by Brenda K Jernigan

November 2003
ISBN: 0-821-77535-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Until September is the second book in Ms. Jernigan’s series about 5 orphaned children,surviving in the Wild West. The children are now grown and this is Billy’s story.

Billy West is in trouble again, so what else is new! Sitting in a jail cell, he decides that he really needs to do something with his life that is worthwhile and on the correct side of the law. He's hired on as shotgun to a stage coach business and enjoys the danger as well as the pay. When his boss asked him to do a special job for him, Billy is all ears that is until his boss offers him $5,000 to do the job. At that, Billy grows suspicious. What kind of job would pay $5,000? What his boss wanted him to do was ride back east and escort his young niece out west, who will be staying and visiting for a while. Sounds easy enough…too easy!

Claire Holladay has just been given a death sentence. Her doctor has told her that she has only until September to live. Consumption has taken over Claire’s body and he can do nothing for her. Claire, being the stubborn and practical girl that she is, refuses to waste any of the precious time left to her. She wants to enjoy one last adventure before she dies, so she wires her uncle out west and explains to him what is happening and asks if she can stay with him until she dies. Claire has always wanted to go out west and this is the perfect time to do it, after all, she has nothing left but time.

The day that Billy arrives to escort Claire out west, he is prepared for a young child; thinking this will be an easy $5,000, he knocks on the Holladay door and is soon confronted with the most beautiful woman he's ever laid eyes on. This is no child, this is TROUBLE!

Claire and Billy are two of my all time favorite characters. Billy is ruggedly handsome and Claire is fresh and lovely, without being naive and ditzy. Both of them are very stubborn, which makes for some pretty heated arguments, with Claire winning most of them. Ms. Jernigan writes with such passion for her characters, that they come alive for the reader. The plot settings are accurate and very believable and will make you feel as if you are right there in the stage coach.

I truly enjoyed this book and can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out. This is a definite keeper!

Reviewed in October 2003 by Debbie.

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