by Linda Conrad

October 2002
ISBN: 0-373-76470-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Silhouette #1470
Mass Market Paperback

Linda Conrad manages to successfully incorporate in her third book, Secrets, Lies…and Passion, the favorite themes of a reunion, a secret baby and an undercover FBI agent—essential features to hook any devoted Silhouette Desire reader.

Raid Sorrels involuntarily disappeared the night before his wedding to Jill Barnett and, unbeknownst to him, left her behind pregnant. Ten years later, he reappears on an undercover operation, only to witness the announcement of her engagement to another.

Jill believes Raid to have left her for another woman. He believes her not to have cared enough to search for him. Telling her the real reason for his disappearance would mean mentioning the only witness, her late father. Not something he wants to do and so he keeps quiet. For years Raid had hated Jill, or so he’d thought. But being back and close to her once more, it’s lust, tenderness and protectiveness that rule his mind and body. Did he ever stop loving her?

When her new fiancé turns out to be the prime suspect in his investigation, Raid decides to stay close to Jill and her son, Andy, never realizing that the boy might be his. The bond between father and son is the most rewarding relationship of this book. With the love and respect for each other clearly shining through in all their actions and words.

When Raid needs further help in his investigation he turns to a former agent, Manny Sanchez. As always it’s gratifying to revisit characters from previous books. And Raid might be nice, but compared to Manny from Ms Conrad’s Desperado Dad, he’s not. Although, Raid is a very considerate lover….

It’s a fun read. However, when pride and guilt keep Reid and Jill apart emotionally if not physically, it’s hard not to lose patience. I have to be honest I’m not a big fan of big misunderstandings. Only liking Ms Conrad’s writing voice made me pick up this story. But where in Desperado Dad it worked perfectly with the chosen theme, here in Secret, Lies…and Passion, it doesn’t.

I tend to lose compassion and respect for characters that are unwilling to fight for what they want but to instead let pride and guilt get in the way of an everlasting love. For me that means, re-reading Desperado Dad while I wait for Linda Conrad’s three 2003 releases.

Reviewed in September 2002 by Kris Alice.

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