So glad I found it so that I can reread and remember why I love to read still.
The book begins in Texas, where Calinda Braxton, the heroine of the book, has come from England to investigate the disappearance of her father, Elliott "Brax" Braxton. Into the room comes the owner, Lynx Cardone, the hero of the book. Rankin invites Calinda to come to the ranch (not entirely for altruistic reasons; he also wants to know what happened to Brax and he's hoping to match Calinda and Lynx, not knowing they already know each other in the biblical sense). By the end of the book, the reasons for Brax's disappearance are explained as well, and Calinda and Lynx have their Happily Ever After. What I REALLY didn't like, however, is the way Mrs. Taylor resolved the Brax issue. Rather than having Brax explain in his own words, there are hints throughout the book and a summary at the end. Bottom Line: Books like "First Love, Wild Love" are the reason I wish Goodreads would give gradients of stars.
I love this man so much for just saying those words. How I wish to find a respectable man like him <3 Thank you Janelle Taylor for finally giving me what I have been looking for in all these heroines.
In the morning, Calinda sent a note to Rankin Cardone asking about her father. Lynx had gone back to the saloon to find Calinda, thinking she was Callie. Rankin grew fond of Calinda and believed that she knew nothing of her father. The Cardone's housekeeper and cook, Salina, told Calinda that Rankin and her father had a falling out and he had left after stealing a large amount of money from him. Calinda wanted to find out the truth of what happened between them but knew she'd get no answers from Rankin. Calinda felt like Lynx and Rankin didn't trust her and maybe had reasons for keeping her at the ranch. Salina was vicious to her and kept her thinking that Calinda was being kept at the ranch as some sort of revenge for her father's treatment of the Cardone's. Lynx was given plenty of opportunity to explain himself to Calinda but he never took the time. The housekeeper, Salina, wanted Lynx for herself and was jealous of Calinda. She snuck a letter to Calinda which stated that someone wanted to meet her in Lampassas to tell her where her father was. Salina had actually arranged for Calinda to go to a town full of outlaws and for a gunfighter, Clint Deavers, to find her there. Calinda became suspicious of Lynx's reasons for being there and upon returning home, Salina made her feel like it might have been Lynx that had her go there in an attempt to see her harmed. Lynx also knew his father wanted him to marry and settle down and he liked Calinda. Lynx then explained to his father that he was gone so much because he was a Texas Ranger. He would then return home to help his father on the ranch. Word got to Lynx and he left his assignment to return home and rescue Calinda. Lynx learned later that Callie and her outlaw boyfriend were the pair who instigated the kidnapping and he saw them arrested when they attempted a robbery. Lynx spent a week at home with Calinda and worked at the ranch with his father during that time. Lynx became suspicious of his ranch hands and Salina. He warned Salina of her attitude toward Calinda and told her to be careful or she would find herself no longer working on the ranch. Salina found a letter and gave it to Calinda that was from an attorney who wanted to give her something from her father. She was surprised to be given the ranch deed that her father had stolen from Rankin. Lynx came home and Rankin had not told Calinda that he was on his way. He spoke to his father and told him that Laura had been pregnant when she left. She wasn't convinced that Clint loved her but rather married her for the ranch. In the meantime, Rankin discovered Calinda had left and sent a telegram to Lynx in Austin. He ran into Salina with Clint Deavers and found out that Salina had asked her cousin who worked at the ranch for the Cardone's, to shoot and kill Calinda. Lynx had woke up at Calinda's screaming and sent a naked Salina out of his room and ordered her off the ranch property. Clint told him about the letters that Salina had left for Calinda to find which had her go to Lampasas to be found by Clint. Salina found herself being hit by Clint when she attempted to pull a gun on Lynx. Lynx left town to find Calinda but sent a telegram to have Salina, Clint and Manuel all arrested for their crimes. He told her in the morning more about the past with her father and told her that he would sign the ranch back over to her if she would return home with him.
Great villains and lots of historic events and outlaws tied into the book.
I read the book in my 9th grade year!
Ms. Taylor's works have also been featured ten times on the "1 million +" bestseller's list at Publisher's Weekly. Reading, in particular books set before 1900 and current Biographies, Thrillers, Horror, or Fantasy novels, is also one of Ms. Taylor's favorite activities. She writes her novels in a Spanish cottage which overlooks a five-acre lake, a working water mill, gazebo, and covered bridge.