Written by Merline Lovelace
Review by Ellen Keith

What could possibly bring refined Englishwoman Lady Barbara Chamberlain to the untamed Oklahoma territory in 1832? Well, the lady is no lady, and she has a scheme to enlist the mother of Lieutenant Zachariah Morgan to aid her in securing the release of her feckless con man brother Harry from a Bermuda prison. To get to Zach’s mother, a half-Osage Indian, she must go through Zach, and naturally sparks fly and these two opposites attract. Will Louise Morgan agree to help Barbara, or will she have to resort to blackmail, and what will Zach do when he discovers her intentions? If you hear music swelling in the background, then you’ve correctly guessed that this is a romantic suspense novel.

The opposites-attract motif is the main theme of the novel, but Lovelace has a genuine interest in the plight of the Indians in the Oklahoma Territory and earnestly grafts on to this romance a history lesson in President Jackson and his Indian “reforms.” Though well-meaning, the narrative drags when she makes these attempts. However, the romance, though formulaic and predictable, does propel the story along, and Zach and Barbara emerge as likeable people, although those around them are painted only in black and white. A flawed but enjoyable read.