by Linda Howard

April 2002
ISBN: 0-345-45270-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Ballantine Books

Sarah Stevens is not your average butler; Thompson Cahill is not your average detective. Given these two facts and told that they are the hero and heroine in the latest Linda Howard novel, you can be pretty sure that you’re in for a wonderful and sensual adventure.

I’ll confess right up front that I am an admitted Linda Howard addict. I relish her alpha male heroes, and adore her kick-ass heroines who put them in their places. I love her cops, her cowboys, and her millionaires; and I love the amazing adventures that keep me spellbound in my corner of the couch for hours on end, lost in a world where the romance is hot, and the danger too close for comfort!

So it will come as no surprise to anybody when I say that, in my opinion, Ms. Howard has done it again!!! Sarah and Cahill are both wearing very obvious signs at the beginning of the story; Sarah’s says “Independent Single Female, Life Goals and Plans Set, Men Need Not Apply”, while Cahill’s announces “Warning: Man Emerging From Bad Divorce; Sex for One Night Only, No Relationships Available At this Time”. Of course, within chapters, the signs are starting to wash away, and both Sarah and Cahill realize that there could be something extra special going on here. They complement each other in the most amazing way – the reader is as awed by their interactions as they are!

You’ll notice I’m not mentioning any plot details here – I think it would spoil the book to go into the murder mystery that unfolds. It’s not that there is any deep secret about the identity of the villain, but the enjoyment of the story as a whole is enhanced by not knowing too much about it at the beginning. Once again, Linda Howard has achieved that delicate balance between romance and suspense – I can’t think of another writer who does it so well. At no time do we lose sight of the danger threatening Sarah, but also we never lose touch with the emotions that are running rampant between Cahill and Sarah. In fact, their affair changes them to the point where this tale couldn’t end the way it did if the hero and heroine weren’t 100% totally committed to each other! Now that’s skilful writing!!!!

So, okay, I’ve gushed long enough – it’s a spicy and wonderful love story, a great suspense story, and full of everything that we love about Linda Howard books, including a couple of super sex scenes. What are you waiting for? Go get it; if you don’t want the hardcover, go to your library and borrow it, then pick it up in paperback when it is released in that format – however you choose to do it, don’t miss this one!!!

Reviewed in May 2002 by Celia.

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