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Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage:three and a half moon gifAvon Books (Paperback), ISBN 0-380-81832-9
Mary Gates plans to turn the family stables into one of England's finest, but not if her neighbor and arch-rival, Tye Barlow, can prevent it. Mary and Tye mix as well as oil and water. Both see Lord Spender's prize-winning stallion, Tanner's Darby Boy, as the foundation for a stable of winning thoroughbreds. At Lord Spender's auction they go head to head trying to buy Tanner.

Book: Cathy Maxwell, wedding wagerMary succeeds and outbids Tye -- only she lacks the money to cover her bid. Tye knows this and figures it won't be long before Tanner moves into his barn. Unfortunately, Lord Spender wants his money up front and not on the installment plan Mary proposes. He gives her two months to raise the rest of the cash.

What can she sell? Mary already stripped the family estate to pay the bills her late profligate father left behind. Mary can outride and out swear most of the male population of Lyford Meadows, but these skills won't pay off Lord Spender. Mary expected Tanner's foals and stud fees to solve her cash flow problem, but Spender refuses to give her the horse until she pays the debt. About the only asset this eccentric horsewoman owns is her beauty. How much will it bring on the London marriage mart?

Book: Cathy Maxwell, because of youTye mistrusts Mary. After all, years ago she ditched him for a nobleman's son. When that romance fizzled, Mary donned a pair of man's breeches and opted to concentrate on horses instead of the unreliable males of her own species. Meanwhile, Tye became the Buck of the Parish. But even in her men's garb, Mary still qualifies as the parish beauty. If she wants to own Tanner and beat Tye, she must exchange her breeches for a corset and petticoats.

Tye follows her to London, even though he figures Tanner soon will be his. Mary's resources can't last much longer than her hot temper.

The Wedding Wager gallops along at a fast clip. I wager you'll enjoy this entertaining story, even when its irascible, headstrong heroine tries your patience.

Doris Valliant

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