Karen Rose starts us off with Dirty Secrets. Widow Emma Townsend is boxing up some belongings when she comes across a love letter from Christopher Walker, her best friend in high school. It was stuck between the pages of one of her high school textbooks and sheíd never seen it. Now she feels terrible for what he must have seen as rejection when she never acknowledged his feelings. Christopher is shocked when one of his students is murdered, and then doubly shocked to hear from Emma after seventeen years. She wants to explain and apologize, but will Emma and Christopher get a second chance or will a killer prevent them from ever finding out? This is the longest story in the anthology and there is more romance in Dirty Secrets than in her full-length romantic suspense books.
The second story is Necessary Betrayals by Annie Solomon. Francesca Bern is frantic when she realizes her younger sister is missing. When help comes in the form of Detective Quinn Parker Lewis sheís less than pleased. She holds him responsible for her fatherís incarceration, not to mention her broken heart. As Quinn and Frannie search for her sister, the truth about the past comes out, and she realizes theyíve both suffered. But will they live long enough to forgive and begin again?
Rounding out this trio is Carla Cassidyís Endless NightAmanda Kincaid is on the blind date from hell and canít wait for it to end. But when it comes time to say goodnight to Clay Murdock, shots ring out and she finds herself on the run with a man she doesnít even know. Clay isnít what he seems and it isnít long before Amanda hopes the two of them live long enough to go on a second date. This is the shortest story in the anthology, but just long enough to bring the story to life and make the emotions between Amanda and Clay seem believable.
Itís not often that I find an anthology that has such a complimentary combination of stories. All three of these best-selling authors contributed stories that had the perfect mixture of romance and suspense and left you feeling satisfied at the end. Another plus to this anthology is that despite the shortness of the stories, when you are finished reading them you donít feel as if anything is sacrificed because of the shorter format. The characters are sympathetic and the suspense is well developed and sufficiently concluded.