by Jennifer Blake

September 2002
ISBN: 1-55166-898-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Mass Market Paperback

I was thrilled recently to have the chance to read Jennifer Blake’s latest “Louisiana Gentleman” story - Wade. I’ve loved all the guys in this series, written with Ms. Blake’s trademark style, a wonderful blend of alpha male seasoned with a dash of passion and strong family values and beliefs.

Once again, a Benedict follows true to type. Wade Benedict, the last of the Turn-Coupe crowd, is our hero – only this time, the book departs from the customary Bayou country and begins overseas in the fictional country of Hazaristan, where Wade has come to rescue his friend’s daughter, Chloe Madison. These first chapters are difficult to read even though most of us now are no strangers to the oppressive conditions that women still suffer in various parts of the world. Ms. Blake’s depiction of women’s lives under the shielding burqas they are forced to wear is both disturbing and frustrating. So it is with a slightly different attitude that we follow the action back to Louisiana, where Chloe and Wade must seek safety from the jihad that is following them.

All the previous Benedicts make a welcome appearance – almost like a big family party, except they are all there to protect each other and their loved ones. The message of family values comes across loud and clear. Chloe and Wade are splendid lovers, but I have to confess that their affair is almost lost in the heat of the action and the strength of the families that combine in their defense.

However, if you’re a fan of the “Gentlemen”, you’ll love this concluding novel to the series, and even if you’ve never read one before, don’t be afraid to try this. It’s vintage Jennifer Blake presented in a new and intriguing way, and will leave you smiling, but with a new view of our world and our freedoms when you close the last page.

Please do not miss the chilling epilogue to this tale – notes from Ms. Blake herself about her plot, its timing, and how the September 11th tragedy played a huge role. It’s uncanny.

Reviewed in August 2002 by Celia.

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