Zebra, Mar 2001
In 1905 Pasadena, California, Amy Wilkes believes that actor Horace Huxtable must be the worst patient to stay at her uncle's Orange Rest Health Spa. Sent there by Peerless Studio to dry out, everyone at the spa detests the obnoxious Horace. Director Martin Tafft visits Horace to inform him they found the cowboy Charlie Fox for the upcoming filming of "The One and Only". Horace tells Martin that he demands they hire Amy as his leading lady in the picture. Martin offers Amy a once in a lifetime part especially for someone with no experience opposite one of the movie greats. After consulting with her uncle and aunt, a stunned Amy accepts the offer.
During the filming, Horace tries to seduce Amy, but instead she finds herself attracted to Charlie as both struggles to learn their new professions. As Horace realizes his seduction campaign fails, he starts harassing his leading lady and the cowboy, but he cannot stop the love that forms between Amy and Charlie.
COWBOY FOR HIRE is at its delightful best when Alice Duncan enthusiastically provides insight to the early silent age of the movie studio. The support characters brings alive that era so that the reader feels as if they are part of the cast. Amy seems more like a weak caricature of Debbie Reynolds ("Singing in the Rain"), but that does not slow down an engaging Americana romance that that is the first of the "Dream Maker" series from an author who obviously adores her project.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner