by Jasmine Cresswell

September 2002
ISBN: 1-55166-931-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Mass Market Paperback

The quiet and isolated town of Alana Springs has, to put it very simply, a very unusual society – polygamy is encouraged there and a man with three wives or more is the norm. And so it is no surprise when seventeen year old resident, Anna Langtry, is forced to submit to such a marriage! But unlike the other women there, Anna is determined not to bow down to such inhuman practices and hatches a desperate and daring plan to secure her freedom. To achieve this she steals her husband’s car and makes a fortunate escape in the middle of her wedding night.

Fifteen years later Anna is working as a parole officer in Denver and has made it her life’s mission to try to help the underdogs, namely the convicts. She tries to see good in people, even the ex-convicts, and hopes to reform them but people and circumstances are determined to thwart her and most of the time she is painfully made aware of the futileness of her hard work and efforts.

Then one day a new convict is assigned to Anna. He is a white-collar criminal by the name of Joe Mackenzie and he is supposed to have embezzled millions of dollars from a bank. Prison has made him very tough and wary and he is out to take revenge on the people who have totally destroyed his life. The attraction between them is instantaneous and forbidden, and they both know it. But as the intrigue deepens and the danger mounts, the passion between them also reaches a peak. Now Anna is also sucked into Joe’s world of conspiracy and it all has to do something with the past she thought she had long left behind but which she has never been able to forget and now can’t hide from!

Jasmine Cresswell is a multitalented author of more than forty novels and she has by now honed her talent for creating fast-paced, suspenseful and gripping books to a point where she is now one of the most famous writers of this genre! This book is a prime example of this. The plot was unusual and well planned and there were many breathless and suspenseful moments. Ms. Cresswell takes the reader and the characters in the book on a journey of discovery that culminates in an exciting and action-filled ending. There are also some pretty sizzling sex scenes and the passion is stormy! Anna’s character is detailed, and the reader is made to feel her joy and pain, and all the emotions in between. Joe is the macho but tender hero, as usual. The town of Alana Springs with its horrific communal practices is also described in vivid detail. This book is not just a romantic mystery but so much more – it’s a story about reality, about human beings and about life, no matter how good or bad it is. Very compelling!!

Reviewed in August 2002 by Rashmi.

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