beautiful one, but his upbringing kept him grounded and he is a genuinely nice guy, despite the women falling all over themselves to get him into bed. Jacob is a funny little man, who cares for Cade and is determined to get his way.

There is a lot of dialogue and a lot of soul-searching as Cade and Callie try to convince themselves they are overreacting to their attraction. The tension sizzles and the interactions between the two brought a smile to my face. There isn’t a lot of controversy here, or a lot of angst; just seemingly adult attraction and two people trying to play it out as it goes along.

There is a look at romance writer’s conventions and some of the antics that go on behind the scenes. In some ways, parts of the tale read like a thank-you to the author’s fans for writing to her, coming to book signings, and being a loyal reader. But this does not detract from the story overall.

Callie’s Cowboy is an entertaining, charming story of two people trying to adjust to love at first sight. Their story is a nice way to spend a few hours.

--Shirley Lyons

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