New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips tossed away her legal briefs and a career as an attorney to become a stay at home mom. Within the year, she turned her love of reading into an obsession with writing. Over 25 published novels later, Carly writes sexy contemporary romances, striking a balance between entertainment and emotion, and giving her readers the compelling story they have come to expect and enjoy.
Lilly Dumont, a presumed-dead heiress, has been living as successful New York working girl Lacey Kinkaid, but she must confront her smalltown past in this formulaic entry from Phillips (The Bachelor), more romance than chick lit. At 17, Lilly's friends Tyler Benson and Daniel Hunter ("Hunter"), her childhood companions at the foster home Ty's mother ran-and where Lily was dumped by evil uncle Marc Dumont-helped her run her uncle's car off a cliff, faking her death so that she could escape his abuses. Years later, her uncle, who tried to get at her trust fund and plotted the trio's ruin, renews his attempts to get at her money. Hunter, now a lawyer in the upstate New York town, gets wind of Marc's legal maneuvers; he tips off Ty (now a town PI), and they find Lilly, who returns (leaving behind Alex Duncan, the investment banker whose proposal she can't seem to accept). Complicating Lacey/Lilly's identity issues are her feelings for Ty (explored physically in a chapters-long encounter), and the fact that her now fully AA'ed uncle Marc is engaged to be married to the gold-digging mother of Molly Gifford, the attorney that Hunter has had a crush on since law school. The plot falters, but the proceedings have enough emotional crispness to engage. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.