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I'm No Angel    by Patti Berg order for
I'm No Angel
by Patti Berg
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2004 (2004)

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*   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Angel Devlin is a savvy Palm Beach private detective whose cases involve snooping for the rich and famous. She knows a dozen different ways to get the goods on cheating husbands and philandering wives, and always collects her hefty fee. After leaving the estate of rich, reclusive Holt Hudson (who's financing the Alzheimers fund raiser Angel is organizing) she notices she's picked up a tail. Determined to find out why she's being followed, Angel sets a trap to find out what her sexy shadow is after.

After failing to break into Holt Hudson's mansion to find the proof he needs to link the billionaire to his father's death, Tom Donovan sets his sights on the woman he sees leaving Hudson's home. Blatantly tailing her seems like the most expedient plan. Soon the two of them are burning a hole across the dance floor and it doesn't take long for Angel to discover that her partner is none other than Palm Beach's newest millionaire and most eligible bachelor. His growing feelings for Angel cause Tom to come clean: he confesses his interest in her was deliberate, a way to get closer to Hudson. Tom wants the man to end his 26 year silence about his father's death. He doesn't believe the official story and wants Angel to act as an intermediary. But she refuses, afraid that her involvement with Tom might cause Hudson to cancel his support for her fund raiser. Between Tom's obsession and her dedication to her cause (her mother is stricken with Alzheimers), their relationship is in big trouble.

After a handful of delightfully breezy, engrossing and funny novels, Patti Berg stumbles this time. It seemed as if she couldn't make up her mind whether to follow the darker (and eminently more interesting) plot line involving Tom or the quirkier lifestyle of Angel, PI for the rich and famous. Lately, too many romance authors have tried to infuse their stories with Sex and the City 'chique'. Most have failed. Berg does manage to pull things together by the story's end by showing her characters' true natures coming to the fore. Even so, I set I'm No Angel aside with disappointment.

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