- Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Jove Books (Mar 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0515129968
- ISBN-13: 978-0515129960
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.7 x 2.5 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,643,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Nathan Stone was a big believer in second chances. Why else would fate have saved him from a hangman's noose and into the assumed identity of the preacher who was supposed to be leading this groups of religious folks across the country? Determined to make good on his new life, Nathan gets into the role of spiritual leader with zeal. But then the beautiful Cassidy McAllister and her troup of "ladies" join the train, and Nathan is tempted by the lovely woman's seeming innocence and seductive charm. Why couldn't he believe Cass, obviously a lady of questionable virtue, have the same second chance he himself sought? Furthermore, why couldn't they start a new life together?
But soon Nathan's past threatens to rear it's ugly head. How can their tender love survive the web of lies and misunderstandings?
I was intrigued by the concept of this book. This leans more toward an "ensemble cast" type story, as the lovely secondary characters, who are well-drawn, totally overshadow the story between Cass and Nathan. The time the hero and heroine do spend together is mostly spent fighting. I wanted to see more actually happening with them, by themselves. Ms. Carmichael has a quick wit and capacity to catch a reader's interest with great personalities. The story, while still a worthwhile read, would be stronger if more time was spent on Nathan and Cass working together to solve their conflict.
Nathan Stone, a man wanted for a crime he didn't commit, cheats fate and the noose and goes on the run, appropriating the identity of a preacher who'd had the misfortune of being attacked by Indians. Nathan becomes Rev. Homer Pernell, takes on the responsibility of guiding the god-fearing folk to Oregon, and figures life is good. Until Lila McAllister and her `girls' join the wagon train as part of a deal cut with the sheriff of Webster, Kansas, whose advances Lila had previously rebuffed. He won't press trumped-up charges against Lila if she and her band of brothel beauties clear out for good. In with the group is Cass, Lila's younger sister and an innocent despite her `home life.'
On the trail to Oregon, `Rev.Pernell' begins to have some devilish thoughts about the young Ms. McAllister, which she reciprocates after time. But just when things were looking up for the Rev. and Cass, Fate steps in again. Only this time the results aren't nearly as fortunate. What ensues is a series of events that forces the young couple to do some serious soul-searching as they come to grips with circumstances, learning what's really important in life and, for Cass, learning the art of forgiveness.
I loved this book. I laughed, a lump formed in my throat a couple of times and I seriously contemplated taking a vacation day so I could finish the book. Like Ms. Carmichael's previous releases (FINDING MR. RIGHT and A GHOST FOR MAGGIE), JEZEBEL'S SISTER is an entertaining, satisfying romance that I highly recommend.
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