An assassin-thief-jewelry designer is targeted by two dangerous mafiosos. One believes that she is destined to be his consort while the other wants to torture her for killing his equally dangerous son. The first, George Luksch, has hidden the fact that she is alive from his boss, Daddy Novak, the one who wants her dead, eventually. George has also hired a private security firm to find her.
Their agent, Val Janos, is tired of the firm for whom he works and angry that he’s been put on a case with a child…again. They know his stand on children and he realizes this is a test of his loyalty. A loyalty even more tested as he falls in love with Tamara Steele. For her compassion, her bravery, and the care and love she has for the child she is attempting to adopt. A child almost as traumatized as Tam was as a child in Croatia.
And now it starts getting more difficult for Novak has found Val’s weak spot, the old man, Imre, who gave Val a refuge as a child. Who taught him about beauty and a gentler side of life when Novak was grinding him into the pavement. Held hostage to Val’s “good behavior”. Forcing Val to trick and manipulate Tamara.
Gods, this was intense. McKenna took a typical plot and just turned it on its head with the tension, pace, and cruelty she brought to it. I am definitely going to try and find the earlier books in this series!
The primary characters, Val and Tam, are both so hard and as the story unfolds it is amazing that they are not harder. That there is still such a capacity for love and gentleness in either of them. I wallowed in the sense of love, loyalty, family, and friendship amongst the McClouds (and friends!). Between the intensity of McKenna’s writing and this group of caring friends, I want to read the earlier stories.
Naturally, the bad guys are written as tremendously bad. The scary part is I’m not sure that McKenna exaggerated.
This too was different. The background is dragged in shades of purple to pink with the back of a naked man one hand clasping his wrist behind him.