Fateful Waters By J.M. Anton
A Good Ranch Romance
This story reminds me of those once found in Ranch Romance magazines of the forties and fifties, which were so popular among housewives. Alexandra Parker and Melinda Potter were roommates in college for five years and best of friends. Melinda’s family was rich and her father helped Alexandra a/k/a Lexie to find employment as an accountant after graduation. Melinda had been having an internet romance with a David Decker who persuaded Melinda to leave her home in Ohio and meet him in Lubbock, Texas, which was where he lived. Melinda’s family can’t stop Melinda, so sent Lexie along to sort of keep her balanced.
The girls drove to Lubbock. David picked up Melinda and drove her to his ranch, leaving Lexie to drive Melinda’s car out later. He gave Melinda directions by cell phone, deliberately led her astray during a violent rainstorm, which caused flash floods. Melinda slid off the road in deep mud, became stuck and almost drowned, but two horsemen appeared and rescued her. One placed her on his horse and rode off with her as she lost consciousness and became very sick with pneumonia. She next awakened in a hospital, being called by the hospital personnel as Mrs. Ross. And thus begins this tale of a love/hate relationship flashing back and forth between Lexie and this stranger on the horse, Cutter Ross; the drug induced kidnapping of Melinda by Decker, and the many trials and tribulations of life on the ranches in Texas during an extreme drought, which brought out the best and worst of everyone.
In the beginning of this novel, there is little character development so it is difficult to visualize the different actors in this story plus poorly designed flashbacks, which causes the tale to lag, but a few chapters in, it picks up speed and has so many unexpected twists and turns, that it keeps the reader rather glued to the story line.
I recommend the novel for those who like this particular genre.