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Lone Star Rising    by Darlene Graham order for
Lone Star Rising
by Darlene Graham
Order:  USA  Can
Harlequin, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton

This second in the Baby Diaries series continues the story of three sisters living in the small Texas town of Five Points. Robbie McBride Tellchick is a pregnant widow, raising three young boys, and not sure how she is going to make it financially. Currently she's working as a waitress at the local diner, but this is not enough to help them survive. Her dream is to open up a shop selling items such as handmade quilts.

Firefighter Zack Trueblood tried to save Robbie's husband when he was trapped inside their burning barn. Zack has been in love with Robbie since they were in high school, but Robbie only had eyes for Danny. Zack does everything he can to protect and care for Robbie after the death of her husband, fixing up her house and making sure she has what she needs. Robbie doesn't understand why Zack is being so attentive, but does feel guilty about the emotions she is beginning to have for a man she barely remembered from their school days (Zack was much younger than Robbie). Each chapter is prefaced by Robbie's journal entries, so the reader sees how her feelings for Zack evolve from friendship to love. She also tries to reconcile these feelings for Zack, comparing him to her deceased husband Danny, a man who did not make her very happy in the long run.

Aside from the theme of loss, the story focuses on the town of Five Points, and a secret that may be revealed in the third book of the series. Something mysterious and potentially dangerous is happening in town, and it may be connected to Danny's death. I enjoyed this installment of the series. While I found the growing relationship between Zack and Robbie a bit too sugary for my tastes, the story line itself was intriguing. I was especially captivated by the fact that Zack was dealing with a woman still in mourning and about to give birth to her fourth child. These psychological issues make Lone Star Rising a different type of romantic read, and I'm looking forward to the third installment.

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