Short takes Step back into the colorful world of the Dirty Thirties in Dorothy Garlock's With Heart (Warner, $7.50, 0446605891), where the land reeks of dusty dirt, and small-town scoundrels can't keep a good woman down. In 1938, Kathleen Dolan is a fresh face in Tillison County, Oklahoma, greeted by roadside hijackers and rescued by Johnny Henry. As she probes into the secrets of the town for her newspaper, the Gazette, Johnny's desire to protect Kathleen conflicts with his belief that he's not the proper man for her.

Garlock's vivid portrayal of the struggles of the Depression Era adds richness to her characters' own perils of the heart and the time. Bravo give us more! After three tales of the L'Eau Clair family saga, Sharon Schulze tells the first couple's courtship in The Hidden Heart. At her father's graveside, Gillian de L'Eau Clair vows she will depend on no man certainly not Rannulf, who was supposed to have been her husband. In 13th-century Wales, a marriage contract is to be honored, which is something that Rannulf fails to do. But it is Rannulf she must rely on for rescue from Nicholas Talbot. And thus are dynasties and delightful stories begun.

Sandy Huseby reviews from her homes in Fargo, North Dakota, and lakeside near Nevis, Minnesota. She is online at SHuseby@aol.com.

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