Mira, May 2003, 6.99
Mercenary Cord Romero returns to his Texas ranch to recuperate from a near death experience caused when his enemy Raoul Gruber tried to kill him with a bomb. Waiting for him at his spread is his estranged foster sister, Maggie Barton, who left a job in Morocco to be near Cord, whom she loves unrequitedly.
Cord knows he must destroy his foe so he joins Lassiter Detective Agency where Maggie works to have an opportunity to get closer to Raoul. However, Raoul remains elusive with powerful protection as befitting the head of an international corporation that actually serves as a front for a child labor ring. When Raoul learns who Maggie is, he decides she is the perfect pawn to get at Cord even as the duo tries to lure their adversary into a trap.
The story line is loaded with action and non stop suspense as the “duel” between the hero and the villain play out in three countries. Maggie and Cord struggle to overcome their troubled childhoods in order to form a permanent relationship, but the male protagonist is too macho and cavalier when it comes to the heroine. Still fans of fast-paced romantic suspense thrillers will enjoy the rapidly moving DESPERADO.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner