PEMBERLY RANCH, by Jack Caldwell

This is a romance set in Texas just after the Civil War when carpetbaggers abounded and thieves had respectable jobs. Such is the case in tiny Rosings, Texas, where former Confederate officer Captain William Darcy must keep his ranch and keep his sister from the depredations of George Whitehead, Recorder of Deeds, murderer, and villain with designs on everything and everyone. But he hasn't counted on Darcy. And Darcy hasn't counted on the enchanting, newly-arrived Beth Bennett. And then the sparks fly, literally and figuratively. The plotting is good, the action is clear and believable, the romance satisfying (mostly), and the climactic scenes wrap it all up neatly. It's a 2; if the writing had been better (characterizations are a little one-dimensional, and even in a Texas-based romance, they ought to be deeper), I'd have given it a 3.