Shadowing Shahna by Laurey Bright
(Silh. Int. Mom.#1169, $4.75 , PG) ISBN 0-373-27239-1
***
Laurey Bright can be counted on to offer a plot of many layers. In Shadowing Shahna, the reader follows her on a quirky path to the now expected really quirky final destination, so characteristic of this author.

Shahna Reeves had been a highly driven and successful businesswoman in Australia, who came to number the self-made millionaire Kier Remington as one of her clients. Kier wanted her from their first meeting, and had pursued a well thought out campaign to get her in his bed and keep her in his life. Thinking he had succeeded, after three years of success, he was ready to take it to the next level when suddenly Shahna disappeared, leaving a "Thanks for the Memories" note.

To a man accustomed to his way, this was more than irritating and he began to see what he had really lost. The story opens as Kier finds Shahna on the coastal area of the north island of New Zealand, pursuing a career as a jewelry designer and crafter, only she now has a small son. Much of Shadowing Shahna deals with Kier's efforts to insert himself in the very simple life she has fashioned for herself and her son.

Accustomed to Kier's ways, Shahna actively resists him as he becomes more present in her life since she does have secrets she intends to keep - at whatever emotional costs she has to pay.

Using familiar plot lines does not quite mask the fractious personality of Shahna. It is a starting place for her to evolve to a nicer person; however, the depth of character constantly alluded to by the author is never penetrated.

Kier is a different challenge. He has almost been humanized beyond the point of the ruthless executive he had been to permit him to attain the level of success he had acquired at such a young age. It doesn’t quite ring true.

Laurey Bright, who writes for Harlequin as Daphne Clair, shows the action in the dramatic scenes rather than merely reciting it. In additon, the author creates a wonderful sense of the life style in this rural seaside area of New Zealand and treats her readers to fleeting insights into the Kiwi personality and language.

--Thea Davis


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