When Crystal Clark’s father died, she was unable to maintain the family home. So she sold it, settled the estate and accepted her aunt’s invitation to stay with her in Colorado until she could decide what her next step would be. Although Crystal had been courted by a rising young politician, he had not asked her to marry him, nor did he offer to help with her finances. Now she found herself on a rustic ranch with a group of people who seemed a lot more rugged than she was accustomed to. Would she be able to adjust to a way of life she had never experienced?
Crystal’s aunt Kate and the cowboys could not have been more welcoming. There was some reservation on the part of Carmen, the young woman who helped Aunt Kate with the housekeeping chores; Luke Weber, the ranch foreman, seemed to be withholding acceptance as well. But Crystal soon felt at home, and her willingness to help and her joyful nature won everybody over. She was eager to learn and proved to be an excellent student, able to do a lot more than sit on the porch fanning herself.
There are few things more rewarding to a reviewer than having the opportunity to review a debut novel that has all the elements necessary for a crackling good read with the promise of more to come. NO PLACE FOR A LADY is the first in a series planned by author Maggie Brendan, which is good news for anyone looking for a story with enough excitement to get males interested in reading a romance novel. There’s never a dull moment, and Crystal gets many opportunities to demonstrate her faith and her character as tragedy strikes and she is left to run the ranch and make decisions that she could only make with God’s help.
Maggie Brendan has a unique way with words, from her delightful descriptions of the Colorado Rockies to her heart-wrenching dialogue following tragedy that strikes more than once. Her characters come alive to the reader and make you wish you were there amongst such a caring and capable group. The front cover of the book asks the question “Can a Southern belle tame the heart of a rugged cowboy?” Any romance reader worth her salt knows the answer! But how this Southern belle does it is what makes us keep turning the pages and smiling.
Reviewed by Maggie Harding on January 1, 2009