Avon, Jan 2002, 5.99, 384 pp.
The entire country believes FBI Special Agent Dylan Matthews is a hero due to his recent rescues of damsels in distress. When Dylan returns to his hometown of Hot Water, California after an eight-year hiatus, the Feds inform the media he needs some R & R. However, the press spreads unconfirmed rumors that Dylan is going to marry one of the women he saved.
Though she hates the job, Kitty Wilder runs the family business, the Burning Rose brothel. All Kitty ever wanted is a conventional lifestyle with a normal job, a loving husband, and a few kids. Though her neighbors will always consider her a wild Wilder, Kitty plans to break with her family heritage and retire as the town's madam in about five weeks.
Eight years ago, a drunk Kitty and Dylan got “married” Heritage Day style. She officially registered their nuptials and the duo is legally married. Dylan returned home because a background check revealed his marital status. Though he planned to straighten out the error, Dylan soon finds he wants to remain married to Kitty even though that might break his family's heritage of upright good citizenry.
Once the reader accepts the premise that the FBI missed the fact that Dylan is legally married on previous background checks, fans will enjoy this amusing romantic romp. The story line unabashedly keeps the humor at high levels throughout the novel. Kitty and Dylan are a joy to behold as their banter and love end family traditions. FIRST COMES LOVE shows that Christie Ridgeway is a first class author.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner