Signet, May 2003, 6.99, 304 pp.
Former agent Sarah Jane Ravenowitz blames her employer General Kalen Grady for the failure of her mission in China that led to the deaths of her team and to her barely escaping. She knows a mole in his organization double-crossed her. Though he planned to propose to her when she finished that mission, Sarah Jane went overseas to become a supermodel known by her adoring fans as Raven.
When Gangi Dai, son of the mob boss of the notorious Chinese-American crime syndicate Dai Tong, is killed with model Portia at a Japanese Embassy reception, Kalen, though he suffers from unrequited love for the ghost of Sarah, knows he needs Raven's help. He wants his former super spy to infiltrate the Dai Tong family to stop a deadly assassin who has killed already from doing it again. Raven agrees on the condition that Kalen erases her criminal record of going AWOL. She plans to skip his team and depend only on former Kalen agent Sean Delaney, who will watch her back better than the General she still loves.
The second Swords book (see THE DEEPEST EDGE) is a sharp romantic suspense starring two competent courageous characters who have a past to overcome and a mission to survive before they can seek a new relationship. The action-packed tale moves quickly forward, but has the feel of the middle tale because, in spite of a strong romance between powerful protagonists, the prime chase for the swords moves only slightly forward. Jessica Hall provides a wonderful romantic thriller that the audience will appreciate and will look forward to the conclusion starring the enigmatic Sean.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner