Rachel Jones had found the perfect hideaway! A small cottage on a deserted bit of Central Florida's coastline guaranteed the privacy she so desperately needed. Even the stray dog that had semi-adopted her seemed to blend perfectly into her life, keeping unwary strangers well away from Rachel's home. Rachel was recovering from a tough loss - her husband had been killed in a car bombing a few years before - but the grief was doubled by the knowledge that as an investigative journalist the bomb had been meant for her!
Teaching the occasional course, living quietly and just letting her mind heal was all Rachel asked, and that was all she got until the night the heat drove her from her stuffy house out onto the beach - and she found "him". Linda Howard is incomparable when it comes to this kind of situation. Take one bruised partner and one threatened partner, force them into close proximity and stand back to await the sensual explosion. Here, the threat is to what's left of Kell Sabin, a mystery man to Rachel, even after she drags him from the water, gets the bullets out of him, and allows him the chance to survive his ordeal. Of course, he's gorgeous (even shot up and half drowned), and Rachel allows her journalistic instincts to persuade her not to call the authorities immediately. Once Kell regains consciousness, she realizes that she was right to trust her instincts - Kell is in grave danger, and now, by association, so is she.
Anyone familiar with Linda Howard's novels knows that the hero and heroine light sparks that can be seen in another hemisphere, and this story is no exception. Kell allows himself the indulgence of loving Rachel, Linda lets us see how hard it is for him to give in to these desires! Rachel, on the other hand, has a hard time giving in to her desires for a different reason, and she is so well written that we're practically inside her skin as she debates the ins and outs of letting her sensuality free with this unusual man.
The climax (of the book!!) involves friends from a previous novel "Midnight Rainbow", which is certainly not a prerequisite for reading this book, but makes their arrival a lot of fun - it's always a pleasure to see characters from another story one has enjoyed make an appearance in a new adventure. As usual, Ms. Howard has presented a word-perfect novel - entertaining, exciting, sexy, and fun! Fortunately, there are more of her books out there that I haven't read yet - I can assure you that I am working very hard to correct that fact! Please add Linda Howard to your must-read list - she never disappoints her readers!!