Despite his past experience as a professional clown, Inspector Steven Gravel of the Northwest Mounted Police takes his job very seriously. But a routine patrol of his territory beyond newly established Fort McLeod reveals a surprising oversight – a sprawling and successful cattle ranch. Owner Cletis Dawson, widower and father to three daughters, is eager to supply the fort with beef. But Steven begins to wonder if business is the only thing on Dawson’s mind when marriageable middle daughter Emily is thrust into his path at every chance. Yet, it’s not gentle Emily, nor flirtatious, exasperating Elizabeth who catches his eye, but the oldest daughter, Willow. Stubborn, standoffish and set on having her own ranch and cattle herd, Willow is unwilling to be courted and spurns men, marriage and everything associated with the two. Harboring a deep terror of childbirth after her mother’s death, she has envisioned a life for herself that distances her from that which she fears most. Enchanted by the woman adept at delivering calves and melting his heart, Steven must find a way to make Willow face both her fears and the deep commitment developing between them.
- Kathryn Imbriani, October 2011
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