by Carole Mortimer

December 1999
ISBN: 0-263-81876-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Harlequin
Mass Market Paperback

This story has quite a mystery attached to it Jane Smith, the heroine, is hiding a secret about her past that she doesn't want anyone to know. So she assumes a new identity and builds up a successful catering business. Everything goes well until one night while catering a dinner party she runs into Gabe Vaughan, the last person she wants to see. Jane blames Gabe for ruining her life. He is unaware of who she is but is instantly attracted to her.

I liked Jane because she was struggling hard to bury her past unhappiness. She built a shell round herself and let no one into her life. Gabe seemed just the handsome type of man she needed to put a bit of sparkle into her lonely life.

Sadly she took a long time to come to terms with what happened in the past. I felt she should have cleared the air with Gabe earlier in the book. The past mystery is good and you only get to find out about it a little piece at a time to fit in with the story. The author does this very well. The lead up to the finale is around the Christmas season. It is a serious story though, and not very festive.

Gabe is a really handsome hero. He appears a very tough businessman but can be compassionate when given a little push. His experience with women has been bad, as his late wife was unfaithful to him. But he falls hard for Jane who will not let him near her though he stirs her own dormant feelings.

Passion between them does heat up but there are still a lot of misunderstandings to clear up before they can have true love. Jane's past experience makes her wary of trusting anyone.

It is a good story and the characters are likeable. I give it 4 stars.

Reviewed in November 2001 by Mary.

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