by Elizabeth Bevarly

June 1999
ISBN: 0-380-80020-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Can handsome fraud investigator Leo Friday change his last name to Freiberger and become a nerd? Can beautiful social secretary Lily Rigby really be what everybody whispers she is: millionaire Schuyler Kimball's mistress? Can an investigator rationalize developing a serious attack of lust for a social secretary/mistress even though she might have embezzled millions of dollars from her boss/lover? Will Leo's pants ever fit comfortably again? Is there anybody working at the Kimball mansion who isn't a raving nutcase?

All these questions and more tramp noisily through Leo Friday's head as he becomes involved in tracking down the identity of the person who has filched huge amounts of greenbacks from the accounts of filthy rich and extraordinarily eccentric Schuyler Kimball. Diving into this book is like plunging into a warm lake of champagne - tart, fizzy and very stimulating! Elizabeth Bevarly is particularly good at developing charming lead characters that are almost (but not quite) eclipsed by the secondary characters. Here, the attraction between Leo and Lily is so much fun - it's hotter than hot, yet completely under their control (or so they'd like to think). Adding to the fizz is the batch of whimsical oddities living at the Kimball mansion in amazing luxury; chief amongst whom is Chloe, Kimball's illegitimate and unacknowledged daughter. Anybody who has a chaperone named Poddledock (not Puddleduck, Poddledock) is entitled to a few eccentricities in my opinion!

This is an enormously fun romp down a very twisted path to a happy ending, with many detours and blind corners along the way. Schuyler Kimball himself, blessed with an enormous intellect, screaming insecurities and gazillions of bucks, adds a fascinating dimension with his tentative wooing of a most unlikely woman - it's a toss-up as to who we want to read about, Leo and Lily or Schuyler and his target!!! Tangy and intelligent dialogue, and a lovely insight into people's inadequacies and hangups when it comes to romance, adds the finishing touch to this great book! It made me laugh - a lot - so I have to recommend this and Ms. Bevarly's other contemporary romances!! Just the ticket for brightening a winter's day.

Reviewed in February 2002 by Celia.

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