Christmas Lone-Star Style

The Lady's Man

The Man Who Would Be King

Never Been Kissed

The Proposal

A Ranching Man

A Younger Man

Fortune Hunterís Hero
by Linda Turner
(SRS 1473, $4.99, PG) ISBN 0-373-27543-4
†Fortune Hunterís Hero is Buck Wyatt, an Englishman who along with his three sisters has inherited a ranch he has never seen in Colorado. The stipulation of the will is that the ranch must be occupied at all times by one of the heirs or it will revert to an unknown beneficiary designated in a separate document.

† Although Buck had never met the distant relative, he had been preparing to do so shortly before she died, He had steeped himself in the lore of the old American West having found his ancestor mentioned numerous times in connection with the Broken Arrow Ranch in question.

Fortune Hunterís Hero is the first of a series, which will obviously feature each of the siblings. The reader joins the story after Buck moves to the ranch. His fiancťe ditched him when she discovered he planned to live in America, giving up his glitzy career as a stockbroker, Now Buck is fighting years of neglect and broken machinery trying to get the ranch in order. He has hired a general all round handyman whose experience has been in apartment rental repairs rather than ranching.

They are limping along, generally burning money without much forward progress when Rainy Brewster appears. Rainy is a self styled PhD fortune hunter who, as well as Buck, is familiar with the legend of the super rich gold mine on the ranch, allegedly destroyed by an avalanche years ago. The mine had supposedly been an operating mine back in the days when the Spanish were in charge.

Buck is one of the unbelievers when it comes to professional fortune hunters but a series of circumstances persuades him to give her a chance. They strike a deal and the rest of the story follows the travails of the search and mysterious but potentially deadly obstacles constantly placed in the their way by party or parties unknown,

The story focuses on these Buck and Rainy almost exclusively, with no secondary characters and few other people even mentioned. With this much attention, one would think the characters would be very well developed. Regretfully, they are not - almost to the point of being one dimensional.

The love story accompanies the search but it lacks depth, tension and credibility. Events are sometimes disjointed, leaving one to wonder if scenes had been mistakenly edited out.

But since Fortune Hunterís Hero is clearly the first of a seriesÖand because Linda Turner has a reputation as a good writer, we may hope for better in the next installments.

† † † † † †

--Thea Davis

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