Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: July 2003
ISBN: 0-7434-5633-5
Format Reviewed: Advance Review Copy
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Genre: Historical Western Romance [1870 Massachusetts & Texas]
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Faith V. Smith
Reviewer Notes: Another plume in Ms. Lindsey's writing hat.

A Man To Call My Own
By Johanna Lindsey 

What you see is not necessarily what you get.

     Marian and Amanda Laton are mirror images of one another. But the resemblance is only skin deep. Marian, who has always played second fiddle to her sister-in looks, personality and love from their father, is certain no man will want her for herself. This is proven time after time when the men she is interested in are stolen away by Amanda. To protect herself and her heart from her twin's jealousy, she takes to disguising her own looks. The dowdy clothes and spectacles help to turn aside some of Amanda's animosity as well as prospective suitors. After their father dies and they are forced to leave home to live with their aunt, Marian is relieved and hopeful. The clause in their father's will stating they must be married in order to inherit his estate and fortune could be the hard hand of reality that Amanda needs. And if she does marry, Marian just might get to live her own life-and find a man to call her own in the process.

     Marian loves her new home. She has never seen such wide-open spaces in all her life. But even a state the size of Texas can't prevent her from falling in love with a man who prefers her sister. Her self-protection devices of being rude and ill tempered do not meet with Chad Kinkaid's approval. The more she antagonizes him the more she wishes she could reveal her true self. When it becomes apparent that he is still smitten with Amanda, Marian takes a page out of her sister's book to get his attention. Her ploy backfires when Chad mistakes her for Amanda.

      Chad is so confused he could choke a mule. His first confrontation with the Laton sisters should have been his last. However, having been raised to be a gentleman, he can't refuse to help Kathryn, his boss and the girl's aunt, when she asks him to pick up the girls and deliver them to the ranch. His discovery that they are not the small fry he anticipated is second to his anger when they are not where they should be. From the get-go, they turn out to be harder to maneuver than a lost steer and about as ornery. The pretty one catches his eye but the spinster sister with the spectacles lassoes his heart. Her antics to alienate him are hard to put up but when she places her own life in danger, he is sure she is worth it.

         Ms. Lindsey's latest novel is ripe with humor, heart and romance. Her characters are human and easy to love. Not only do the hero and heroine shine brightly in this western romance but also the secondary players are up-front and full of life. The romance factor, of course, is tres Lindsey but this time up to bat with her author's pen, she excels.

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