The early days of celluloid provide the lively backdrop for the story of an innocent young lady who ends up a reluctant movie star.

When actor Horace Huxtable is sent to dry out at Amy Duncans uncles spa, she finds the actor arrogant and odious. But when the director asks her to sign on as his leading lady, she cannot refuse.

It is a new world for the naivi Amy, who never curses, smokes or drinks. Shes shocked by much of what happens on the set, but most of all shes stunned by her growing friendship with Charlie Fox, the real-life cowboy hired to play the villain in the picture.

Horace continually harasses Amy and when rebuffed, attempts to makes her miserable. It is Charlie who comes to the rescue, teaching her to ride and act like a girl who knows her way around a ranch. Their evolving friendship and the close bond Amy forms with the seamstress, Karen, help her get through grueling days. Her is the story of a woman learning to stand on her own two feet.

The delightful and colorful backdrop to COWBOY FOR HIRE is what kept me fascinated, though I found Amy too prissy and most of the characters too stiff and stereotypical. Ms. Duncan has a gift for bringing early motion picture days to life. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. SENSUAL (Mar., 367 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin