Widow, Susanna Copeland needs someone to pose as her husband to help her drive her cattle from Texas to Kansas. For this reason, she is now at the jail looking over her prospects. She chooses Eagle Jack Sixkiller. She pays his bail with the last of her savings and hopes that she has made the right decision.
Eagle Jack is happy to be sprung for obvious reasons, but more than that he is now able to chase the men who beat him up and stole his horse. He tries to lose her in town but she is too smart for that. She keeps a tight rein on him until they make their way to her ranch.
Susanna wants to go on the cattle drive and Eagle Jack is against it. He tries several different tactics to make her stay, but to no avail. She is a mystery to him, usually all he has to do is turn on the charm and women fall at his feet.
After the way her first husband treated her, she vows to never be dependent on a man again. She is certainly not immune to him but she will never give him the power to know that.
As the cattle drive gets under way, and with more people going than he had anticipated, it makes for an uneasy start. But as the drive is in progress both of them are having a hard time fighting off their feelings. After all, sleeping together and acting as man and wife, no matter how platonic the situation really has muddled their thinking.
Susanna has opened up to Eagle Jack and told him many things that she has never told anyone else. Eagle Jack still remained mysterious to her. He never offered information about his personal life of his family. So when she inadvertently finds out about who and what he is she feels somewhat betrayed.
These two extremely strong characters have much to contend with but can't shake their feelings for one another. Susanna is like no other woman he has ever met, he respects her and surprisingly, for him his feelings are not just lust driven. They face perils and hardships on their journey but at the end of that journey each find that they are hesitant to part ways. Can Eagle Jack commit himself to one woman and can Susanna finally realize that not all men are domineering?
THE LOVER is the first book in the Cherokee Warriors series but it is not what I would call an Indian romance. Eagle Jacks heritage is barely touched upon and it is more of a western historical. I enjoyed Genell Dellin's latest offering.
Tami Sutton, December 2002