Review of ROCKY MOUNTAIN MAVERICK by Gayle Wilson (see her website)
Harlequin Intrigue #721, August 2003
Former CIA agent Michael Wellesley, retired due to an injury, is recruited to join his sister's elite investigative team, called Colorado Confidential. CC has been hired to investigate the kidnapping of a prominent family's baby, and one of the clues has led to the Half-Spur Ranch. Michael hires on as a hand on the sheep ranch to see what's what. But he believes his "assignment" is given out of pity and doesn't expect to find anything.
What he finds is beautiful Nicola Carson, posing as a runaway teenage boy! Someone tried to kill Nicola a few months earlier when she was living in D.C. and working as a powerful senator's intern. She believes she saw something connected to the Half Spur Ranch, of which Senator Gettys owns part, that caused him to try to have her killed. But she doesn't know what she saw. So she decided to hide from the senator in plain sight and maybe figure out what's going on at the ranch. So far half of her plan has worked. She's remained safe and anonymous. But her investigation goes nowhere.
Once Michael unmasks her, the two work together to investigate leads. But Michael makes other inquiries as well, into Nicola's background. And it seems she might have been part of a blackmailing call girl ring operating in very high circles! His inability to trust her puts a major kink in their blossoming romance.
This book was a fast read, smoothly written, with engaging characters and some riveting action scenes. I enjoyed reading it until the end--because no part of the mystery was ever solved. I know this is a continuity series with a mystery thread that weaves through several books, and I don't for a moment blame the author (because she was given the story to work with). But I do believe that these books should stand alone, and this one doesn't.
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