One Tough Cowboy by Sarah Orwig
(Silh. Int. Mom. #1192, $4.75, PG) ISBN 0-373-27262-6
One Tough Cowboy is the second in Orwig’s Texas Stallion Pass crossline miniseries. Josh Kellogg rescues a young woman from a wrecked car, seconds prior to it burning. Josh arrives on the scene quickly because he saw another car deliberately run her off the road. Dragging her away from the car, he is still close enough to experience the bits of metal, chrome, and paper money that come floating by after the explosion.

As Josh is retrieving his first aid kit, the driver of the other car reappears with gun in hand and manages to graze Josh before fleeing. His injury places him at the same hospital as the victim. Doctors discover that she is suffering from traumatic amnesia and has no clue who she is or why someone is trying to kill her.

This amnesia story can however be mildly distinguished from most similar plots since this heroine has over $100,000, recovered from the wreckage by the sheriff’s office. So she is not poor and friendless, just friendless with her life at risk.

Josh succumbs to the white knight syndrome and offers her sanctuary. The fact that she is incredibly good looking probably does not hurt. He takes her to his ranch, which has been hosted not only by his mother but also five stepmothers over his lifetime.

Falling in love with an amnesiac, who assumes the name Laurie, poses a multitude of problems. Not to mention the unknown reasons that support someone trying to kill her, why she has so much money on her, and her complicity if any with the criminals, there are also the standard amnesiac issues of whether or not she is married with children

Josh’s emotional baggage centers on his father’s casual approach to multiple marriages and Laurie’s many problems increase with greater threats to her safety.

It would be hard to find a romance reader who is not familiar with the traumatic amnesiac finding love and the happily ever after, but if you are one who is not supersaturated with the concept, then Orwig’s rendition may appeal. It is certainly populated with a host of diverse secondary characters.

Although the plot line is one has been retreaded too many times, the story may offer enough twists and nuances to keep some readers interested. Too bad that the lack of originality in the plot line is not balanced by the attractive characters

--Thea Davis

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