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Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage:three and a half moon gifBantam Books (Paperback), ISBN 0-553-58313-1
It's always a treat when a book which appears only mildly interesting turns out to be a great read. Leslie LaFoy's Jackson's Way falls into that category.

Book: Leslie LaFoy, jackson's WayFull of plot twists, Jackson's Way begins with our hero, Jackson Stennett, digging the latest in a long series of graves. This one belongs to Jackson's ranch partner and surrogate father, who made Jackson the sole heir to all his assets back East, thus giving Jackson the means to save his Texas ranch. Fast forward to New York City, early May, 1838, where Jackson advises heroine Lindsey MacPhaull of both her long absent father's death and Jackson's ownership of everything of tangible value -- from her struggling business to the very clothes on her back.

Of course, Jackson's announcement sets in motion a whole series of events, beginning with the incapacitating stroke of the MacPhaull Companies' longtime business manager. Despite her native business acumen, Lindsey initially feels left on her own to muddle through the consequences of this latest crisis. But over time, Jackson proves to be more friend than foe. The relationship that ensues proves to be a refreshing, eye-opening experience for both as they draw on each other's strengths to grow beyond the hurt of their respective pasts and find hope for the future in each other.

I really liked LaFoy's character development. All too often historical romances tend towards stereotyping, especially when dealing with the likes of cowboys, ranchers and Texans. LaFoy presents Jackson Stennett as a sensitive problem-solver who, although not comfortable in a large city, easily accommodates to the rigorous demands of metropolitan life. My only complaint lay in Lindsey, who for all her astuteness, remained resolutely clueless about the pilfering of her business interests. But, perhaps I grouse a bit too much, because my disdain arises from the paradox of imposing modern sensibilities on historical fiction -- a delicate line to trod.

Kassie Walters

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