Friday, November 23, 2007

Green Acres, re-visited

Title: Heiress for Hire
Author: Erin McCarthy

Amanda, an heiress, is in small-town Ohio for the summer visiting a friend when her father decides she needs to grow up and cuts her off. Suddenly, she can't buy large lattes, or even groceries, so she decides to find a job that she's qualified for, which isn't easy. Dad, of course, figured this would send her running home, but she's determined to make it on her own.

Enter Danny. A local boy, he has a farm. And, he just discovered, an 8-year-old daughter. Turns out that girl he met at the fair and had a fling with the summer after high school had a (his) daughter and never told him. But now that girl's dead, and Piper's evil stepfather doesn't want her, so he drops her off on Danny's doorstep. Mark and her mother were rather verbally abusive, and Piper has some confidence issues, not to mention that her hair all fell out from stress. Danny certainly can't take care of Piper and run the farm, and Piper doesn't get along with his overbearing mother, so he hires Amanda to be a nanny/housekeeper (which she's okay with as long as no toilet-cleaning is involved).

Of course, both Danny and Amanda happen to be ridiculously attractive, but both are also fighting the attraction. Plus, Danny's mother doesn't like Amanda, and is afraid Danny will sleep with her and get her pregnant too (he has an ex-wife - they got married super-young because she was pregnant - apparently he's a baby-making machine!). (Don't worry - she miscarried, so Piper's the only kid, they subsequently divorced and are good friends - she's remarried now to Amanda's friend, which is who she was visiting, which makes me think there's a prequel to this out there somewhere).

Anyway, Amanda totally has a way with Piper, giving her self-confidence, and Danny starts to fall for her even more because of her connection with his daughter. Also, Amanda has a purse dog (maybe a teacup poodle?) named Baby; at one point Baby is almost eaten by a hawk (this takes place on a farm, remember?) but Amanda launches herself on top of him on a gravel driveway to save him, earning some skinned knees and elbows, plus a slice from the hawk's talon. This helps her gain Danny's mom's respect, but she still doesn't want her loving and leaving her son.

Of course, they eventually give in to temptation, even though Danny figures she's out of there by the time summer ends. But she reveals she loves him and wants to stay, and he proposes, and his mom realizes they're good for each other, and Piper's been in love with Amanda for months, so everyone's happy.

Wasn't too sure how I felt about this one at the start, since I don't do well with spoiled ditzes, but Amanda really grew on me. Might have to track down that potential prequel...

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posted by ket at 11:29 AM


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