Shadows in the Flame

Tess Farraday, Author
Tess Farraday, Author Jove Books $5.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-515-12140-7
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Trading his stallion for a buckboard full of cats and going on the lam as a cat peddler might not have been the smartest thing Lightfoot O'Deigh has ever done, but it's kept him one step ahead of hanging for a murder he didn't commit. His travels take him to Virginia City and into the life of Molly Gallagher, herb doctor and fortune-teller, whose deep-rooted fear of men is as much a challenge as it is baffling. Molly's long-dead prostitute mother, who had ""allowed men and drink to muddy her mind and blot out her children"" returns in ghostly form to put things right and to restore Molly's trust in men by helping her fall in love. The problem is, the ghost mom seems tossed in to fit the parameters of Jove's Haunting Hearts Romance line, and even Farraday's (Tumbleweed Heart) earthy humor and clever slang can't quite support the weight of rambling narrative and an ambiguous plot. (Sept.)
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