The Irresistible Mr. Sinclair

Man...Mercenary...Monarch

Rancher & the Amnesiac Bride

Taming Tall, Dark Brandon

Texas Baby

 
Her Little Secret by Joan Elliott Pickart
(Silh. Sp, Ed. #1377, $4.50, PG) ISBN 0-373-24377-4
***
Cable Montana adopted a town when he took over the sheriff’s job in Prescott. And, while he was at it, he decided to adopt a dog. What he didn’t plan on was that the town decided to adopt him. They’ve decided he needs to settle down and get a wife. Homemade meals show up, women invite the sheriff and his puppy over on play dates . . . for the dog. He knows he’s in trouble.

While getting plants to replace the ones his puppy has dug up, he meets Lindsey Patterson. Lindsey witnesses the town matchmakers in action and sympathizes. Not too long ago she was a target, too - until she convinced them she wasn’t interested. Cable just can’t wait out the tuna casseroles and coconut fig cookies and he hatches a plot.

Guess what? He asks the lovely Lindsey to pretend to be interested in him to foil the matchmaking attempts. Yeah, you saw it coming, too. Of course it doesn’t hurt that the two of them are sort of interested in each other . . . though, of course, neither is interested in marriage. No, Cable has already been there and done that. Lindsey just says she doesn’t want to.

Of course there is more to Lindsey’s fear of marriage than just disinterest. As Cable gets to know her better, he knows she is hiding something from him but she won’t tell him what. This bothers him terribly, since he does grow to care for her deeply. As the two of them get more involved in their small town and the people there, Cable realizes Lindsey cares deeply about people and families. But she won’t confide in Cable about why she doesn’t think a family is for her.

Cable is a sweet guy with a cowboy exterior and very easy to like. Cable is concerned about the townfolk. And of course Cable is resolved to keep Buddy no matter what trouble the dog causes. How couldn’t he love the destructive but adoring puppy? He and Lindsey make a matched set. Lindsey works to keep the dog, Buddy, from destroying everything in his path and also cares about her elderly friends. (Personally, though, I think I like Buddy more than both of them put together -- he’s a real sweetheart of a dog. Besides his character isn’t as cliched as the town sheriff or the woman with a secret.)

There is also a subplot involved where apparently the town’s matchmaking is more than just an overly friendly attempt to get folks married, but it remains in the background for this book. The focus here is on Cable and Lindsey.

Cable almost gives up on Lindsey when she refuses tell him she loves him. The town folk have to step in to convince him to keep trying. Of course Lindsey finally admits the truth. And of course Cable comes through when Lindsey finally confesses her secret - and the town’s matchmaking bet is resolved.

This is a pleasant, easy read with some enjoyable characters, though you may not remember too much about it the next day. On the other hand you won’t hate yourself in the morning, either.

--Irene Williams


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