Catch a Fallen Angel

Kathleen Kane, Author
Kathleen Kane, Author St. Martin's Press $5.99 (309p) ISBN 978-0-312-97575-3
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Readers will have to suspend disbelief for this fantasy historical that mixes popular romance elements: ""randy"" cowboys, gamblers looking for their next mark, straight-laced, God-fearing townsfolk and the redeeming love of a good woman. Gambler and con man Gabe Donovan, innocent for once in his 32 years, is hanged instead of pal Henry, his sometime partner and the real culprit. Gabe knows he's bound for Hell, and sure enough, the Devil appears to offer him more time on earth if Gabe brings him Henry's soul in return. Although he recognizes a cool con when he sees one, Gabe agrees and goes to Henry's hometown of Regret, Nevada, to lie in wait for him. Gabe presents himself as a willing and able handyman to the feisty yet needy widow Maggie Benson, whose family has long been the subject of scandalous gossip. Maggie, a calamitous cook, operates a restaurant her father bought for her on one of his infrequent visits home. As much as he tries to resist, Gabe falls in love with Maggie. Readers who can't predict how the rest of the story will unfold will be few and far between; Kane's otherwise strong writing can't make up for a weak plot. (Nov.)
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