Christmas Lone-Star Style

Fortune Hunter's Hero

The Lady's Man

The Man Who Would Be King

Never Been Kissed

The Proposal

A Ranching Man

A Younger Man

Under His Protection
by Linda Turner
( SRS #1496, $4.99 PG) ISBN# 0-373-27566-3
The Broken Arrow Ranch in Colorado was willed to the four Wyatt heirs living in  England. The inheritance was a surprise, and although an incredibly rich bequest, one of the provisions of the will requires that the land must be occupied continuously by one of the Wyatts for a period of one year. Any break of a Wyatt residing there in excess of one overnight would cancel the bequest and it would descend to a yet unnamed beneficiary.

Fortune Hunter’s Hero featured Buck Wyatt and his fiancée Rainey. Under His Protection opens as Buck’s three sisters arrive for the wedding. Since he wanted a month honeymoon in Alaska, Elizabeth Wyatt has agreed to stay on the ranch during his absence. During Buck’s time at the ranch it became quickly obvious that someone would stop at little to drive them from the ranch and negate the bequest.

As a result of the events in the first book, Buck has hired a new foreman John Cassidy. He entrusts Elizabeth’s care to him. Elizabeth is quite sure she does not need a caretaker. Events will change her mind as one incident after another occurs to try and drive her away.

Cassidy is a retired SEAL with lots of baggage. As a result of an accident during his SEAL career his weapon discharged killing his best friend. Although exonerated from responsibility, he blamed himself and crawled into bottles of alcohol to assuage the guilt. That did not work and resulted only in the loss of his self-respect, his wife and the ranch his family had left him. Now a recovering alcoholic, he is grateful to Buck for the opportunity of a fresh start.

Elizabeth is still suffering from the infidelity of Spence, her English soccer star boyfriend. Elizabeth and John are the two principal characters, in fact they are the only two characters in this book, except for the occasional cop who responds when something else happens.

John teaches Elizabeth to shoot, to ride a horse, to cut cattle, and to dance western style while someone slashes her tires, fires at her windshield, and leaves threatening notes on her pillow. This summarizes the excitement.

The great weakness of Under His Protection is that is totally one dimensional, and the only evidence of any suspense plot is the events in the prior paragraph. The only resolution of the story is the romance between Elizabeth and John, leaving the reader with the knowledge that there will be two more stories (since there are two more siblings) and that all will not be revealed until novel four.

John and Elizabeth do not represent the best of Turner’s work. Although each has some angst, there is not enough depth of character to sustain any type of credible conflict. Between them, we are left with a story without conflict or tension, as these two fall from lust to love as they react to each new attack.

Readers new to Turner should start with any or her other works to sample the richness of plot and character development that she is capable of delivering.

--Thea Davis

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