Jordan Powell is, like most of Diana Palmers cowboy heroes, strong, seductive, and set in his ways. Libby Collins is shy, unassuming, and innocent. However, Palmer does allow Libby to stand up for herself more so than her other heroines, which is one reason why I liked this book.
Libby and her brother Curt, are reeling after the death of their father. He has apparently left everything to their evil stepmother, Janet, who has a reputation as a black widow. Libby and Jordan, her next door neighbor, begin to notice each other but then have a falling out due to political differences, and Jordan then begins seeing a senators daughter, Julie, who insults Libby.
There are problems with the characterization. Curt, Libbys brother, works as a ranch hand but does little else. His father dies and his stepmother begins to consider selling the estatehe does nothing. Libby, a paralegal, does not even think to investigate! The bank forecloses on the propertyand, again, Curt does nothing. He does love Libby, though, but thats about his only redeeming quality.
Libby is a firebrand. She gives as good as she gets, and I liked this about her. Most of Palmers heroines are simpering women who want verbally abusive men. At one point she refers to Jordan as a blatant, arrogant, sex-crazed rancher which is one of the funniest descriptions Ive ever read in her books. Her co-worker, Violet Hardy, also gets a good scene where she tells off her brusque employer, lawyer Blake Kemp after he insults her for being overweight. Libby doesnt allow Jordan to walk all over her, but she comes across as stupid at times: shes a paralegal but she doesnt think to investigate her fathers death after information regarding her stepmother Janet gets to her .
Jordan is a self-made millionaire. This is problematic because he was poor, and his father nearly destroyed his family. However, Jordans having money now inflates his self-worth and he sees Libby as being beneath him. He does have his moments, though: while breakfasting with Libby, he tells her: You cant do analytical formulae in your head and kiss a man at the same time. To which Libby responds: I will not be seduced by you in my kitchen over scrambled eggs!
Also, Palmer likes to throw in many different subplots: the black widow stepmother, a drug addicted senators daughter who is trying to seduce Jordan, a senator convicted of DUI running for re-election, and so on. The happily ever after for Jordan and Libby is wrapped up way too neatly for my taste. After weeks of problems, suddenly everything is magically all right?
Regarding the details in the book: at one point, Libby tells Jordan that her stepmother has a passbook for a bank account. Having worked in banking in the early 1990s, these small books did exist. The bank printed out details on the account (interest earned, withdrawals, deposits, etc.) when you brought it to the bank. This book was published in 2004, long after passbooks have faded away. They were basically discontinued in the mid-1990s as debit cards became more popular.