by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

February 1999
ISBN: 0-380-79448-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

The lady in the title is a real lady, Lady Emma Wells-Finch, who arrives in Texas complete with goofy hat and neatly rolled umbrella. Meeting her plane was not top of the list of things golf-pro Kenny Traveler wanted to do that day, but he had no choice. On suspension from the national golf tour due to some unpleasantness with his agent, money, and a woman who got in his way while he was swinging a fist, Kenny tries to curry favor with the PGA Commissioner, Dallie Beaudine, by doing a favor for Dallie's wife, Francesca. Lady Emma is the favor. She needs a guide during her visit, ostensibly to do research for a paper she's writing, but actually she needs to be dishonored in a major scandal. That way she won't have to dump the disgusting Duke back in England who is blackmailing her into marriage. A scandal would ensure that he would no longer want her! Stay with me here, it sounds really complex, but by the end of the first chapter it's really quite clear.

And by the end of the first chapter, or maybe the second, Kenny has astonished himself by almost seducing Emma into bed with him! Emma has, according to Kenny, absolutely nothing to recommend her; she is bossy, not skinny, not very tall, and immensely naive - in fact she is an admitted virgin. None of these features work very well for Kenny, who likes his women slim, stacked, experienced - and temporary. So what the heck is Emma's appeal to a guy like Kenny, whose major life decisions usually run along the lines of Miller or Budweiser? Emma manages, innocently enough, to get below the public persona of the hard-drinkin' lover man Kenny Traveler, to the real, intelligent, sensitive Kenny Traveler.

The sexual tension between Kenny and Emma is there right from the start even though one of Emma's most sensational kisses goes to another member of Kenny's family - his sister!! (Don't miss this scene, you'll be crying with laughter at the end of it!!) How Emma handles the wild Texan she's falling in love with is hilarious; how Kenny handles the titled Englishwoman who is disturbing him in a major way is even funnier. Does Emma get her scandal, her Texan or her Duke? Can Kenny get reinstated to the tour in time for the Masters tournament? Can he choose between Emma and golf if the situation should arise? Will Emma's tattoo fade?

All these questions are answered to everyone's satisfaction - this is a really fun book with a wonderful romance - it is highly recommended. However, I should mention that of the five Susan Elizabeth Phillips books I've read, I could only recommend two of them. It seems that Ms. Phillips' romances tend to be somewhat erratic - varying between the laughter and love of this tale all the way to the pain and despair that permeates her story Dream A Little Dream. By all means try some more of her work if you liked this one as much as I did, but be warned that the content of each book is completely different. For another fun Phillips tale, try Nobody's Baby But Mine.

Reviewed in September 2001 by Celia.

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