In life, Jack Mercy hadn’t been a kind man. In death, he was no different. His daughter Willa expected to inherit his ranch, the place she’d put her heart and soul into. But at the reading of the will, she learns that her home has been given not just to her, but to two sisters she barely knows as well. And in order to inherit, they must all live on the ranch for a period of one year.
None of the three sisters are happy with the arrangement. And apparently, neither is someone else as deadly incidents begin occurring around them. Willa, Tess and Lily find themselves fighting for their lives alongside the men who have become part of the lives and their hearts.
Willa is heartsick and pissed off that her father has willed the ranch that she’s worked her ass off on to not only her, but her two sisters as well. Jack Mercy had cast off two of his daughters and their mothers when they failed to produce sons. He would have done the same to Willa’s mother, I’m sure, had she not died when Willa was a baby.
The sisters must live on the ranch in order to receive their inheritance. Willa of course will be there til the end of her days, but now she has to run the ranch on her own.
The oldest sister, Tess, is from California and wants nothing to do with Mercy Ranch. She’s a screenwriter and wants Rodeo drive and spa treatments. When she finds out how much the ranch is worth, however, she’s willing to stick it out for a year so that she can be bought out at the end.
Lily, the middle sister, thinks she’s found heaven. She’s running from an abusive ex-husband who can’t seem to leave her alone. She’s finds Mercy Ranch to be the solace that she needs in her life.
I read this book when it first came out in 1996. I absolutely loved it. Of course I wasn’t reading a whole lot of anything Nora Roberts at the time so the diversity in my reading was pretty much non-existent. I remember this book as being laugh out loud funny in a few parts and pretty awesome in the romance department. All I can say is: what was I thinking? Lol
The romance with the 3 different girls and their 3 men was ok, but relatively unexciting (not that romances have to all be exciting but I just remembered it that way) . Tess’s was mostly based on sex even though her man was in love with her. The resolution came extremely quickly and then the story moved on to the next girl. Very dissatisfying.
Willa’s romance was written about the most but was kind of stilted. Neither party wanted to admit their feelings, and when they did it was done in a grumbling manner as if they truly just wanted to say it and get it the hell over with.
Lily’s romance was the best of the three in my opinion. She fell in love and found what she had deserved all along: a good man. Was it perfect all the time? No, but they worked it through and it was all good.
I have to say though that the suspense portion of this book was probably the best part. Kind of bloody, but Roberts kept us pretty much in the dark about who it was for most of the book. I had my ideas but not until a few pages before the end did we know whodunit.
Overall not a bad book but just not what I remember it being.
In 1996 I would have rated it 4.5 out of 5.
Today’s rating: 3 out of 5