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Three moon gifHarlequin Historical (Paperback), ISBN 0-373-29137-X
In a manner of speaking, Miss Hardisson is the law -- well, a fairly new lawyer, newly relocated from the East. Texas Ranger Clayton Black is also the law -- well, sort of. The two lock horns in Oregon over a bad guy. In 1883 female lawyers belong to a minority, but then again, so do half-Cherokee rangers wearing a sling and nursing bruised and broken ribs.

Book: Lynna Banning, The Law and Miss HardissonShe wears hats with red cherries bobbing on top. He chases bad guys -- really bad guys -- and gets shot in the bargain. She buys whisky to ease his pain and promptly forgets him…until he shows up in her Crazy Creek, Ore., office and asks for information regarding his current case.

Miss Hardisson can't reveal her part in the bad guy's disappearance, but she can ask Clayton to teach her how to play poker -- truth poker. They bet on the number of questions that the loser will need to answer truthfully. The answers fill in the back story in a very credible manner.

Their mutual attraction adds interest to the sprightly dialog. An ingenious and original plot keeps you turning the pages and offers the reader more than few chuckles along the way. Very likable and unpredictable, the characters act according to their natures and reveal some interesting flaws. The setting reflects some research that nicely integrates into the pleasant tale of love, longing and misdeeds.

I'm not sure, but I believe this might be a debut novel, one that speaks well of the author's future in the romance field. She exercises a deft hand with words and displays a marvelous sense of humor. If you want a charming tale of two delightful lovers, this book should be your choice for a cozy read when the nights grow long and dark and the winter storms blow outside.

Patricia White

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