When Jack Mercy dies, he leaves behind a ranch worth twenty million dollars. Now his three daughters - each born of a different mother, and each unknown to the others - have gathered to hear the reading of the will. But Jack has one last surprise for them. Before anyone can inherit, they must live together on the ranch for one year.
For Tess, a sophisticated city-girl who just wants to collect her cash and get back to LA, it's a nightmare. For Lily, on the run from her abusive ex-husband, it's a refuge. And for Willa - who grew up on the ranch - it's an infuriating intrusion.
They are sisters ... and strangers. But when a brutal enemy threatens to destroy them all they must face the impossible challenge: to put their bitterness aside and live like a family.
Having published 100 novels in 15 years, Roberts (True Betrayals) just keeps getting better. In life, Jack Mercy, owner of the 25,000-acre Mercy Ranch, garnered more enemies than friends. His death promises to do the same, since his will forces his three grown daughters, half-sisters and virtual strangers to one another, to live together at the Montana ranch for a year or forfeit his estate, worth up to $20 million. If any die during the year, the survivor(s) will inherit the fortune, assuming they last the 12 months. Giving it a go are bossy Willa, part Blackfoot Indian, the only sister who lived on the ranch and is capable of running it; Tess, a sassy Hollywood scriptwriter who wants money but balks at a family reunion; and meek, divorced Lily, grateful for refuge. As the siblings settle in, someone begins committing barbaric acts against animals and then humans: Are these the random crimes of a psychopath? Or are they a devious distraction in a sinister game plan? Roberts balances the tension and sometimes gruesome action with three romances, crackling dialogue and a snappy infusion of humor. Setting her rich narrative against majestic scenery integral to the plot, she again demonstrates why, in 1986, she was the first author inducted into the Romance Writers of America's Hall of Fame. 150,000 first printing; $200,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild featured alternate; author tour.