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Angus's Lost Lady
by Marie Ferrarella
Silhouette Intimate Moments #853, $4.25, PG)
ISBN 0-373-07853-6
***
Another amnesia story! How many have I read this year? Off the top of my head, I can think of four or five and I try to avoid them. I know, I know: there are no new plots under the sun. And obviously, this is a popular story line. So if you are one of the many readers who likes this particular twist, then be aware that Marie Ferrarella has done a nice job with this tried and true favorite.

Angus's lady walks into his office one rainy day asking, "Do you know me?" The private detective at first thinks it's a practical joke, but quickly realizes that the lovely if soaked woman with one shoe is quite serious. She has no idea who she is and the only clue is Angus's business card which she found in her pocket.

When a check with the police turns up no missing persons report, and a visit to the hospital offers now quick solution, Angus takes his lady home. Home is the apartment he shares with his seven-year-old daughter Vikki. Angus is new to fatherhood. Until six months earlier, he had not been aware of Vikki's existence. Her mother had refused to marry and settle down and had taken off for places unknown. But when she died, Angus found himself thrust into parenthood.

OK, you can see what is coming a mile away. Our lost lady who decides that the name Rebecca sounds right is just the one to bridge the gap between father and daughter, as well as providing home-cooked meals and organizing Angus's business files.

As days and then weeks pass, and no one reports on the missing woman, fragments of Becky's memory come back; enough to suggest that the graze on her head was caused by a bullet and that somebody might just want her dead. And, of course, the attraction between Angus and Becky grows. But he remains honorable, fearing that there is a man in Becky's past Finally, they act on their feelings and then who should appear but. . .

Angus's Lost Lady provided me with a couple of hours of pleasant entertainment. Angus was a fine beta hero; you have to like a man who gives up his bed to a stranger and sleeps on a lumpy couch for weeks. Well, if I found this a pleasant read, why aren't I recommending it wholeheartedly? First, I'm afraid because of the stock amnesia plot. Second, I found the ending a bit improbable and just didn't accept the villain's behavior. But I'm not not recommending Angus's Lost Lady either. Just doing the infamous reviewer's straddle: If you like amnesia stories with precocious seven year olds, you'll like Ferrarella's latest Silhouette Intimate Moments release.

--Jean Mason


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