Lady vet finds true love with scarred recluse, in another fast-paced, lubricious soaper from Gould.
Valerie Rochelle, DVM, wonders why no one’s ever seen Wyndhym Ashley Conrad III, new owner of the sprawling Stonelair estate. When Wynd’s factotum and resident giant, Santo Ducci, asks her to doctor a sick horse, she goes to Stonelair immediately, ignoring her fiancé’s concern. Teddy de Mornay is afraid that the guy might be a drug lord or something, and besides, he just gave Valerie a really enormous engagement ring, so he figures she owes him. According to her bitchy socialite mother, Marguerite, Teddy’s doing Valerie a huge favor by marrying her. All right, he’s the biggest cokehead in the Gulf-Stream-and-Gucci set, and he’s boffing Tiffani, the luscious occupant of the tenant cottage on his gentleman farm, every chance he gets. But it serves Valerie right: she pays more attention to animals than she does to Teddy. Once at Stonelair, Valerie meets Santo but not the mysterious owner. Not yet. More plot complications unfold: Wynd’s wicked and wildly overdressed ex begs for money she claims he owes her, in between shrieking bouts of sex with Lolo, a South American polo player, and any other male within clawing distance. Santo broods. Teddy schemes. Wynd is too knocked out on painkillers most of the time to care much. His deep, dark secret: a polo pony plowed a field with him, and he lost most of his face. Now he wears a scary black leather mask with eyeholes to cover his bandages. Valerie gets a load of this get-up and screams, but she figures out quickly enough that Wynd is actually a nice guy who loves animals and chocolate ice cream. A tender romance blossoms just as a host of nefarious supporting characters swing into action. Dogs are poisoned, hedgehogs frozen, and innocent people shot. But love triumphs.
Strictly for Gould fans (Rhapsody, 1999, etc).