As he travels around the West, Rio gets messages. There's a woman in Nevada who needs you. His specialty is hydrology and water dowsing. He can find water in places no one else can. If he can't find it, it isn't there. His passion is wandering. He stays at a place long enough to finish a job, then he is off again. He has helped many people through the West in different ways and takes little payment. He finally finds his way to the Valley of the Sun and Hope Gardener.
Hope's ranch is next to the Sierra Perdida Mountains. The rains and water tended to stop there, never getting to Valley of the Sun. Surrounding ranches have artesian wells, but hers has mostly dried up. The only way she gets enough water for her cattle is to drive her water truck to a neighboring ranch's well two or three times a day and fill her herd's water tanks. Her money is dwindling, but she still has enough to cover the payments of the second mortgage she took out.
She lives alone with the man who had been their foreman all of her life. Her parents and sister are dead. Hope is disillusioned by life. She is happiest here on the ranch and will do anything to keep it going. When Rio appears and Mason vouches for him, she is willing to accept his help in finding water. She had hired one hydrologist before who didn't find anything.
Rio has never settled in his adult life. He goes where the wind takes him. He has friends, stock, and property throughout the West. None of it holds him. Hope recognizes this immediately. He recognizes that she is the type who settles in one place with family and children. He cannot provide what she deserves and fights the attraction he has for her. She can see some of his feelings and she is attracted back. But she refuses to try to lure or convince him to act on their mutual attraction. She is an honest, hard working woman. She'll get by on her own.
Beautiful Dreamer is a romance novel about self recognition and self reliance. It's not real strong despite the intriguing characters. I could imagine the dryness of the area, the pull of attraction. Yet nothing quite comes together for me. I enjoyed it and am glad I read it once because I like Elizabeth Lowell's work. This is one the novels she wrote while concentrating on the romance, not adding in the suspense that enhances her current work.
Beautiful Dreamer is a nice escape. It also gives some interesting facts and pictures about that type of land throughout the world. (For a similar story in one of her historical novels, and a better one than this, read Only Love.)
Notice: Explicit sexual content
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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