A five year engagement leads to dreams of marriage and children for Corinne McCourt. But with fiancé Tony Borgeson continuing to drag his feet on setting a wedding day, Corinne resorts to desperate measures to rekindle his flame. Rather than attending her annual company picnic this year, Corinne plans to surprise Tony for lunch. Dressed in nothing but plastic wrap and stiletto heels, she greets Tony at the door. But he isn't alone. Some frizzy-haired blond calls Corinne the cleaning lady while Tony still treats her like Inconspicuous Corinne. While Tony argues with the frizzy ditz, Corinne picks up the keys to his Porsche, and leaves. She had planned to shed her inhibitions; instead, she leaves behind her whole life.
Detective Leo Wolfman hates the desk assignment he received following a drug bust in which he was shot. But four months of typing with two fingers leaves him desperate for a "real" assignment. So his boss says if Leo solves a "bump and run" then he can return to regular duty. The investigation leads him to a boxing ring and a gorgeous woman he only knows as Red. Leo doesn't suspect the woman follows actually took her cousin's place for a few weeks, and is really Corinne. The subterfuge gives her opportunity to be as wild and sexy as she wants. Leo doesn't know Corinne is attracted to and excited by his bold perusal when he enters her dressing room and finds her naked. Indeed, her mixed signals baffle him with her mix of siren and innocence. Leo only knows that his reaction throws his libido into overdrive.
Author Colleen Collins brings the humor that makes her popular in Harlequin's Duet line to the Temptation selection JOY RIDE. Dramatic, uninhibited and a touch of the forbidden make JOY RIDE a thrilling experience. Collins exploits what anonymity can do for a woman with a suppresses streak of daring and boldness when that anonymity gives room for sensual self-discovery that transforms the previous inconspicuous Corinne. Further, Collins has a deft touch for creating outrageous yet believable characterizations. The hero and heroine have depth while still allowing the narrative to remain light in tone. In addition, not only does the naughty cousin that Corinne replace walk on the wild side, but so does the hero's pet parrot who's named Mel Gibson and has a drinking problem. Indeed, all the secondary characters sparkle as brilliantly as Corinne and Leo. Very highly recommended.