Synopsis: When Tess Brady’s father dies she has nowhere to go, so the Hart brothers hire her as their housekeeper/cook. Believing this job to have been given out of pity and not wanting to deal with Callaghan’s perpetually bad mood, Tess tries to quit repeatedly only to be talked into staying longer. Callaghan is falling for Tess but knows that she is over fifteen years his junior; he won’t consider marriage and she is too innocent for an affair. How will he ever manage to resist her?
Plot: At first I thought I had already read this novel because the storyline was so familiar, but I soon realized that is because the young housekeeper in a house of brothers is an oft-used formula. Diana Palmer makes this story different in the details, namely that of her characters and situations.
Location: All I could remember is that the book takes place on a very large and very busy ranch somewhere in the States. I had to flip back to discover it was in Jacobsville, Texas. But then Tess is the main character and, as the housekeeper, it makes sense that most of the novel takes place within the house. Knowing the exact location is not exactly necessary to the novel, just knowing it is in “cowboy country” is all that is needed.
Character: Herman is not the type of character I would ever want to meet. But then, not many people would actually want to come across a 110-pound albino python either. Herman was with Callaghan through a lot of hard times in his past, making the giant snake practically part of the family –he certainly likes to play as many pranks as the younger Hart brothers do. I would have liked to have had a few more scenes with Herman, rather than just having past occurrences mentioned in conversation or thought.
Quote: The next thing Tess knew, she was wearing Herman the python around her neck. She screamed and wrestled, and the harder she struggled the harder an equally frightened Herman held on, certain that he was going to hit the floor bouncing if he relaxed his clinch one bit!
The Verdict: A little formulaic in plot, but different enough to be worth taking the time to read as it is a cute story.