Lori Wilde’s first single title for Warner Books is about coincidences. Take one sixteen year old girl in the early 1950’s, add the seventeen year old 2nd son of an oil baron, who follows her to Hollywood to follow both of their dreams. Hers didn’t include a crush on a Hollywood matinee idol, who gets her pregnant, then lets her know he’s married. His didn’t include saving her life when she decides suicide is the best option she has. She works as a make-up assistant and he gets nominated for an Oscar for his leading role in a movie by Twilight Studios. She has her baby. He loses the Oscar.
Forty-seven years later, the two come together again to avert a threat to his family and fortune. Unfortunately for his grandson Mason, also a 2nd son, grandpa Nolan Gentry took $500,000 of the company money with him when he disappears to meet with Maybelline Sikes in Las Vegas. Mason is sent after his grandfather and shows up at the Sikes detective agency expecting to find his grandfather shacked up with a showgirl and spending the company money gambling.
He finds Charlee Champagne, Maybelline’s granddaughter, who has “Very Bad Luck” with tall, dark, handsome rich guys, just like her Momma Bubbles always did. Charlee knew her momma had bad luck with that type because that was exactly what her daddy, Maybelline’s son, was when she met him. He was making big bucks as an Elvis impersonator in Vegas right after Elvis’ death in the 1970’s and Bubbles Champagne (she had her name legally changed to that) the showgirl fell head over heels for him. She did have enough sense not to marry him, which was why Charlee was stuck with the last name Champagne. Unfortunately, Bubbles died when Charlee was seven and Daddy Elwood dropped her at Maybelline’s door, then went off to gamble and drink away his money and then his career.
Suffice it to say that Charlee and Mason start looking for Nolan and Maybelline, with Daddy Elwood, Elwood’s no good lying cheating father, two thugs, Mason’s “almost” fiancé, a charter bus on it’s way to the Newlywed Game, a ‘64 Corvette, a ’55 Bentley, a white Chevy Malibu, and a giant hamburger thrown in for good measure, it really is a “Thrill” a minute.
If you like fast-paced action-romances, you’ll find this one should fit to a T. If you’re in the mood for a romantic comedy, you’ll love their experiences with the Newlywed Game! Although some may find the coincidences a little too predictable, the way everything seems to be inevitable added to the story for me. This was my first Lori Wilde book and I can’t wait to pick up more. This was truly a Great Escapade!
Marcia Corbett, December 2003
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