Kiss An Angel
by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
(Avon, $5.99, PG-13)
Before you start reading any book written by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, you should plan ahead. Personally, I first turn on the answering machine, then I check my supply of Diet Coke. Next, I send my husband off with a list of errands, and lastly, I tell my kids not to disturb me unless we need to go to the emergency room. (And then I'd probably take the book along!)

The reason for all this planning will become clear within the first chapter, when you suddenly realize that if anyone interrupts you, that you will not be responsible for your actions! With Kiss an Angel it doesn't take an entire chapter to hook you, it really only takes the first two pages.

Socialite Daisy Devreaux is in a heap of trouble. Full of grief at the death of her mother, she has made some bad financial decisions--like writing checks without sufficient money in her account. One step away from jail, she appeals to her father for help. He agrees to help her, but there is a catch: Daddy thinks Daisy needs a stabilizing influence in her life, so she must marry a man he has selected for her.

Since this is essentially a romance novel, Daisy lucks out. In her own words, Alex Markov, her new husband, is a "studmuffin." (You were maybe expecting Danny Devito?) So what if he's a little arrogant, oftentimes temperamental and slightly scary? Daisy is sure she can convince Alex that they can live separate lives and fool her father.

But then Alex changes from his tux to Marlboro Man clothes and takes Daisy to live with a small, traveling circus. He expects Daisy to spend six months working in the circus and living in a small trailer. Luckily, Daisy is not quite the airhead she leads everyone to believe, and Alex is not always the humorless taskmaster he portrays.

This book has everything----an adorable, sassy heroine, a dark, brooding hero (but full of redeeming charm), entertaining secondary characters, and even a mischievous baby elephant and a cranky Siberian tiger. And although Alex Markov doesn't have the humorous, down-home appeal of Phillips' previous "good ole boy" heroes, he has special attraction of his own.

Best of all, Kiss an Angel has Susan Elizabeth Phillips' dynamite dialogue. I read this book with a smile on my face, quite often laughing out loud. (Which is another reason to send everyone away before you start reading!)

And although Daisy believes sex should be sacred, the pages in "Kiss an Angel" practically sizzle with sexual tension, and the love scenes are full of laughter and originality.

After reading Kiss an Angel you may want to check out some of Susan Elizabeth Phillips' terrific earlier books such as Fancy Pants, Honey Moon, Hot Shot, It Had to Be You and Heaven, Texas. And don't forget to plan ahead.

--Dede Anderson

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