Heath, Lorraine. Samantha and the Cowboy. Harper, 2002. ISBN 978-0064473415 250 pp. $
Avon True Romance presents Harlequin-style fare: beautiful people fall in love at first sight and then must overcome some conflict to be together, the conflict usually being that one of them already has a significant other. In this series, the beautiful people happen to be young adults.
In Samantha and the Cowboy, a southern belle who has spent much of the war supporting her family and doing a man’s work disguises herself as a boy and joins a cattle herding expedition to make the $100 her family so desperately needs to get through the coming winter. She falls for the man who hired her against the boss’s wishes. Matt distances himself from people because of all the friends he lost in the war, and doesn’t take kindly at first to being saddled with a greenhorn, but “Sam” breaks through his reserves.
Avon True Romance stories are predictable, sweet and innocent, but the writing is solid, the covers attractive and the historical details accurate. I don’t think any teens will pick these up if they are already avid fans of adult series romance, but younger teens may find them appealing and won’t find any objectionable material–perhaps to their dismay.