by Jackie Stephens

June 2002
ISBN: 0-8217-7355-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

When Texas Ranger Kane Fairchild finally cornered and handcuffed the woman he’d been after for bank robbery and for shooting his father, he never realized that he got the wrong woman! Who he got was the other half of a pair of twins – instead of Francesca Rossetti, the scheming actress whose use of wily, seductive tactics help pull off a bank heist, Kane arrested Bianca, who posed as Francesca, while Francesca finds the evidence she needs to prove herself innocent – as Bianca firmly believes she is.

But Bianca’s road trip with Kane across Texas was more revealing than she expected. Francesca had emigrated to America many years before Bianca to become an actress. Many years and letters to her family, everyone is convinced, including Bianca, that she was successful. However, after being in Kane’s company, Bianca didn’t know who to believe – the handsome and honorable Ranger or her loving and very convincing sister?! And would she still help Francesca get away once she knew the truth – and lose Kane in the process?

Lawful men of the west never seem to be without emotional baggage – and Kane is no exception. Tragic circumstances made him choose to live away from his family’s home and continue to work as a Ranger – though his parents, sister and brother-in-law feel it’s time for him to settle down. And having encountered Francesca, the bad sister, didn’t help – especially since he saw her shoot his own father! But through all his personal anguish, he’s still honorable – believing in justice above all things, making him a bit too stuffy at times. On the other hand, he’s cute when he’s flustered about his attraction to Bianca/Francesca. Worse is that, regardless of his past experience with Francesca, he still thinks Bianca is convincingly innocent; as a result, he treats her like dirt when he feels she’s lying and, at other times, considerate when she starts to look really downtrodden.

This confuses Bianca, of course – but she still feels that he’s a really nice man inside the gruff exterior. In fact, her growing attraction to Kane is making her question her sister’s true character – and making her a little pissed. Through Kane’s vague references to the past, Bianca, along with the reader, gets an awful feeling that Kane and Francesca had been intimate. And it’s frustrating for Bianca not to be able to ask, especially since she’s supposed to be Francesca!!

It’s a fun a story of mistaken identities and lots of sexual tension, not to mention the underlying grim question of family loyalty – how far should one go in protecting their loved ones? In both Bianca’s and Kane’s case, they would go pretty far – it’s what’s endearing about them. And convincing is the fact that if they ever get past their moral dilemma, they would stand by each other in the long run. What’s more romantic than that?

Reviewed in September 2002 by Veronica.

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