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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Schooling Miss Burke by Paty Jager

Schooling Miss Burke by Paty Jager
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Short Story (71 pgs)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

A letter from home shatters politician Caleb Jamison's world, returning him to his empty family home and cattle ranch.

Hettie Burke's life takes a life-altering turn when she becomes the parent of her twin niece and nephew. Looking for work, she stumbles upon a covey of soiled doves on vacation and learns sometimes fate takes precedence over best-laid plans.

When Hettie crossed paths with the party of soiled doves, she didn’t know what was worse. Should she stay on the trail by herself and perhaps run across outlaws or Indians? Or should she expose her niece and nephew to women who lived this type of life?

Ms. Jager writes a good tale of the old west and exposes several of the warts that plagued this time period. Caleb, her hero, is a strong man who's grown up on a ranch and has aspirations to be the Governor of Montana. Hettie is a young woman who hopes to get a job teaching school. The attraction between them is immediate, but Hettie can’t follow her heart. Her first priority must be the two children left in her care after their parents’ death.

The author adds the additional emotion of loss to both her characters. With Hettie it's her sister and brother-in-law. With Caleb, it’s his entire family. Both are feeling lost and incomplete until they find each other.

The soiled doves were the most interesting part of the story. Many got to that point because it was the only thing they could do to earn money. The author treats this part of the story with discretion and it’s just part of the story, not the main focus of the plot. That makes it more palatable.

The word play and hesitation on Hettie’s part is fun to watch since Caleb has made up his mind she will be his. The author gently works her magic on the characters and gives you a good romance and a happy ending to a story that might not have gone well. I enjoyed reading it.