Catch Me If You Can

Enemy Husband

Royal Betrayal

Sins of the Father

Sweet Revenge

Sweet Suspicion

 
Killer Temptation
by Nina Bruhns
(SRS #1516, $4.99, R) ISBN 0-373-27586-1
**
Zoe Conrad is employed by Secret Travelers, an organization which evaluates vacation getaway accommodations. Her boss is an old college friend of Sean Guthrie, millionaire who is rehabbing a Fiji resort. The original team who was to have evaluated his new place is unable to go so Zoe becomes a last minute replacement…in fact making this her first international assignment.

She arrives before the resort officially opens and wandering out to the patio she finds what she believes to be the body of a dead man covered with blood. She is surprised when she realizes the blood is tomato juice and the sleeping man awakes. He identifies himself as “Breeze” and she concludes that he is the gardener.

She immediately falls for him and is all too willing to attend a birthday party for a local chieftain that night with him. The author utilizes this setting to incorporate local customs and practices.  After the party the lust overwhelms them and the sex becomes pretty heated and graphic.

The next morning the police arrive and arrest Zoe’s lover for murder. This is where she discovers he is the millionaire owner of the resort, Sean Guthrie, and not the gardener. The police rush Seanoff in a less than convincing scene since they refuse to tell him the identity of the murder victim. Zoe runs to find a wise woman she had met the night before and she procures an attorney for Sean. Zoe and the attorney meet Sean in the police station to find he is being held for the murder of the Blantons, a couple who had leased one of his rental yachts.

The attorney is able to get him out of jail and Sean knows he must prove his own innocence by finding the killer, since the police have abandoned any efforts to investigate beyond what they had already done. Sean had had a public argument with the Blantons when they returned to the island without his yacht, claiming they had lost it.  If the reader has not yet suspended disbelief in a big way, she must do it here...a lost yacht, and nothing tangible done about it before now?

Sean now believes the lost yacht is the key to the murderer and prepares to search. Zoe is insistent upon coming with him so they take off to trace the itinerary of the Blantons. The ending is contrived, but not unexpected as the story really features the sex between Zoe and Sean.

There is very little character development. Zoe’s is limited to the ramifications of this assignment and what it will do for her career. Sean focuses on the baggage that comes from a messy and disappointing divorce, where he had been shredded emotionally and financially. Apart from this we learn little about them except the overwhelming attraction that continues to heat.

Bruhns has written far better romantic suspense stories, but Killer Temptation can’t overcome the weakness of the mystery.

--Thea Davis


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