After an exciting if western cliché-ridden prologue featuring the 1868 downfall of the Reno gang, Wanted! switches gears, catching up with its female member, Wild Red. She’s done five years in the Missouri State Penitentiary and has remade herself into Lark Renault, bank teller of Ida Grove. And she’s still good with numbers, and now content, if lonely, living on the right side of the law.
But nearby lives the man who brought her down, former bounty hunter Ross Santana, with a convenient younger sister ready to act as go-between when Lark needs his help. Together they battle a surviving member of the gang, Catfish Jack, when he returns, looking for the money from a former heist. Revealing her part in the crime means more jail time for Lark, and the loss of her new home and respectability. Her hero also must battle in his loss of confidence and closed-down heart. Adventures both within and without give the lovers their hard-won happy ending.
Staying within romance and western conventions, Wanted! delights with a strong plot and galloping pace. Though Catfish Jack is strictly out of central casting, the frank, crackling personality of Pam Crooks’s outlaw-turned-respectable woman matches up nicely with her gruff and taciturn bounty hunter.