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
by Linda Turner
(Silh. Int. Mom. #1423, $4.99 PG) ISBN 0-373-27493-9
Natalie Bailey married early and worked to put her husband through college and law school. He repaid her by walking out, leaving her to rear their twin sons without the benefit of any child support. Her skills were not sufficient to do more than waitressing so she is supporting them at this income level.

The story opens as Natalie’s twins are close to starting school, and her lifetime ambition of entering college is being realized because she is a grant recipient for a couple classes. Her class of choice is the Anthropology class taught by Maxwell Sullivan, who is almost a decade younger than she.

The novel wanders along as Natalie and the professor are thrown together, get to know each other fairly slowly because he seems to be around when she need help the most. One of the highlights of the class is a weekend dig in the treasure rich area of the Rockies where Indian artifacts could abound.

Natalie’s car is in need of repair, the company handling the proposed field trip goes bankrupt and in an effort to help Natalie financially, Max hires her to help shop and to buy the supplies needed for the venture, including tents, food etc. She is also to be responsible for the meals at the dig.

Natalie and Max are fairly well defined characters probably because they are stereotypes, so little is needed in addition. Turner does not create as much interplay with the children as could, or she has done as evidenced by some of her other works.

There is a sense of place in the classroom, however no sense of how she as an older student gets along or competes with such younger classmates. On the other hand, there is very little description of the town area or the location of the dig that is the focus of the novel.

Perhaps my judgment of this book is predicated on the usual SIM offering that generally has a fairly well developed plot line based upon some tension created by mystery, crime or such. The only possibility of tension in this novel is the possible problem of the age difference between two people who are attracted and granularly fall in love.

However, this subject comes and goes lightly through the story so it becomes a relatively stress free story of two people heading into a relationship, angst free. First time Linda Turner readers should not judge the author by A Younger Man, I’d suggest instead giving one of her earlier books a try.

--Thea Davis

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