Dorothy Garlock is the author of more than 50 novels that have sold 15 million+ combined copies and are published in 15 languages. She lives in Iowa.
First love is sweet for a fresh-faced country girl in bestselling author Garlock's latest romance, set in 1920s Missouri. Since her mother's death, lovely Julie Jones has cared for her farmer father and five siblings. She dotes on her family, but she also dreams of the day a worthy love will come and whisk her away. When Evan Johnson, the son of the Joneses' despised neighbor, Walter, comes home to take over his father's farm, he proves a pleasant surprise. The handsome young WWI vet has a college education, and is nothing like his drunken, abusive father. Julie worries that he'll never notice a country girl, but Evan falls fast for her and her lively, tight-knit family. The course of true love does sport a few bumps: a neighbor's pretty sister, Birdie, and her daughter come to visit and Birdie sets her cap for Julie's father, Jethro, managing to stir up plenty of trouble. Meanwhile, local lawman Corbin Appleby is stalking a rapist who has been preying on the young women of the county for years, and who hovers frighteningly near the Jones family. A secret Julie has kept for years threatens the lovers' happiness, too, but trust and justice win the day in this heartland romance. Garlock's dark and incongruously graphic rape subplot seems out of place in an otherwise charming story, but her sprightly dialogue and convincing depiction of family farm life rescue the tale. Major ad/promo; pre-sell tour. (Apr. 12) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.