Scrooge Wore Spurs
By Janet Dailey
Zebra Books - October 2002
ISBN: 0821772252 - Paperback
Contemporary Romance / Christmas

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks, MyShelf.Com
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Just in time for the holidays, "Scrooge Wore Spurs" has enough romance to make you sigh, suspense to catch your breath, and human comedy to make you smile.

Eben MacCallister has survived a lot. His roots have been in the family ranch, but even this is about to be taken from him, if a rich banker named Wilder gets his way. Years ago, after losing his mother and raising his sister, then falling in love and losing the woman he loved to another, Eben had turned all his energies to Star Ranch. He's about to lose the ranch, because he didn't want to pay a lawyer to check over the loan contract. Being tight with money was also why Eben lost his childhood sweetheart to another.

But Maddie, the lost sweetheart in question, is back in town. Now a wealthy widow, she owns her own dude ranch, and Eben ridicules it every chance he gets. After hearing about Eben's sixty-day notice, Maddie offers Eben some business to help him out. What she gets in return is a mountain of resentment and the rare vision of Eben speechless. Eben's late sister's four very young children are foisted on him by a lawyer.

Eben becomes even more scrooge-like as the baby demands attention, the twins beg to celebrate Christmas and the oldest, Dillon, stirs up trouble in school. The harder Eben tries to make things work, the worse his life becomes. Will anything ever turn out the way he wants? Can he forgive Maddie for loving another? What will become of his sister's kids?

They say don't work with kids, because they tend to steal the show, and that seems to be the case here. The grownups may have that romantic spark going on between them, but it was the kids who got this reader's attention. One can't help but get caught up in the cuteness of these four youngsters as they deal with a new life and a grumpy uncle Scrooge in Christmas spurs. They are absolutely delightful, especially the twins.

Daily's talent for penning romance hasn't changed. The romance, suspense, and charm are still there. Her latest is a quick read with conversation that flows effortlessly. You'll be done before you can say "Happy Holidays!"


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