Hired to bring back Ella Carson, a rich, spoiled runaway, Harrigan Mahoney is in for quite a difficult time. Ella tries to convince Harrigan that her uncle, Harold Carson, wants control of her fortune and his plans are nothing short of murder. Harrigan has been warned by her relatives that Ella has a volatile temper and is prone to telling outrageous lies, so he does not believe her.
Ella's Aunt Louise will do whatever she can to rescue her niece from Harold's clutches. She and her boys stop the train Ella and Harrigan are on, taking Ella back.
Louise does not expect the Eastern greenhorn to be so persistent, so they are surprised when Harrigan steals Ella back. Thus the pace is set for the long trip to Philadelphia.
Harrigan and Ella set out on horseback, intending to outwit Louise. Louise is hot on their trail around every bend and waiting in every town.
In the meantime, Ella is as captivated by Harrigan as he is with her and they are both consumed with overwhelming feelings that lead them into one another's arms. Plus Harrigan still doubts Ella's story of Harold's duplicity. He is just concerned with earning the money to regain his shipping business.
In love with Harrigan, Ella gives in to her feelings so she can experience life to the fullest before she meets her death.
When they arrive in Philadelphia, Harrigan hands her over to her uncle with promise to investigate him. Will Harrigan uncover the truth before it's to late?
Though convoluted and predictable, fans of wild west adventure will find Hannah Howell's WILD ROSES a light, enjoyable read. Some may find that Harrigan falls short of hero material. SENSUAL (June, 319 pp., $4.99)