Cover image for The prodigal daughter
The prodigal daughter
Gray, Ginna.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada : MIRA Books, 2000.
Physical Description:
376 pages : illustrations ; 18 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A New York Times Bestselling AuthorYears ago, Maggie left Ruby Falls, Texas, in disgrace. She became a supermodel, hiding her father's rejection behind a glamorous lifestyle. Now, her father is dying and so is their family business. Her mother insists Maggie is the family's last chance.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Set in the fictional white-picket-fence town of Ruby Falls, Tex., Gray's new contemporary romance has all the ingredients one would expect from a small-town novel: jealously, treachery and characters one loves to hate. Gray cleverly weaves unexpected twists and turns into the narrative. When Harvard-educated supermodel Maggie Malone returns to her hometown after a seven-year absence, she finds that nothing has changed: the citizens of Ruby Falls still can't forget that she was once the town's "wild child." Moreover, although Maggie's mother mourns that her husband cast her oldest daughter aside, Maggie's sisters still regard her with a mixture of delight and disdain for trying to break off middle-sister Laurel's engagement to a despicable, controlling man. And finally, her dying father won't let her near his heartÄor the family's failing business, even though she's the only one able to save it. After considerable argument, her father grudgingly agrees to let Maggie (who secretly owns controlling shares in the company) step into his shoes, but only after he instructs his loyal foreman, Dan Garrett, to keep an eye on her. It's a job Dan doesn't want until it becomes obvious that someone is out to sabotage Maggie and the business. This page-turner from a seasoned romance novelist boils down to deliciously wicked brain candy. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Chapter One In Ruby Falls, Texas, population 3,418, the sleek Viper convertible stood out like a tuxedo at a barn dance.     Heads turned and jaws dropped when the stunning redhead roared into town behind the wheel of the hot car, the top down, her long hair streaming behind her like a fiery banner, The Best of Kenny Rogers blaring from the speakers.     The car's cream leather seats and green exterior were the perfect foil for her ivory skin and vibrant hair. The emerald color was only a shade darker than her eyes, a fact that escaped few of the gawkers who followed her progress through town.     Though her eyes were currently hidden behind a pair of Christian Dior sunglasses, there was scarcely a person in the country, or even the world who didn't know their exact color. Periodically over the past seven years, Maggie Malone's face, usually wearing a sexy smile while those fabulous eyes danced with wicked amusement, had graced the cover of every major magazine in the U.S. and Europe.     Noticing the stunned faces out of the corner of her eye, Maggie experienced a rash of satisfaction. The reactions were exactly what she'd hoped for when she'd made arrangements to have the Viper delivered to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport in time for her arrival.     Seven years ago, she'd left Ruby Falls in disgrace, but by heaven, she was returning a success. And nothing drove that point home better than a classy fireball of a car.     Reaching the center of town and a bit of traffic, Maggie downshifted, and the Viper responded with a throaty rumble as she slowed behind Miss Agnes Purvey's 1964 Chevy II, which, Maggie noticed, still looked as though it had just rolled off the assembly line.     The traffic light up ahead at the north end of the town square had been green for several minutes. If she hadn't been stuck behind Miss Agnes and a U.P.S. truck she would have punched the accelerator and made the first turn around the square with seconds to spare before the light changed.     "Ah, jeezlouise, Miss Agnes! Move your skinny little butt, will you?"     Even as Maggie muttered the words she knew she was wasting her breath. Occasionally Miss Agnes cranked her speed up to a hair-raising thirty on the highway, but she never drove over twenty in town, and then only when someone was impertinent enough to honk or tailgate, as Maggie was doing.     That was why Miss Agnes never put more than five gallons of gas at a time in the Chevy. The prim little spinster swore that a full tank made the car go too fast.     The U.P.S. truck swung a tight and started the counterclockwise circuit around the square. Miss Agnes, her permed silver hair a halo of tight curls around her head, clutched the steering wheel with both hands and chugged along behind him. The U.P.S. truck hung a left onto the second side of the square before the old lady completed the first turn, leaving Maggie facing a red signal light.     She braked with a little squeal of fires and a huff of exasperation. After only a few seconds, though, she shook her head, a hint of a smile on her lips.     In all honesty, Maggie didn't really mind Miss Agnes's pokiness. During the past seven years she'd dreamed often of returning home someday, and in her mind's eye she'd always pictured things in Ruby Falls exactly as they'd been the night she'd left. It was comforting to know that at least some things hadn't changed.     Drumming long, cinnamon-colored fingernails against the padded leather steering wheel, Maggie glanced around while she waited. Obviously, she needn't have worried. From the look of it, not much of anything had changed in Ruby Falls.     On the way into town she had noticed a new Safeway grocery out on the Dallas highway next to Rowdy's Bar and Grill, and where the old abandoned gas station had been at Mimosa and Main a Jiffy Lube had sprung up, but other than that everything was wonderfully familiar.     The same white-trimmed, redbrick shops lined the square. Still anchoring the four corners were the First National Bank, Purdue's Pharmacy, Handyman Hardware and the Elks Lodge. Two blocks off Main to the east, the white spire of the Calvary Baptist Church still rose above the oak, sweet gum and pecan trees.     For almost one hundred and thirty years, the sandstone courthouse had sat smack in the middle of the square. The ancient oaks dotting the surrounding grounds had reached their full growth long before Maggie was born. On this fine September afternoon, as they had every warm day since anyone could remember, old men played dominoes in the shade beneath the gnarled branches. Over the years the faces had changed as old-timers passed on and others took their place, but the cutthroat games continued, regular as the seasons.     Maggie recognized several of the silver-haired men--Ned Paxton, Oliver Jessup, the Toliver twins, Roy and Ray. Jeezlouise, there was even old Moses Beasley. The old coot had to be pushing a hundred. The World War I veteran had been a fixture in the square all of Maggie's life.     A group of women poured out of the Elks Lodge onto the sidewalk just a few feet away from the car, chattering among themselves.     Ah, yes, another thing that remained constant, Maggie thought. Come hell or high water, the first and third Thursday afternoons of every month the ladies' auxiliary met at the lodge. Apparently, the meeting had just ended.     Leading the pack was Edna Mae Taylor, Dorothy Purdue and Pauline Babcock, the three biggest gossips in town.     The instant the women spotted her they came up short, gaping.     Immediately the others plowed into them from behind.     "What in the world? Goodness gracious, Dorothy, why'd you stop like th ...? Oh, my stars! Isn't that ...?"     "Yes," Pauline snapped.     "That's her, all right."     "What's she doing here? She hasn't been back even once since she lit out of here seven years ago."     "I expect she's come to see her daddy. You know, what with him being so ill an' all."     "And about time, I say."     "Humph. I can't imagine that seeing the likes of her will be good for him." Pauline sniffed. "I heard tell he disowned her years ago."     "Oh, surely not. Lily would never let Jacob do that. She loves that girl somethin' fierce, you know."     "Well, all I know is Lily goes to New York to see her two or three times a year. Alone," Edna Mae added with a knowing look. "And Lucille was told by Inez, who got it on good authority, that Jacob hasn't so much as spoken to the girl on the telephone since she left."     "And who can blame him? She was a wild one. Used to drive poor Jacob crazy with her shenanigans. And after what she tried to do ... well ..."     "True. That was shameful. Still, blood is blood, and in times of crisis, a man wants his family gathered around him." (Continues...) Copyright © 2000 Ginna Gray. All rights reserved.

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