by Karen Harper

June 2006
ISBN: 0-7783-2307-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Mass Market Paperback

Julie Minton and her daughter Randi live in Southwest Florida, where Julie counsels young women who cut themselves. She’d lived in this small town as a child but because of her parent’s social status wasn’t allowed to mingle with the local kids. Her emotionally sterile upbringing is what led her to become a psychiatrist.

Zach Brockman had once worked as a lifeguard for the elder Minton’s and had been fascinated with Julie. Unfortunately her father noticed and used it has an excuse to fire the young man. A former navy SEAL, Zach now runs a fishing and ocean tour business. He misses his life in the military but had to take early retirement in order to raise his son after the drowning death of his wife.

Randi was last scene on a jet ski with Zach’s son Thad, and when they don’t return Julie finds Zach and asks him to take her out on his boat so they can search for them. An approaching hurricane makes the situation even more grave as hours go by with no sign of their kids.

There are many extra characters in this book, including Kaylin – a former cutter and now counselor working with Julie. While Julie is looking for Randi, Kaylin is in charge of a group of girls and is having to deal with her fears, as well as theirs. Other characters include a land developer who is determined to buy Julie’s property, a couple of wildlife enthusiasts, and fishermen who doesn’t care to be told what they can and cannot catch. With such a large cast the suspects are plenty, though at times a little overwhelming.

We see from the beginning that Randi and Thad are captured, but like their parents, have no idea what has actually happened to them. It seems from the moment Julie and Zach team up the action never stops. The hurricane adds an intensity that this Floridian can truly understand and I did not want to put this book down. The romance takes a back seat in this story, which is appropriate since the two parents are desperately searching for their children.

Reviewed in May 2006 by Jackie.

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