by Jodi Thomas

February 2001
ISBN: 0-7394-1576-x
Reviewer Graphic Button Jove Books
Mass Market Paperback

Late 1860’s

Austin, Texas

She was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen; he was the handsomest soldier she had ever met. Their eyes locked on each other across the crowded Philadelphia train station, amidst the chaos of swarming Union soldiers and civilians. He reached her just as they were shouting the call to board. He asked if she believed in love at first sight, and she agreed that she did. They locked lips and knew they had each found their soul mate. He told her no matter what, after the war he would find her again. She asked his name, and he replied “Benjamin.” He asked hers, and she told him, Molly Donivan. “Benjamin” realized her identity as he ran along side the train to catch a parting glimpse of her. The daughter of a Union General, his sworn enemy. “Benjamin” wasn’t really a Union soldier, but a Rebel spy infiltrating Yankee lines to smuggle information for his country and his cause.

Eight years later, Texas Ranger, Captain Wolf Hayward is bringing in wanted murderer, Francis Digger, to hang for his crimes in Austin when an accident in front of an apothecary shop thrusts him back into the arms of the one woman he has never been able to forget. Molly Donivan. Having fled the north to seek out a new life for herself in Texas, Molly, now a pharmacist, doesn’t recognize the rough-around-the-edges Wolf as her handsome gentleman soldier “Benjamin.” However, she does see beyond his gruff exterior to the kindness and gentleness inside. Molly begins to become infatuated with Wolf. Even though Molly can’t give him the heart she promised him long ago, she can’t help but wonder what it would be like to be embraced in the reality of Wolf’s love.

Linked to her McClain brothers Texas books, best-selling author Jodi Thomas takes the hardened character of Ranger Wolf Hayward to his own Texas love story in Twilight in Texas. To be honest, I haven’t read the McClain brothers Texas series, but the reader will find that this story, which does makes connections to those books, can stand on its own. I found Wolf very interesting. He isn’t suave, sophisticated, or conventionally handsome, but he does possess an inner goodness, a sense of rightness to carry out justice in his duty as a ranger. Wolf’s reawakened love for Molly makes him believe he can find happiness, but he spends almost the entire story trying to convince her to give up the ghost, so to speak, of her dream lover to see the reality of him. This becomes extremely frustrating after two thirds of the way through when stubborn Molly still won't give in.

Reviewed in September 2004 by Bonnie.

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