Medallion, Jul 2004, 9.99, 252 pp.
Severely injured on the job, DEA Undercover Agent Jack Benton is on medical leave recuperating at Dolphin Land in the Florida Keys. His beloved Aunt Ruby Maguire, a widow of six months, owns the dilapidated facility that Jack wants to sell to developers so the woman who raised him could live a pampered life. Ruby refuses to sell because the six dolphins who reside in the lagoon are family to her. Instead she agrees to allow Delphind Prize winner Dr. Vic Sheffield to conduct research here.
Vic is actually Victoria as she uses her ailing father's name to research the cooperative communication between Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Victoria and Jack are attracted to one another, but he remains suspicious of her motives though he finds her energy quite exhilarating. As her research takes focus and she falls in love with Jack, his aunt, and the sextet of dolphins, Victoria has money problems and worse, her ex is trying to blackmail his way onto her study; he stole her work on their so-called collaborative efforts. Jack will do anything including give up undercover work and stop a sleazy rat when it comes to his Vic.
Though the ex has no redeeming qualities and one must wonder about academic ethics with what he got away with, fans will feel ALL KEYED UP for more works by this author after reading this stellar tale. The contemporary romantic story line contains a fine lead couple and his nice aunt (think Mayberry's Bee), but the audience will treasure the moments when Scarlett, Rhett, Melly, Ashley, Robin Hood, and Marian co-star with the human trio.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner