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Crescent Blues Book ViewsAvon (Paperback), ISBN: 0-06-000146-1
Desperate to save her homestead, widow Susanna Copeland bails Eagle Jack Sixkiller out of jail to act as her trail boss on a cattle drive to Abilene. Susanna needs a good price on her herd if she wants to prevent the bank from foreclosing on her ranch. Eagle Jack agrees, and the battle of wills begins.

Book: Genell Dellin, the lover
Susanna refuses to remain behind. Growing up an orphan, distant relatives shuttled Susanna from home to home. She married young, but in her haste, she selected a domineering husband. She shed few tears when he died in the Civil War, and she vowed never to be dependent upon anyone again. Meanwhile, Eagle Jack contrives every obstacle he can think of to get Susanna to give up the foolish notion of coming along on the drive. Finally, Susanna and Eagle Jack agree she will make most of the decisions related to the cattle drive, and the expedition sets out.

As the miles wind by, the pair develops an easy friendship, and no major disasters befall the herd. None, that is, until they reach a storm-swollen river and attempt to cross on a hastily built bridge. Livestock and cowboys both die in the chaos, and Susanna nearly drowns. The emergency brings her and Eagle Jack closer.

However, that new-found closeness shatters once the herd reaches Abilene. At a business dinner to sell the cattle, Susanna learns something about Eagle Jack's past that make her think he betrayed her trust. She storms out of Abilene, but a determined Eagle Jack follows.

All in all, The Lover delivers a pretty mediocre story. Aside from Susanna, Dellin fails to develop her characters very well. The relationship between Susanna and Eagle Jack lacks any real tension. In addition, throughout the book, you'll find it difficult to tell whether Dellin wants her characters' dialogue to be taken seriously or sarcastically.

Jen Foote

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