by Anthology

July 2003
ISBN: 1-55166-711-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Mass Market Paperback

There are three suspenseful stories in this fascinating anthology.

First up is Bougainvillea by Heather Graham. An upcoming comic strip artist, Kit Delaney meets, falls in love with and marries David, and returns with him to her magnificent Miami childhood home, the vast Delaney estate named Bougainvillea. No one in the Delaney clan, except Seamus the patriarch, is happy to see her there. The glow of honeymoon soon begins to fade and Kit starts to wonder how much of the jealousy and coldness shown to her is due to the her uncanny resemblance to her mother who drowned on the estate many years previously, and why is it now directed at her? As Kit begins to intuit past events, she stumbles across something which is liable to get her killed…..just like her mother!

Heather Graham is a master at creating dark and suspenseful stories, and this story certainly fits the mould. It’s filled with spine-chilling suspense that slowly builds up to a shattering crescendo. Plenty of red herrings make the mystery difficult to solve. Though the ultimate revelation falls a bit flat, the story more than makes up for it. And the romance is very sexy and sensuous.

The second story is Shelter Island by Carla Neggers and has a beautiful, sexy and confident ER doctor, Antonia Winter, hiding out on a tiny bird island trying to evade her deadly stalker, unaware that an equally dangerous hurricane is headed her way. Ex-military pilot turned senate candidate Hank Callahan is hot on Antonia’s trail as is a madman with an unusually high IQ. In this tense climate, anything can and does happen!

Carla Neggers is also a well-known suspense writer. But this story has more emphasis on the romance than the suspense. Also, since the villain’s identity is revealed in the very beginning of the story, what suspense there is, falls flat. The romance, which develops under unbridled circumstances, is fast, furious and hot, hot, hot!

Capsized by Sharon Sala has an undercover DEA agent Kelly Sloan on the run as her cover is blown, and with lowlifes everywhere hard on her heels as a huge bounty is offered for her capture by a menacing drug lord. To help her out is the sexy and handsome Texas Ranger Quinn McCord, who accompanies her on a perilous adventure, always keeping just one step ahead of death and danger, and all the while, slowly falling in love.

Sharon Sala strikes the perfect balance between romance and suspense in this thrilling and passionate story of hers. Both the main protagonists are tough as nails law enforcement types who gradually thaw and tenderness develops between them, all in an atmosphere throbbing with passion and peril. Very exciting!

All three stories are well developed, and have romance and suspense is varying degrees. But together they combine to make one irresistible, adventurous and creative read!

Reviewed in June 2003 by Rashmi.

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