by Elaine Barbieri

August 2006
ISBN: 0-8439-5637-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Leisure Books
Mass Market Paperback

Galveston, Texas 1866

The scorching flames were surrounding her, and the screams of the other children were deafening. Running from the beams crashing down around her the young girl barely makes it out. This is the nightmare that Elizabeth Huntington dreams over and over again. Found by her adoptive parents immediately after a fire in Texas that destroyed an orphanage, and with no memory of who she was or where she came from prior to that horrible night, Elizabeth has spent the last eight years living in New York City where she leads a safe comfortable life. Elizabeth returns to Galveston Texas to uncover who she really is, and find the family she knows is out there waiting for her. Only one clue remains to Elizabeth’s past, a pendant she had been wearing the night of the fire.

Galveston is a changed city since the horrors of the Civil War. Barraged by the blockades the Yankees had set, Galveston’s harbor is first beginning to rebuild itself to the mighty shipping port it had once been. Galveston is seedy, and Elizabeth finds herself lost in it. Lodging was prearranged at a hotel that has seen better times, and Elizabeth finds herself accosted by a drunk that assumes Elizabeth is a “working girl.” Finding a champion in disheveled Jason Dodd who has just arrived off the trail, Elizabeth is not sure what to make of her savior.

Jason Dodd has an agenda to attend to in Galveston, and Elizabeth Huntington shouldn’t fit into it. Yet Jason can’t seem to get her out of his mind, and starts to make it his business to protect her. In her quest for answers to her past, Elizabeth has started keeping company with sleazy shipping magnate Simon Gault the man Jason suspects collaberated with the Yankees.

Hawk’s Passion by Elaine Barbieri is the first in a new series that will also feature author Constance O’Banyon. A longtime fan of both I was anxious to read this series and was very disappointed with this first installment. Elizabeth was a complete ninny! Hearing the stories about Gault,(after being repeatedly warned), she decides to trust him anyway, even staying at a house he provides her with complete with the requisite spy/housekeeper. Simon is a straight off the rack villain with little thought given to him other then to make him despicable. Then there is ho-hum hero Jason who is one dimensional and has little interaction with the “beauteous” (if I heard beauteous one more time I was going to scream) Elizabeth until they fall into bed and declare their love for one another. There is no “ending” to the story, and we are left dangling. Most likely a ploy for us to continue with the series, but from what I read in Hawk’s Passion I think I can do without the ending and pass on the next one.

Reviewed in October 2006 by Bonnie.

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