Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Double Cross-Carla Kelly

The Double Cross

Carla Kelly

Camel, Aug 1 2013, $13.95

ISBN: 9781603819459

In 1780 in the Spanish colony of New Mexico, widower and rancher Marco Mondragon serves as the Valle del Sol region Juez de campo brand inspector. He is diligent in his job though he knows how dangerous that can be with his sector and ranch next to the dangerous Comancheria. Several years ago his wife and twin children died from cholera and were buried before he came home from a two-week inspection tour.

He journeys to Santa Fe to hand in area’s records to the governor. Traveling with him is Senor Felix Mureno who will marry the daughter of wealthy Don Alonso Castellan, Maria. Marco meets his friend’s obnoxious bride and her disgusting parents who treat their orphaned niece Paloma Vega as an abused servant. Needing a dog to warn his feet at night, Marco overpays for Trece the runt who loves Paloma. Before he can get home, Trece runs away and when he reaches Paloma with “divine” help, she runs away with him to return him to Marco. Meanwhile ranchero Joaquin Munoz has caused a major threat for the Valle del Sol that has the dangerous Comanche conducting raids.

The Double Cross is a superb refreshing Spanish colonial romance as the audience meets a variety of interesting people such as priests, Jewish shop owners, workers and servants who share in common a desire to help Paloma; her family being the exception. Marco is chivalrous as he does his job. Readers will relish this engaging tale in which Carla Kelly writes a wonderful whimsical Spanish Brand historical.

Harriet Klausner

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