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Trusting a Texan by Leann Harris
(Silh. Int. Mom. #868, $4.25, PG-13) ISBN: 0-373-07868-4
***
I have to be very careful with my evaluation of Leann Harris' new SIM to separate my increasing disbelief about the number of cases of amnesia that occur in romances from my judgment about the book itself. Yes, I did like the hero; yes, the heroine for all her vagueness was quite acceptable; yes, the non-amnesia aspects of the plot were likewise interesting . But there were enough niggling problems with Trusting a Texan that prevent my recommending it unconditionally.

When Texas Ranger Rafe Sanchez finds the lovely, unconscious women on his ranch, he assumes she is a victim of a recent flash flood. When the woman regains consciousness but not her memory, Rafe wonders if there might not be more involved.

Come to think of it, nothing much happens in the middle of the book. Rafe decides to call his forgetful visitor April; he takes her to the doctor; he gets her some clothes; and he tries to find out who she is. There are fingerprint searches, examinations of the missing persons' reports, newspaper articles, and even an appearance on CNN. About the only thing that seems strange about "April" is her antipathy to sheriffs.

Oh, and of course, Rafe and April fall in love. But is she free to love Rafe? What secrets lie in her past? What was she doing on Rafe's ranch? When she recovers her memory, will she be willing to share Rafe's life?

I think that one of the problems I had with Trusting a Texan lies in the fact that it is obviously part of a series about Rafe's family. I am not one of those readers who insists on reading any series in order. But in this case, I fear that I might have enjoyed the book much more were I familiar with the complicated family dynamics. There was either too much backfill or not enough. At any rate, for this reader, this was one of the most salient niggling problems that detracted from my enjoyment of Trusting a Texan.

It is not impossible that readers who have been following the story of Rafe, his father and his sisters will enjoy this latest installment. I found it acceptable, but not outstanding. And my reaction wasn't shaped by my growing resistance to amnesia as a plot device.

--Jean Mason


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