A Gentleman & a Soldier

Line of Fire

Secret Agent Man

Her Enemy Protector
by Cindy Dees
(Silh. Int. Mom. #1417, $4.99, PG) ISBN 0-373-27487-4
The Special Forces Charlie Squad, created by Cindy Dees, is back to carry out their end of a bargain detailed in her prior novel Her Secret Agent Man. In that book, Crime Overlord Eduardo Ferraresí older daughter Emily, bookkeeper to his fortunes, escaped taking much of his net worth with her. She promised to testify for the US government against him in exchange for their freeing her sister, Carina, from their father.

Trapped in a small South American country, guarded by her fatherís bodyguards, it appears Carina is permitted only to shop and play under their watchful eyes. She had been planning her escape with her friend Tony, when she finds him dead in her bed.

This drives Carina out of the house into the ocean where Joe Rodriguez, the Charlie Squad point man who is looking for a way to get her out, rescues her. The shoreline is well guarded and their shoreline detectors note she is in the water. Joe realizes she has to go back, and in a short time acquaints her with his mission.

Desperate to leave, Carina agrees to meet him at a dance disco as soon as her father will let her party again. They meet, Joe persuades her the only way to help her is to marry her letting him move in so they can escape together from within. This premise boldly stated is a little hard to accept, but to the authorís credit she is persuasive in selling this as a likely scenario.

The phony courtship starts, moves swiftly to marriage by tricking the judge Ferrare has under his control. Joe moves in and confrontations between him and the adversaries begin.

One must truly suspend disbelief to think a man such as Joe would be content to marry, move in and never question why they had to stay within the large estate. Accept that and you are home free to enjoy.

Cari is in the midst of a love/hate relationship with her father, and is carrying a lot of guilt in the knowledge that she has personally enjoyed the fruits of his ill gotten gains, with an education, expensive clothing and jewelry, etc. Bottom line, does she truly want to escape, and be the instrument to bring her father down?

The most credible job the author does is with this issue, as the marriage swiftly turns from a marriage of convenience to a marriage in fact. Cindy Dees is exceptionally creative in fashioning her characters. She postures one extreme against another, kindness versus cruelty, warmth against starkness and then utilizes clever dialogue to level the playing field.

--Thea Davis

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