by Stella Cameron

Septemeber 1995
ISBN: 0-8217-5093-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

If there is a ‘Drool-over-the-Hero’ scale somewhere, with 1 being the lowest and 20 the highest, then Roman Wilde comes in at a solid 25. Thousand. This six and a half foot ex-Navy SEAL, whose dark blue eyes can blaze with passion, is everything anyone could ever want in a man, a hero, a lover, and a protector. Roman has set himself a goal – one that concerns his most important treasure. He is going to find out why a young woman was savagely killed, and he figures he owes at least that much to his treasure – her 14-month old daughter.

W.G. Phoenix (don’t even ask her first name) has a mission too – she is really worried about her best friend who hasn’t been heard from in months! Both Roman and Phoenix follow independent trails to an exclusive club in the Cascade Mountains, where they meet for the first time. And what a meeting it is! Within five minutes of their first hello, Roman is naked and Phoenix is massaging all those sculpted muscles and trying not to give herself away by begging him to take her on the spot! This incredibly hot scene (whoopee, iced beverages for this one, ladies) sets the stage for the rest of their physical relationship, which is dynamite! (Yeah, I know it’s fiction, but I have to wonder how these guys got to be so good in bed. Is there a book for potential heroes, “Thirty-seven Hundred Places to Touch Her and Send Her into Orbit”? Somebody please tell me so we can get one for the men in our lives and give it to them for Christmas!)

Although the sex is wonderful, the story line is a great deal more than just Roman and Phoenix in bed. The search for her missing friend places Phoenix into some very risky situations – the Past Peak Club is exclusive for several reasons, none of them too wholesome. Ms. Cameron’s secondary characters that inhabit this Club are incredibly sordid and fascinating – it’s hard to wait to see what perversion they’ll come up with next! The townspeople who befriend Phoenix (and look rather suspiciously at Roman) are charmers all, each with their own role to play in this adventure. Both Roman and Phoenix are carrying baggage from their pasts; meeting Roman’s “family” of ex-SEALS Dusty Miller and Nasty Ferrito doesn’t do much to reassure Phoenix of Roman’s intentions. Neither finds trust an easy commodity to give in this relationship, although their hormones are screaming for each other, their minds are holding back and recommending caution.

As the story nears its climax and things get really dangerous for Phoenix and Roman, we share in their conflicted emotions – terror for those they love, and fear for their own hearts! This is a fantastic ride through a world of sex, obsession, passion and love – it should probably come with it’s own seatbelts!!

If you loved this book (as I’m sure you will), don’t miss GUILTY PLEASURES – the story of Nasty Ferrito and the dark side of children’s television! It’s a keeper too.

Reviewed in October 2001 by Celia.

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