Wild Ways by Naomi Horton
(Silh. Int. Mom. #986, $4.50, PG) ISBN 0-373-07986-9
Rafe Blackhorse is a former agent of a super secret government agency answerable only to the President. He quit after his wife and unborn child were killed as a result of a botched mission. Although he was a legend in his own time, he now relies on his low rent bounty hunting business to make a living.

Meg Kavanaugh, on the other hand, is a feisty cyber gnome working for the same agency. Her aspiration is to be a field agent. She has completed only one month of the arduous training courses, yet she is pursuing a deadly killer she unearthed through computer research. Her goal is to bring her brother’s killer to justice.

They first meet in a sleazy bar. Meg is with the contact she plans to take in and turn as a government witness. Rafe is there because someone has hired him to deliver the witness. All bets are off when a third party attempts to kill the witness.

Fast forward…Rafe is on his lonely mountain, grieving for his wife and estranged from his family, when his old boss appears. Since Rafe blames him for his wife’s death, it is not a friendly meeting. Rafe does learn that Meg is missing and the agency is looking for her.

Meg shows up amidst people shooting at her, and later at both of them. She claims to have found a link between her brother’s death and Rafe’s wife’s death. There is an instant attraction between Rafe, who is sensitive about his Native American heritage, and Irish Meg. There is an unexpected injection of humor during these parts that is very well done.

Rafe’s personality is defined by his thought processes, while Meg’s personality s defined by her impulsive, nonstop actions. When the point of view shifts, it is sometimes jarring to flip between these diverse mindsets. In addition, the plot is complicated enough without adding Rafe’s family conflicts. There were not enough pages in the book for the author to realistically resolve them all.

The most forceful part of the book is the steamy romance. Although there are far too many issues and not enough time to cover them, the love story didn’t suffer from all these conflicts.

If you have never read Naomi Horton, my suggestion is to start with Wild Blood, the first book in this series. It is a far better indication of the author’s talent.

--Thea Davis

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