In this, one of Elizabeth Lowell’s earlier romances, she sets the stage for her two-novel series by introducing us to Rye McCall and his sister Cyndi. Rye is beset on all sides – his father is nagging him ferociously to marry, even going so far as to sneak potential mates into his ranch, and the business world is also making savage inroads on what little free time he has.
He escapes to his home, the Rocking M ranch in Utah, where he can breathe and relax. Only to find – yes, another in the long line of ‘bimbos’ that his father thinks might be acceptable, i.e. able to breed an heir to the McCall dynasty. Exasperated, Rye heads off the high meadows.
Lisa Johansen is living in Rye McCall’s high meadow. A student of the land, and world traveled, Lisa is by turns innocent and worldly. She knows how to make knives from broken glass, and refuses to waste anything, but has never cut her hair. Her nomadic life as the daughter of anthropologists has made her different in many ways to the normal young woman that Rye meets. Yes, folks, they’re destined for each other.
What makes this story so special is the charm of Lisa and the hesitant but passionate way that Rye responds to her. Once he realizes that she is indeed who she says she is, he becomes fascinated with her philosophies, her wisdom and – yes – her body. Lisa is truly an enigma in many ways, and her character is one of the most interesting heroines I’ve read recently. Rye, of course, is swept right out of his cowboy boots by passion.
There are problems to be overcome, and decisions to be made, but all ends well for this lovely couple. It’s a quick read, but a chance to enjoy some charming escapism with a wonderful pair of lovers, and it made me rush out and find the story of Rye’s sister Cyndi, which is reviewed elsewhere (and also highly recommended – see the review of Dark Fire).