2 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
Debbie M. (Tafwin) reviewed The Law and Miss Hardisson (Harlequin Historical, No 537) on
Irene Hardisson is an eager Eastern lawyer intent upon becoming respected for her legal expertise, but somehow she does just the opposite. It's not really her fault Texas Ranger Clayton Black is wounded by an outlaw or that she manages to arrange a hostage exchange that frees the man Clayton has been hunting.
In an attempt to make up for her mistake, Irene tries to help Clayton and this time he lands in jail framed for murder. Now she must use her legal training to set him free.
When authors tell their readers that they have taken poetic license with the dates, real historical people, etc., I don't have a problem with the ensuing changes. But I don't like it when the authors don't mention discrepancies between fact and their fiction. It only took one minute to find out (from Stanford University's website) that the first woman Pennsylvania lawyer was approved in 1886 and Oregon's first was in 1885. Thus, this book predates what was possible in either state (the book takes place in 1883). This just makes the research look sloppy.
On the other hand, this is a very pleasant story about a young woman lawyer and a Texas Ranger on duty in Oregon. It is obvious that they like each other immediately. Although Irene Hardisson is hard-working, she does enjoy games. While pursuing her right to pursue the law, Irene hasn't taken much time to take pleasure in her adult life. Texas Ranger Clayton Black, recovering from painful wounds, thinks she should have more fun.
When Crazy Creek's sheriff is wounded while chasing after the desperado Clay Black is after, Black becomes acting sheriff for a few days. Unfortunately, it is long enough to get himself charged for murdering the man he's been pursuing. Irene is called on to use her lawyer skills to keep him from hanging.
I think Lynna Banning nailed the attitude a judge would have with an 'upstart' woman judge in his court. However, pulling an extra villain out of the hat so close to the end of the book seemed strange. This addition brought more suspense to the end, I guess. 3.5 stars