Tired of her vicious mother's constant cruel criticism and her bleak Philadelphia life, Mariah Cooper (with a little urging from her aunt) impulsively answers an ad and heads for Northern California to become a housekeeper. But beautiful, outspoken Mariah was not the prim, older woman arrogant rancher Logan Yates was expecting, and her decision to stay and take on the Herculean task of setting his filthy house to rights surprises him even more. Still, the chemistry sizzles between them from the start, and despite the couple's constant wrangling, their future together at a ranch called Destino is clear from the start. VERDICT Appealing, well-depicted characters, zippy dialog, intriguing snippets of California history, and a quickly paced plot make this refreshing multicultural Western a rewarding read and a good start to the projected series. Jenkins (A Wish and a Prayer) is noted for her popular African American historicals; she lives in southeastern Michigan.[Page 81]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this romantic series launch, Jenkins (Night Hawk) creates a gently idealized 1880s California where race and class are less important than love and friendship. Mariah Cooper of Philadelphia grew up in a loveless home, raised by an angry single mother. Logan Yates had the opposite experience: he's the son of a black rancher, raised by his Spanish-elite stepmother alongside his two half-brothers, surrounded by love. When Mariah comes all the way to California to become his housekeeper, Logan is certain the city girl will turn tail. Instead, Mariah discovers her temper and her spine, and the sparks that fly between them change from a battle of wills to a flare of passion. Mariah's growth makes her a delightful heroine, and Logan's loving relationships with his family keep him from being just another alpha male. Jenkins's greatest success is in drawing a world where the main characters embrace egalitarianism and extend their family relationships generously beyond the ties of blood. (Feb.)[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC