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Buchanan's Pride by Pamela Toth
(Silh. Sp. Ed. #1239, $4.25, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-24239-5
***
Buchanan's Pride is the fourth in Pamela Toth's mini series, Buckles and Broncos.

Leah Randall has been working too hard, but not by choice. Her father died three years previously as a result of an accident, and her mother has sunk into a severe state of depression. Leah blames these events completely on her neighbor, one of those damned Buchanans. She has been forced to work the entire ranch by herself, and also keep a job in town, just to make ends meet. And still, she may lose her ranch.

While driving home one evening, she finds an injured man lying on the side of the road. She takes him home, cleans his wounds, and allows him to sleep in her barn for the night. Apparently John had been hitchhiking, and was robbed and thrown out of the car. He hit his head, and has amnesia as a result.

The following morning, John offers to help her with the ranch chores, in return for room and board. Since he has no memory, he has no idea where he came from, or where to go he might as well stay where he is. Leah is rather reluctant to have a stranger around at first, but needs the help, so she agrees. What follows is a nice, gentle relationship story, as these two get to know one another and ultimately fall in love.

I'm sure some of you are thinking, as I was: "Sigh another cowboy/amnesiac book." I'll grant you, the plot is one that has been many times done before. However, it was done well this time. Ms. Toth has taken the time to draw her characters well, and make the reader care about what happens to them.

Leah has issues with her family, with her neighbors, with her mother and dead father. In many ways, she needs to learn who she is and what her priorities are, just as John needs to find out about himself. John needs to find out who he is, where he comes from, and why he is in Colorado. As these two are getting to know one another, and to investigate their feelings, there is always that shadow of doubt what if John is married, or committed to someone else? Or the unthinkable ... what if he's actually a Buchanan?

I liked this book. It isn't the most memorable book I've ever read, but it was a nice way to spend a few hours of recreational reading.

--Diane Grayson


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