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“The Commander ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 09/05/2006

The Commander
Kate Bridges
Harlequin, Jul 2006, $5.50
ISBN: 0373294107

In 1895 in Calgary, Alberta an out of control wildfire on the nearby prairie threatens the city with every able person ready to help stop the calamity. Especially prepared is the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

At the same time the fire approaches Calgary, Donovan "Ryan" Reid has returned home after being away for a decade to join the British military. He left behind barmaid Julia Adare, who loved him but after he left married Brandon O'Shea; five years ago he died leaving her a widow with a son Pete and a newspaper the Calgary Town Crier to run.

Julia detests herself because she still desires the one man who thought she wasn't good enough for him. Ryan knew the moment he left ten years ago he made a mistake as he loved and still does Julia. Now it is too late when he sees how much the woman he humiliated hates him. What she does not know is he left because he believed he was unworthy of her, but if he could turn back the hands of time he would have told her that he loved her but she deserved better than a lousy loser like him. Still he will do what he can to help his beloved, his family and his hometown fight the fire.

THE COMMANDER, the final Reid Trilogy tale (see THE BACHELOR and THE PROPOSITION), is a thrilling late nineteenth century Canadian historical with a strong romantic underpinning. The fire that threatens Calgary is the prime character perhaps because of the prevalent wildfires today. The story line provides a deep look at 1890s Calgary during a crisis yet also a strong second chance at love subplot combined with the encroaching inferno make for a strong finish to an insightful miniseries.

Harriet Klausner

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