In the second in Ridgway's humorous series on the Caruso sisters, society columnist Eve Caruso must face three of her greatest phobias: enclosed spaces, n empty bank account and big men. The last comes in the form of successful monster-truck driver Nash Cargill, whose movie starlet sister happens to be a friend of Eve's. When Nash comes to town to act as his sister's temporary bodyguard, his path collides with Eve's.

Eve's current financial trouble is further complicated by her family. Not everyone can claim to be a granddaughter of the California Mafia's biggest boss, so just stopping at a bar for a drink proves challenging for Eve, who knows she's always being watched. Being with Nash, however, changes her perspective on her life and adds an exciting dimension to it that helps her to tackle her fears. But will she figure out how much she loves him before his exasperation with her has him striding out the door?

While the conflict between the protagonists is not very concrete, Ridgway's writing sparkles with deftly handled dialogue and narration. The characters are distinctive and, more impressively, people readers will care about. Eve is an especially sympathetic heroine with an increasingly emotional personal journey, and the secondary story involving Nash's sister is compelling and fun. (Apr., 384 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Marilyn Weigel