Wingate (Lone Star Café, 2004, etc.) once again sends a single career woman to rural Texas, where she finds romance and adventure.
When her no-account ex decides to finally exercise his parental rights and take their young daughter to Mexico for the summer, Lindsey Attwood finds herself depressed and at loose ends. For eight years, her life has been safely organized around daughter Sydney and a stable job cataloguing fossil exhibits at a Denver museum. Sensing her distress, Lindsey’s sister Laura, in cahoots with her old friend Collie, lures her to San Saline, Texas, where journalist Collie needs her expert help investigating the disappearance of some ancient dinosaur tracks. The tracks were located near the Jubilee Ranch, a “horse therapy” camp where stressed-out city folks learn to relax and commune with horses. The plan is for Lindsey to attend the camp under the guise of being a patient, so she can closely observe the crime scene. The problem is that she’s terrified of horses. Enter Zach Truitt, a twinkly-eyed part-time cowboy and full-time veterinarian helping out at the ranch. He takes a shine to Lindsey, teaches her about horses and fixing windmills, and in no time the pair are discovered “wrapped around each other like lizards on a beanpole.” Despite their differences, Lindsey and Zach are perfect for each other, but their courtship is hampered by her misgivings about sacrificing an ordered life for love. She thinks that reticent Zach is hiding something big about his past, and she ultimately discovers that he too is a battled-scarred veteran of divorce and the family-court system. Wingate lets her magical Texas locations and idiosyncratic supporting characters shine, though the mystery of the missing fossils never really seems to matter. Far more important is Lindsey’s emotional journey, as she learns to trust both man and beast.
Charming love story with cowboys and a New Age twist.