Calder Pride by Janet Dailey
(HarperCollins, $23.95, R) ISBN 0-06-017699-7
****
Janet Dailey continues her beloved series about the Calder family, after a 15-year hiatus (among other things). Calder Pride takes up the story of Cathleen (Cat), younger sister of Ty, protagonist in Calder Born, Calder Bred.

The patriarch Chase is quite a bit older and much sadder after losing his love and wife Maggie years before in an accident that left him somewhat crippled. Ty has control of the ranch; Cat has been off to college and is returning home for the wedding of Ty and his love, Jessy. She arrives home to discover her fiancé, Repp Taylor, has been killed in a car accident. From then on, her life changes.

Cat is a Calder -- proud and strong. The theme of pride runs throughout the whole story. She is so proud she will not show her grief. The family of the drunken boy whose car killed Repp asks for mercy, but the Calders stand beside the Taylor family and make no concessions to Rollie Anderson. Mrs. Anderson’s bitterness comes back to haunt the Calders later.

Cat, on a visit to Houston to gather her belongings at college, has one wild night when she overcomes her grief enough to decide she needs a man -- any man -- to comfort and love her the way she always wanted Repp to. She meets her match in the one man she chooses -- Logan Echohawk. That one passion-filled night results in the birth of Quint Calder. Cat’s life is never the same.

The story of how Cat handles the scorn and disappointment of the county folk over her “bastard” son and handles the re-meeting of Logan Echohawk is a fascinating read. The Dailey style is still there -- the Calders are just as proud as ever, just as intriguing. Janet Dailey may have had major troubles over the past few years, but this is her story, told in her words. The Calders are a part of her and always will be. And with the addition of Quint, there could be a Calder story number six.

This is a good read, with just the right amount of sizzling passion to make the reader feel the chemistry between Cat and Logan. Add a little suspense with the Anderson family and Calder Pride carries on in the best Janet Dailey tradition.

--Kay Black


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