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 Second hardcover from the author of Secret Sins (1990): a contemporary romance that delves into worlds as disparate as auction houses, fashion modeling, and the particular problems of the deaf. Poor but gorgeous Cassie McBride is determined to get away from Gallagher City, Oklahoma, and her hard-drinking mother Belle. She lands a maid's job at the mansion of the town's richest oilman, Quinlan Gallagher. There, she learns to love fine Oriental antiques and dreams of one day presiding over an auction house. But antiques are not her only love: she falls fast and hard for the wealthy oilman's oldest son, Roarke. The two have a torrid affair, but it's broken up by the evil and powerful Quinlan, who has Cassie accused of theft and run out of town. She heads to New York, where she finds out she is pregnant, then is taken under the wing of Nina Grace, who owns a famous modeling agency. After the baby is born, Nina turns Cassie--now called Jade after her favorite stone--into a supermodel. Roarke finds her and tries to win her back, but Belle lets it slip that she and Quinlan were once lovers, so that Cassie and Roarke share a father. Cassie is horrified, particularly because her daughter was born deaf, a fact she's certain is due to her tainted parentage. But the ever-stoical Cassie, rejecting Roarke, throws herself into her work and eventually marries a wealthy older businessman, who sets her up in the auction business of which she's always dreamed. But the many lies she has told in order to protect herself and her child are unraveling; and when her husband Sam lies dying, he confronts her with what he has learned of her background. At the end, Belle's lies are exposed; Quinlan is dead; and the once poor little Okie is served her happiness on a silver platter. The motivations often strain credibility, but, still, an engaging romantic read.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-312-07762-9
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1992


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