Chasing the Sun
Berkley, Jan 4 2011, $15.00
In 1870 Jack Wilkins failed to persuade his beloved Maria Elena Ramirez to marry him; she rejected him after she suffered crippling injuries to her hip. She also had previous doubts before she got hurt and was unsure of her feelings towards him but was aware he would not settle down on a ranch. Heartbroken he leaves his family New Mexico Territory ranch.
Three years later, Jack returns home as Sister Maria Elena Ramirez plans to take her vows to become a nun. He wants her to marry him. Singer Daisy Etheridge arrives at the Wilkins’ ranch with her 2-year-old daughter Kate whose bounder of a father went west of San Francisco. She insists Jack is Kate’s father. Jack accepts the child as his although he can not recall sleeping with Daisy or for that matter know who she is. Still Jack does the honorable thing as he believes a child needs a father and proposes to Daisy. She rejects his offer as she knows he loves Maria. At the same time the Wilkins’ ownership of the ranch is in jeopardy.
This is a complicated wonderful climax to the delightful Blood Rose trilogy (See Pieces of Sky and Open Country) summed up perfectly by older brother Brady when he informs his siblings: “We got lucky”. Western romance fans will enjoy reading how each of the warring Wilkins brothers got lucky as these are super tales.