cover image Lost Daughters

Lost Daughters

Mary Monroe. Dafina, $25 (387p) ISBN 978-0-7582-7472-4

This latest installment in Monroe's popular Mama Ruby series is a spicy mixture of family scandal, mother-daughter betrayal, and good-for-nothing men. Our heroine is Maureen, whom Mama Ruby, a fearsome matriarch now deceased, kidnapped as an infant and raised as her own daughter. Maureen is all grown up now with a daughter of her own. And Loretta is more than enough daughter for one single mother. Only fourteen, Loretta decides she wants to model, seduces a handsome, sleazy photographer named Melvin Ross, then convinces him to marry her mother so that they can have easy access to one another until Loretta turns 18 and they can marry each other%E2%80%94which makes for a complex home environment. Monroe is a quick study with a lusty scene, and she has many opportunities to exercise her talents%E2%80%94Loretta, we learn, thinks about sex with Mel "every day and every night" and has it nearly as often, including on Maureen and Mel's wedding night. Add to this Maureen's instant attraction to a man who learns he was kidnapped as an infant and readers will start to wonder when this family will get its own episode of Jerry Springer. Though many of the characters lack psychological depth, particularly Loretta and Mel who are conscience-less villains who live only to torture the saintly Maureen, you can never accuse of Monroe of a dull moment. Agent: Andrew Stuart, The Stuart Agency. (June)