Harlequin, Oct 2003, 5.99, 296 pp.
In the Amazon, globetrotting photojournalist Ben Asher helps bring down murdering con artist Asada although the prisoner vows vengeance. However, he returns to reality when his twelve years old daughter Emmie calls pleading with him to come to South Village, California as her mother Rachel Wallers was severely injured in a car accident. He would have said no, but he learns that Asada escaped. He flies to California to keep the two females he loves safe.
Rachel wants out of the hospital after a month there because she needs the security that her first real home provides her. As a child she wandered the country as her father saved corporations from certain death. When Ben enters her hospital room, Rachel asks him to leave, but he refuses. This is the first time they have seen each other in thirteen years since she threw him out of her life. Ben takes Rachel home. As Asada's thugs close in on the trio, Ben and Rachel know they love one another and Emmie, but she needs roots and he needs the world.
Fans of complex relationship dramas with some minor related action will enjoy the return to South Village. The story line is at its most interesting when the lead protagonists skirmish over the safety of shelter that supports Dr. Maslow's hierarchy of needs as Rachel needs permanent shelter among her most significant first level requirements while self-actualization with minor shelter pulls Ben. Though the Asada subplot is more of a device to get the prime pair together, fans will of deep character studies will appreciate this tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner