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WESTERN: Ella's neighbor, Walter, is a loving man who gives her the opportunity to work with horses on his ranch. When Walter is killed and the will is read, it comes to light that he is leaving equal halves of the ranch to Ella and his ranch hand, Titus. This is when it is learned that Titus is Walter’s nephew from back East. He wants to keep his identity secret until they can find out who has been stealing horses, as well as who killed his brother, Martin, and his Uncle Walter.
This is a clean Western story that moves quickly. There is the constant sexual tension between Titus and Ella, but they never act upon it, as the two are at cross-purposes. Titus never wants to marry for fear of becoming like his father, Ella wants to marry and not be a burden on her family. There are several men who are set up to be the villain yet the reader doesn’t discover who the killer is until the very end, because of the clever way in which this story is written. There is some confusion with Ella’s brothers. Because there are so many of them, it is difficult to keep them straight as far as which ones are married and to whom. Ms. Dawson writes a poignant piece that will keep her readers entertained with the antics of Wally the mule and the refreshment of an innocent love.