While out searching for the notorious Doolittle Gang, U.S. Marshall Morgan Slater runs across a medicine show. Since he doesn't like to see people being taken in by scam artists, Morgan runs the Penny family out of town. But when an accident leaves Morgan with amnesia, Mariah Penny takes advantage of it and tells Morgan that his name is "Cain Law" and he is her cousin helping the family with their medicine show. Morgan accepts the story, but is disturbed by his attraction to his cousin, Mariah.
The description of this story sounded unique, so I thought I'd give it a try. I'd never read a book where the hero or heroine were part of a medicine show, trying to sell their elixir to the unsuspecting public. But this story fell flat for me. Neither of the leads were well developed. Morgan was constantly worried about his attraction to his cousin. And Mariah just kept telling lie upon lie. It just didn't work for me. My rating: 2.5 Stars.
After reading two of Sharon Ihle's later books, TEMPTING MISS PRISSY and DEAR PENELOPE, I expected to see her trademark laugh-out-loud humor and snappy dialogue in this book. Obviously Ihle developed her clever turn-of-phrase during her writing career; but this story lacks that wry twist of the phrase for which Ihle is now known.
The premise of the book looked great; US Marshall Morgan Slater closed down a medicine show while he was heading out to pursue the Doolittle Gang. Making sure the family left the area, Slater rode along side them for a few miles. When the wagon got stuck in the mud, Morgan helped them with the difficult task. Unfortunately, he was accidentally struck in the head when the wagon suddenly rolled back on itself. When he woke up from the mishap, Slater no longer knew who he was.
Because Morgan had been so hostile to Zack, Oda and Mariah, (and caused them to lose significant income by closing them down), Mariah decided to tell Morgan that his name was Cain Law. The family agreed that he'd been with them about 2 weeks and Cain was hoping to learn the trade.
However this story was very predictable and I found myself skimming pages to get past the huge hunks of dialogue to some action. I was very disappointed in Mariah; when she found out that the Doolittle Gang was looking for Marshall Slater, she did not tell him the truth -- because she was enjoying their physical relationship too much. While with Mariah and her family, he did not have his gun and had no idea he was in danger.
This was a very average story; from no on, I plan to concentrate on Ihle's more recent books.
Law & Disorder Series
* 1. The Law and Miss Penny (1994)
2. The Outlaw was no Lady (2012)
3. A Lawman for Maggie (2012)
4. To Love A Scoundrel (2012)
When he awoke by the side of the muddy road, with a throbbing head and a lovely woman bending over him, he couldn't remember even his own name. Morgan Slater, U.S. Marshal, had to accept pretty mariah Penny's word that he was her cousin, Cain Law.
Mariah had good reasons for misleading Morgan, but there was an attraction between the raven-haired beauty and the lawman taht made her long to turn cousinly conversation into more than a friendly encounter. Cain soon found himself running afoul of the law he had sworn to protect, all in the name of a forbidden passion.