by Julie Garwood

September 2002
ISBN: 0-345-45380-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Ballantine Books

There are few authors that can successfully make the move from the historical genre to the contemporary and maintain their popularity. Julie Garwood is one of the few who has done so successfully. Her newest novel Killjoy, continues the story of the Renard family and friends, and is sure to be as successful as her previous novels.

Avery Delaney has left her past behind and moved on... or so she thought. Working as an FBI analyst in Washington D.C., Avery is content with her life and her job, mostly. That is until her past comes back to life - literally!

Avery was raised by her grandmother and Aunt Caroline after her psychotic mother left town. Her mother, Jill, is mean, nasty, and supposedly dead. After her grandmother dies protecting Avery from being kidnapped by one of her mother`s “friends.” Avery moves to California to live with her aunt Caroline and her husband.

All grown up now, Avery accepts Caroline`s invitation to join her at the posh Utopia Spa in Colorado. Upon her arrival, Avery discovers that her aunt has been kidnapped by an assassin name Monk, who has also taken three other Utopia guests hostage and who appears to be working with her mother; who unfortunately is not dead after all. Monk is a lonely man who might be a good assassin but is a terrible judge of character and has fallen head over heels in love with Jill.

As Avery is trying to decide how to go about finding her aunt; She is approached by John Paul Renard, a former Marine and CIA agent, who is after Monk because he tried to kill John Paul’s sister Michelle. He has tracked Monk to this remote part of Colorado. Soon, Avery and John Paul have become pawns in game where the loser ends up dead.

Following the directions given to them by Monk and Jill, Avery and John Paul set off in search of Caroline and the other hostages. Along the way they must play Jill`s demented game and avoid Monk who is waiting for them at every turn.

Killjoy is one wild ride from beginning to end. I was captivated by John Paul, the quiet recluse, whose search for justice has brought him to Colorado; and Avery, the brilliant and determined women who must evade a killer in order to save her family. Together, these strong characters find both justice and love - and of course, defeat the bad guys. This story will intrigue and captivate the reader, leaving them wanting more. Julie Garwood`s Killjoy is a true romance winner!

Reviewed in September 2002 by Jen.

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