Samantha Murphy
Created by B. J. Daniels

Yes, romance rears its ugly head once again, with another of Harlequin's stabs at co-opting the private eye field. Harlequin Intrigue #604 is Mystery Bride, a one-off by established romance writer (Undercover Christmas and Intimate Secret) B.J. Daniels.

Handsome, studly (but sensitve) Will Sheridan meets a mysterious young and (of course) beautiful woman at a party and falls in love immediately. The woman proceeds to give him a passionate kiss and then Cinderellas the hell out of there. But it turns out the elusive sweetie is actually private eye SAMANTHA MURPHY, and she's working on a very important case. Unfortunately, the lovelorn Prince Charming's efforts to track her down land him smack dab in the middle of things, putting them both into danger.

Although Samantha's supposed to be the strong one here, she does seem to require a fair amount of rescuing from Will, prompting one loyal romance reader to lament on the Amazon.com site: "I do wish Sam was kept as strong in the end as she was in the beginning." Also, there were several gripes about the misleading title and cover. Evidently there is no mystery bride in the book, either.

Life is so unfair, sometimes. Gee, it's enough to make you pout, and stamp your pretty little foot.

Daniels also wrote Hot Shot P.I. , featuring another romantically inclined gumshoe, Jake Hawkins.

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Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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