by Connie Lane

April 2004
ISBN: 0-440-23747-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Bantam Books
Mass Market Paperback

The last one to leave the parking lot after she has just given a speech at the grand opening of Klaber Fallís new drugstore, Lacie Jo Baxter is suddenly thrown into the trunk of a car and abducted. When her kidnapper stops the car and lets her out, she smiles her beauty queen smile at him and tries to talk him out of it. Quickly she realizes that he intends to keep her and so she hits him over the head with the baton still clutched in her hand. Now what else would you expect from Miss Kansas Summer Squash???

Recognizing where she is, Lacie Jo limps home to her adoring fans and family where she immediately begins signing autographs and really doesnít seem too concerned about being kidnapped. After all, she does have an image to upload and the Miss National Summer Squash pageant is not that far away.

However, word does reach FBI agent Ben Camaglia about the abduction and Ben believes solving Lacieís kidnapping could lead to him being assigned back to the Washington, D. C. office where he came from, after tussling with a senatorís son. Quite frankly, Ben is totally bored in Kansas and welcomes the opportunity to show his stuff, keep Lacie safe, and go back where he belongs.

The problem with helping Lacie is that she doesnít seem to recognize that she is in any danger or that she needs Benís help. She blithely carries on her personal appearances like nothing happened at all and genuinely seems unafraid. Ben is trying his best not to get frustrated with her, but it seems to happen every time they meet. But gradually Ben realizes that there is much more to this beauty queen that just good lucks and when she is abducted a second time, Ben has to work hard to control his out-of-control feelings in order to subdue the man who has the one woman he wants.

DIRTY LITTLE LIES is a goofy little read for a day in the sun or a rainy afternoon when you donít want to get into something really deep or you may fall asleep. Parts of it are funny, nothing feels very warm about it, and some parts are just plain silly. None of the characters are especially appealing because they seem so trite, except for Lacieís sister Dinah who kind of tells it like it is. There really are some DIRTY LITTLE LIES behind Lacieís kidnapping, but they almost seem anticlimactic and the ending seems rushed and far-fetched. Bottom line: save this one for a day when youíre not expecting much.

Reviewed in July 2004 by Vivian.

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