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TThe Travelling Kind Janet Daileyhe Travelling Kind – Janet Dailey (1981)
Harlequin Presents #427

She noticed his kit before she noticed him. A firm leather saddle, smooth from riding. A promising start indeed. I’m a new country gal, and I love me a cowboy.

Charley Collins works an Idaho ranch with her brother, who has just broken his leg, so she needs a hired hand. She gets in her old truck and drives around looking for one.

She finds Shad.

No. No comment.

Shad Russell is a drifter. As the teaser promises, “Falling in love with a man like Shad would be asking for heartache.” He’s a loner, never settling in one place for long.

In the mean time, she hires him and he sleeps in the bedroom across the hall.

I’d never read a Janet Dailey book before. She wrote a romance for every state in the union. I’m embarrassed to admit that in 1981, I don’t know how many books that means, but somewhere close to 50. In the year The Travelling Kind was published, Harlequin saluted her as “the world’s No. 1 publisher of romance fiction!”

A little taste of the no-good-for-Charley drifter…

His mouth came down those last few inches to settle onto her lips with tantalizing ease. A sweet rush of forbidden joy ran through her veins as her hands slid around his neck and she melted into his arms. A steel band circled her waist to press her tighter to his length while his other hand tunneled under the thickness of her hair to cup the back of her head. The driving hunger of his kiss parted her lips, giving him access to the most intimate recesses of her mouth. She was caught in a whirl of sensation, all golden and consuming.

Although a stew of familiar now, this is a pretty great kiss for 1981. But with this book comes a few cock-blocks. Namely, the neighboring rancher, Chuck, who wants to marry her. Yeah, Chuck and Charley. Chuck is neither smart nor sexy. When Shad finally does leave, after Charley’s humiliating sobs (humiliating for Charley and the reader) and shouting at Shad that she won’t wait for him, she doesn’t. And she gets engaged to Chuck.

Until Shad returns two months later, the night of the engagement party. “I know I hurt you when I left but – Aren’t you glad to see me?” Banal cowboys must not be my thing. Because when he walks away, and Charley returns the ring to Chuck, I just want Shad to keep on drifting.

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