by Jayne Ann Krentz

March 1990
ISBN: 0-671-01964-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Pocket Books
Mass Market Paperback

Crissie Masters was dead! Nothing her best friend Philadelphia Fox could do would change that tragic fact. Both had been foster kids who had forged a strong friendship at an early age, so it was no surprise that Crissie had left all her worldly goods to Phila. Unfortunately, among these goods was a batch of stock that had been given to Crissie by her natural father, Burke Castleton. It had been on the visit to him that Crissie had driven off the road and died. Since that time, Burke Castleton had also passed away, but the company that he had chaired was flourishing. Castleton and Lightfoot, a successful family-owned electronics company, was now in the awkward position of having a considerable chunk of its voting shares owned by a complete stranger!

Philadelphia Fox was not interested in business in general, or C & L in particular. Her views were radically liberal when compared to the conservative Lightfoots and Castletons, and she wanted nothing to do with them. She took a perverse pleasure in refusing all the politely worded offers for her shares, and even some of the less politely worded demands. So it was really no surprise when a delegated representative of C & L showed up on her doorstep. The big surprise was that Nicodemus Lightfoot wasn't what she'd expected at all. Nick Lightfoot had his own agenda, so when grand dame Eleanor Castleton asked Nick to take care of the "Fox" problem, he went with alacrity. Realizing immediately that Phila was not for sale, Nick cajoles her into taking a trip to the C & L compound and visiting with the families. It doesn't take long for Nick to admit that he wants foxy Phila around for a lot more than her shares. Phila, on the other hand, is hesitant - she has some background of her own that she'd rather keep to herself and an affair with handsome, gray-eyed Nick, though tempting, might not be a good idea. Nick and Phila are a well-matched pair - both are strong to the point of stubbornness, slightly cautious about revealing too much of their emotions, and crazy about each other. The loving and giving that goes on between them is what makes a great romance; Jayne Ann Krentz is matchless when it comes to this kind of superb relationship.

Of course, as we have come to expect from Ms. Krentz, there are plenty of sub-plots going on around Nick and Phila, and the secondary characters are perfectly drawn. Nick's ex-wife Hilary, who is now his step-mother (neat twist) is not exactly the warmest log on the fire - icicles have been known to form in her vicinity. Eleanor Castleton is holding onto the rigid behavioral codes of a bygone age, and needless to say, freethinking and free-speaking Philadelphia is not on the same page! There are plenty of laughs, some great philosophical arguments, and of course a lot of wonderfully satisfying sex! Both Phila and Nick have to undergo some attitude adjustments, and the entire C & L corporate structure is shaken to its foundations. Philadelphia lets fresh air and new ideas into some stuffy corporate boardrooms, and Nick brings joy and fulfillment into her bedroom. A splendid match.

As a Krentz fan, I have a large selection of her novels, but I would have to say that this ranks among my favorites. The characters are charming and their adventures engrossing; the plot is interesting and well thought out, and as a whole the story is just about flawless. It is so easy to slip into Nick and Phila's lives and share their feelings. If you are a romance fan, you simply must add this book to your collection. No excuses!

Reviewed in September 2001 by Celia.

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