by Darlene Gardner

April 2005
ISBN: 0-373-69219-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Harlequin #1019
Mass Market Paperback

After thinking about the beautiful Sara Reynolds ever since he met her at a wedding, FBI agent Max Dolinger is very surprised to see her months later at his grandparents’ home in Maryland. All the old feelings of longing and lust come rushing back to him. Was it possible that Sara felt the same things for him and now wants the chance to see those feelings grow?

Sara needs Max’s help. Her brother Johnny has gotten into a bit of trouble with her ex-boyfriend Larry Brunell and now the con they started has taken a bad turn. The man they conned, Ralph, wants his money back, but unfortunately, Larry is nowhere in sight. Now, Sara is desperate for Max’s help. Ralph plans to press charges, so unless Larry is found, it looks like Johnny will take the brunt of the blame.

Max reluctantly agrees to help Sara. As a FBI agent, he sees the world in terms of right and wrong, black and white. There are no gray areas for him. But working with Sara on this case is making him see that perhaps there are shades in between. As they work to investigate the scam Larry perpetuated, the sparks fly between Sara and Max. But will the sparks last in the face of a stilted trust?

To the Max is the latest story from Darlene Gardner and like her other tales, she creates a rollicking mystery centered on the evolving relationship between two likeable characters. Though this story lacks much of the humor that is found in other Darlene Gardner novels, the intense emotions that are generated in this story definitely keep the reader interested.

To the Max is a character-driven story that involves two protagonists who the reader will develop an immediate connection. Though the scam involving Johnny and Larry is an engaging plot, it is the budding feelings between Max and Sara that will hook the reader.

Reviewed in March 2005 by Sarah.

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