Harrigan Mahoney's assignment was clear: travel to Wyoming, find runaway Ella Carson, and escort her to Philadelphia - by force if necessary. A simple task, made devilishly complicated by Ella's wit, beauty, and spirited determination to outfox him at every turn. Ella is no stranger to bad luck, but it seems wholly unfair that the man hired to ...
Harrigan Mahoney's assignment was clear: travel to Wyoming, find runaway Ella Carson, and escort her to Philadelphia - by force if necessary. A simple task, made devilishly complicated by Ella's wit, beauty, and spirited determination to outfox him at every turn. Ella is no stranger to bad luck, but it seems wholly unfair that the man hired to drag her back to her greedy relatives should be the most intriguing male she ever set eyes on. The tall, dashing Irishman takes no pains to hide his attraction to Ella, but it is her overpowering desire for him that presents the greatest danger...
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Harrigan Mahoney was hired by Ella Carson's uncle to return her to Philadelphia (from her 3 year stay in Wyoming). Although he was told Ella would not be happy about it, Harrigan had no idea of the trouble he would have in completing this task.
From the first, Ella warns Harrigan that she is returning to her death (her uncle plans to kill her for her inheritance); Harrigan is a man of honor and doesn't accept her theory. Harrigan doesn't really hear Ella's explanation because he has family problems of his own. He is the last chance for his family to recoup a portion of their fortune. Harrigan lost it while engaged to Ella's cousin.
It seems that 2 of Ella's cousins repeatedly become engaged to young men of promise; when the young men lose their fortunes, the women drop them. Ella explains that the young women find out enough about their fiancée's business to help their own family (quietly) undercut and overtake those businesses. Why no one in Philadelphia has figured this out yet is beyond me; combined, the 2 cousins have executed this scheme more than 10 times!
Aunt Louise, with whom Ella has been living those 3 years, is determined to get Ella back. Ella helps by always looking for a way to escape. Aunt Louise and her helpers add a touch of humor to the book.
The explanation of the 2 cousins sort of ruined this story for me. The end was overly contrived too. However, most of the story was interesting and entertaining. 3.5 stars
Publishers Weekly, 1997-04-28 Delightful secondary characters and witty dialogue contrive to keep Howell's latest offering afloat. An heiress, the beautiful and spunky Ella Carson flees Philadelphia and her conniving uncle when she discovers he intends to kill her and seize her fortune. In fear for her life, she escapes to Wyoming and her feisty aunt Louise for protection. Her safety is short-lived however, when Harrigan Mahoney arrives on the scene to return her to her grasping uncle. When she realizes she can't convince him of her uncle's wicked intention's, Ella has but one recourseŠescape or seduce himŠand she isn't having much luck escaping. Aunt Louise and Harrigan's friend George, add the spice for the sub-plot that positively saves the day. Not Howell's best work but it's entertaining. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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