Review of ONE NIGHT IN TEXAS by Jane Sullivan (see her website)
24 HOURS: THE WEDDING
Harlequin Temptation #1022, May 2005
It's just another job. Derek Stone will break into a secure apartment, discover the safe's combination, remove the blackmail material, and vanish. His government will be happy and he'll move on to the next project--because there's always a next project. Another job to keep his mind off of the emptiness that is his life. Of course, that's the way he wants it.
Derek has the routine down for his job and doesn't expect to be interupted, but he's cany enough to notice the slight movement in the closet. But the last person he expects to find there is Alyssa Ballard--the women he'd spent a wonderful week with six month's earlier.
He'd been irresistable, her dream man. For an entire week, they'd made love, talked, visited the sights. And then he'd vanished, a brief note his only good-bye. Six months later, Alyssa has recovered, mostly. She's moved to Dallas, done well in her job, and even dates--a little. Except no man can compare to the week she spent with Derek. The only problem is, everything Derek told her was a lie, even his name. When he breaks into the complex she manages, Alyssa suspects Derek lied because he's a thief, but she overhears enough to learn better--or worse. Derek is a spy, fighting for his country for the money.
Author Jane Sullivan (Jane Graves) (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Jane Sullivan) writes a great tortured hero. Derek has denied his dreams and looked at family from the outside. He's certain that whatever might be there, it isn't for him. A subplot involving a wedding where Derek is supposed to be the best man--but keeps dragging the groom away for one last emergency job--adds humor and lets Derek see the side of relationships and love that he's always denied.
Sullivan mixes a good dose of steamy sensuality into the recipe. All in all, it's powerful stuff. Derek is a great character, the action sequences propel the story forward, Alyssa comes off as spunky and a good match for Derek. Bottom line, ONE NIGHT IN TEXAS is a winner.
Jane Sullivan/Jane Graves is a double-RITA finalist for the two Harlequin Temptations she published in 2004. I wouldn't be surprised to see ONE NIGHT IN TEXAS being nominated next year.
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