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Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage: four moon gifOnyx Books (Paperback), ISBN 0-451-40989-2
Ryan Kendrick, wealthy rancher and the acknowledged Don Juan of Crystal Falls, Ore., walks into Harrv Coulter's ranching supply store and falls head over his expensive booted heels for the pretty clerk behind the computer station. He badgers her for her phone number. Then she rolls away from the computer station and swivels her wheelchair so that he can get a full look. Suddenly Ryan feels that life just kicked him in the stomach. He reacts like any red-blooded thirty-year-old male; he wants to run fast and never look back. Instead, he asks the lady for a date.

Book: Catherine Anderson, Phantom WaltzBethany Coulter possesses all the qualities Ryan requires of his perfect mate -- charm, sassiness, maturity and innocence. Unfortunately, Bethany also brings along a barrel full of problems that could deep-six any chance for a long-term relationship. Beautiful, bewitching and paraplegic, Bethany spends her life confined to a wheelchair, the result of a long-ago barrel-racing accident.

Bethany expects Ryan to make a quick exit like all the other men who discover she cannot walk. Instead, Ryan sticks to his offer. Since she can't dance, he'll take her to the tractor pull. Bethany loves mud and noisy engines.

Bethany says no thanks; wheelchairs don't navigate dirt and gravel tracks very well. She offers him an out, but Ryan refuses to take it. Okay, she'll go. At least she'll get the memory of an evening with Crystal Falls' most eligible bachelor, because no man asks a paraplegic for a second date.

Ryan goes to Herculean efforts to make things work. He won't let a wheelchair come between him and the woman he loves. Ryan and Bethany wrestle frustrations on the physical, personal, and sexual levels.

Book: Eric S Nylund, Dry WaterYou can't read Phantom Waltz without being awed by the shear enormity of life as a paraplegic. Catherine Anderson gives us a full picture of handicapped life in every aspect -- from the bathroom to the bedroom.

Romance writers create their own brand of fantasy, and Catherine Anderson cooked up plenty in Phantom Waltz. Worth over $50 million, Ryan can build a handicapped paradise, even on a working ranch. He sets out to do just that and to win Bethany's heart. Along the way, Ryan and Bethany will capture your heart, too.

Anderson combines the usual suspects -- the handsome hero, the plucky heroine -- and throws them in challenging circumstances. She brews plenty of sexual chemistry, and pours this mix into a story that will grip your attention and your heart. You'll shed a tear and crack a smile, and really, really enjoy this finely researched and crafted romance.

Doris Valliant

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