The Bad Luck Wedding Cake

The Bad Luck Wedding Night

Give Him the Slip

Her Bodyguard

Her Outlaw

Her Scoundrel

The Kissing Stars

My Long, Tall Texas Heartthrob

The Pink Magnolia Club

Sizzle All Day
The Wedding Raffle

The Wedding Raffle

The Wedding Ransom

 
Never Say Never
by Geralyn Dawson
(Signet Eclipse, $6.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-0-451-22243-5
***
Never Say Never all the elements of a combustive Geralyn Dawson mix: a sexy hero prepared to resist commitment or go down fighting; a misunderstood but ultimately kind-hearted heroine; several hot and sexy scenes, and a lukewarm suspense plot to hold it all together.

Torie Bradshaw has got herself into another scrape. She's been doing it since a child, thereby alienating herself from her father and earning herself the reputation of the Evil Twin. Being a paparazzi photographer hasn't helped. The only person who sees beyond her reckless, pushy façade is her twin sister, Helen.

Which is why Torie is on some tropical island, trying to get the scoop on her scientist sister's two-timing fiancé. Matt Callahan is there on a similar mission. The General has called in a favor from this CIA agent and asked him to get his good daughter out. Not knowing that that has already been taken care of, Matt believes the sexy body in the string bikini belongs to an intelligent and highly moral person. He has a case of instant lust. Then, the penny drops. When Torie accidentally shoots him in the leg, he's even more turned off.

Or he should be. Eighteen months later, after surgery, rehabilitation and serious self-reflection about the need to make career change, Matt is still trying to get the Damned Woman out of his mind. When she shows up in his home town and asks for his help, his first instinct is to say no. But her story about a stalker rings true, so he reluctantly agrees to arrange for protection and to supervise a close investigation. This allows them to vent their lust and eventually to discover how well suited they really are.

Although Matt's dogged resistance to love and his somewhat tortured past make him a fairly typical Dawson hero, he lacks the charm her other male characters have. He does a pretty slimy thing to preserve his distance. It is understandable, given everything else. Still, it didn't exactly endear him to me. Although his grand gesture to beg for forgiveness is pretty awesome, I'm still not convinced he deserves it.

Torie is more likeable. She hasn't done anything really bad or mean, and her stoic attitude to the dislike her reputation unjustly attracts is admirable. As a result, we are spared the I-hate-you-but-I'm-so-attracted-to-you two-step that this kind of plot could easily have become in the hands of a less capable writer.

The search for the stalker and the Callahan family's melodramatic backstory also keep the story going. A lot of the latter aims at setting up the next novel, featuring Matt's other brother, but it doesn't detract too much from this one. Never Say Never won’'t set any new standards, but it will provide a few enjoyable moments.  

 

--Mary Benn


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