Arizona ranger Sam O'Ballivan is a true hero, a man who reads classical literature, rescues stray animals, and saves an entire town from a gang of bad guys. Undercover as a teacher in a small Arizona town on the Mexican border, Sam uses a firm voice and a steady nature to bring order to his one room school. He clashes with Maggie Chancelor, the older sister/guardian of one of his students.
While struggling with his attraction to Maggie, knowing that he'll be leaving town as soon as his job is done, Sam must also track a gang of train robbers operating on both sides of the Mexican border. Maggie is in a jam herself, having to deflect the interests of the town's boss, who is also her employer.
It is the character of Sam who elevates Linda Lael Miller's latest book above other western historicals. He's so charmingly laconic that any pacing or plot issues are easily forgiven. He cannot help but rescue every stray or abused animal (or human) that crosses his path, and he does it all without thought of reward or credit. And he gently corrects the little girl in his class who refers to him as "Mr. SOB" throughout the book.
There was trouble in Haven, Arizona, and Ranger Sam O'Ballivan was determined to sort it all out. Badge and gun hidden, he arrived posing as the new schoolteacher, and his first order of business was to bring the rough ranchers' children under control. To that end, he called on Maddie Chancelor, the local postmistress, whose younger brother was in firm need of discipline. Sam wasn't sure what to expect - but it was definitely not this graceful woman whose prim, proper stance was so at odds with the fire in her eyes. Working undercover to capture a dangerous band of rustlers and train robbers was a job that had always kept him apart from other people. He was a man with his heart firmly in check - until Maddie. Now she was unwittingly tempting him down a path he swore he'd never travel.