"Loving Mercy" by Teresa Bodwell is the western historical romance I ordered last week. I started reading it a couple of nights ago, and I'm enjoying it very much. Ms. Bodwell's style and kickass heroine remind me just a bit of Maggie Osborne, whose books I loved and miss.
Here's the blurb from the back cover:
Mercy Clarke had no trouble getting a hundred head of cattle to Abilene. Getting back home through five hundred miles of untamed frontier is something else again, especially with a handsome gambler like Thad Buchanan tagging along. He swears to pay her in gold if she guides him to Fort Victory, but she doesn't quite trust his fine manners and gentlemanly ways. And then there's that look in his eyes--he could make her forget that she's sworn off men for good...
As Thad sees it, the same rules apply to playing poker and loving women: it's all about knowing when to hold 'em. And come to think of it, a pretty lady like Mercy Clarke would fit very nicely in his arms. Now, if she could be persuaded to put down that rawhide whip and tell him exactly what she has in mind, he has no doubt they could come to an agreement that will satisfy them both. No doubt at all...
What I've read so far leads me to think there's more "story" here than the blurb implies. And I hope that turns out to be true. Kensington has been gearing its marketing toward selling everything with a sexual angle. I think (and hope) this book is more than that. If so, it might just bring me back to reading. I'll be keeping an eye on Ms. Bodwell and looking out for more books from her.