Wild Angel
Carolee Joy
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Wild Angel

Carolee Joy
Authorlink Press Paperback
248 pages
August 1999
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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It hasn't been the best day. Joshua Bellinghausen is angrier than he has ever been after the reading of his father's will. He can't believe that after years of toiling in the ranch and dairy operation that his father has left his entire estate to others. Joshua has no plans to get married after having watched his father marry five times after his mother's death -- but he could live with marrying for convenience if he absolutely had to consider it as an option. The problem is that his five stepmothers have been appointed to the Board of Trustees of his father's estate, and he just knows they will run the company into the ground.

Ellie Winfield would do anything for family. Her youngest sister, Lauren, has medical problems that require surgery. Unfortunately, the surgery requires money they dob't have. Although it's not clear why Ellie decides a night of passion will be the cure, she stakes her claim at a run-down bar where she meets a man who promises the world and gives it to her without a thought.

Come morning Ellie is filled with shame, and Joshua has lost his sense of direction -- and the gold money clip that had belonged to his grandfather. But it's not what it seems. Ellie is determined to forget all about the cowboy, while Joshua is determined to find the minx who stole his money. In the end, neither can forget that one night of passion.

Although Joshua tries in vain to locate the mystery woman through his friend, it isn't until they pay a visit to the Ellison Farms that he finds the woman he just had to get to know much better. Meanwhile, Ellie wasn't feeling well and she unsure she can trust him, or any man, for that matter. She knows how they work. Ellie's father left his daughters and pregnant wife without a word. Even so, Joshua manages to convince Ellie to visit him in Austin after she is done with her doctors' appointment. And it doesn't end there; it's just beginning.

In the middle of it all are a brother, two sisters, and five meddling stepmothers trying to make Joshua and Ellie see the situation from their point of view. The most endearing is Lauren, a spunky child intent on telling everyone that her sister, Ellie, has a boyfriend. Of course Lauren approves, because Joshua provides her with a never-ending supply of ice cream.

From cover to cover, Wild Angel is a riveting tale of intrigue and passion. The pages unfold deep secrets that Ellie and Joshua refuse to share with each other. While this is an excellent story, it has a downside: the sex scenes seem forced in spots, grinding the fast pace to a halt until the thread of story is picked up again. Regardless, author Carolee Joy has talent. Here's hoping she'll spin some more wonderful tales involving these characters, because it's a bet readers will be wondering what the future holds for them.

© 2003 by Brenda Ramsbacher for Curled Up With a Good Book

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