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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
For well over a decade, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell has been entertaining readers with her passionate tales of romantic suspense. One of her earlier contemporary works has been reissued in an expanded version entitled Beautiful Dreamer. Hope Gardner, the aptly named heroine in this engaging tale, has a dream, one that is dying a slow, miserable death as she struggles to keep her ranch alive during the worst drought the area has seen in decades. But finding an answer might mean losing her heart to the restless drifter who has come to help.
Hope's home is Valley of the Sun, the Nevada cattle ranch she inherited from her parents. The ranch is located in high desert country at the base of a mountain range, and a months-long drought has left the land parched and dry. When the only producing well left on the property gives out, Hope becomes desperate to find a new source of water and is forced to borrow from her manipulative, controlling neighbor, John Turner, a man who tries to rape her nearly every time they meet. And while Turner is letting her have the water for free now, he’s made it clear that he will eventually exact a horrible price.
Hope’s situation seems hopeless until a dark-haired stranger with a mysterious past shows up and offers to help her find the water she needs, assuming there is any to be found. The stranger’s name is Rio, and in addition to conventional training in geology and hydrology, he has a special ability for dowsing. Hope finds herself irresistibly drawn to him, falling in love for the first time in her life. But Rio’s tortured past and restless nature won’t let him settle down, despite the fact that Hope is the only thing he has ever truly wanted. As the clock ticks down and the land dries up, Hope’s only chance for a future of any kind lies with Rio. And the only way she can possibly make her dream -- and his -- come true is if she risks everything, including her heart.
Lowell is a masterful storyteller, and this reissue exemplifies the author at her best. The imagery is vivid and wonderfully wrought, and the essence of this classic tale about two wounded spirits who discover the healing power of love lingers long after the last page is turned.
Contributing Editor Beth Amos is the author of three novels, including Cold White Fury and Second Sight.