Since they first teamed up, in Water Witch, Willis and Felice have been a solidly successful pair known for smoothly mixing SF adventure with humor and light romance. Their latest collaboration follows young Delanna Milliflores back home to the seemingly desolate plains of the planet Keramos to settle her mother's estate. Delanna's plans to sell the family farm as quickly as possible and return to "civilization" are stymied by the complex inheritance laws on Keramos. According to rules originally designed to protect colonists from land speculators, Delanna must fulfill some terms before she can sell the run-down farm: she must live on the property for a year-as the wife of Sonny Tanner, an old acquaintance from an adjoining farm whom she hasn't seen since they were children. Delanna accepts the arrangement grudgingly, but soon enough she's captivated by the challenges of settling the world her mother hated. Lively characters, a well-defined setting and sure-handed storytelling add up to a novel that's bound to capture readers' imaginations. (Feb.) FYI: Willis has won numerous Nebula Awards, including one for Best Novel, for Doomsday Book, in 1992.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Delanna Milleflores has returned to her home planet of Keramos to settle her mother's estate. Delanna has been offworld since she was five and has few memories of the planet her mother hated. She's anxious to see the lawyer, get the money from selling her mother's land, and get on with her life on one of the more exciting planets. Delanna has always had everything she wants, living extravagantly while in school off the regular checks her mother sent her. Her visit with the lawyer, Maggie Barlowe, however, reveals that Keramos's unconventional laws of inheritance require Delanna to live on the farm for a year before she can sell it. Delanna also discovers that since her early childhood, she has been betrothed to Sonny Tanner, the son of a neighboring landholder, whom Delanna barely remembers. With her mother's death, Delanna and Sonny are officially married. If Delanna doesn't remain on Keramos to claim her inheritance, not only will she lose the estate, but Sonny also will lose his landholdings. While the lawyer tries to work out some sort of compromise, Delanna travels to her mother's home. Once there, she comes to appreciate the beauty of the land and to realize that her mother had severely neglected the farm so she could send Delanna money, leaving the farm in a terrible state of disrepair. Delanna learns to love not only her land, but also the people and the wildlife of this low-tech planet. If the authors set out to write a contemporary love story set on an alien planet, they succeeded. Any reader of romance novels will know that Delanna and Sonny will eventually get together after overcoming several crises. The science doesn't intrude on the romance but enhances it, giving the story the atmosphere of an unknown land where customs and scenery are different, but people are people regardless of where they are. The characters are as human as their twentieth-century counterparts. There's excitement and adventure, romance and suspense, but no graphic sex or violence in this adult novel that will probably appeal to older YAs. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Delanna returns home to the mining and farming planet Keramos to settle her mother's estate, take the money, and return to a civilized planet. To her dismay, she finds that to claim her inheritance she must stay on her mother's land for one year. She also learns that upon her mother's death she was automatically married to Sonny Tanner, a man she remembers (barely) from childhood. Willis's (Bellweather, Spectra: Bantam, 1996) romantic sf adventure effectively explores a young woman's coming of age. Recommended.
After expensive schooling off-planet, Delanna Milleflores returns to planet Keramos intending to stay just long enough to settle her recently deceased mother's estate. But, thanks to Keramos's weird laws, Delanna finds that, in order to inherit, she must live on the estate until the legalities are completed; worse, she's legally married to the estate's co-owner, Sonny Tanner! Dismissing Sonny as a bumpkin, Delanna flirts with handsome wolf Jay Madog while reluctantly making arrangements to travel to Millefloressome 5,000 miles distant. Despite various adventures and embarrassments, Delanna arrives at Milleflores realizing that Sonny, though uneducated, is intelligent and hardworking; by contrast, her mother was a rude, idle snoband whatever profits Sonny managed to squeeze out were sent to Delanna at school, to waste on expensive clothes and parties. Further complications include Delanna's illegally imported pet, the local wildlife, storms, and the omnipresent Jay.
Light, amusing, and well worked out: a vast improvement over the wretched Light Raid (1989).