The Secret Soldier
by Jennifer Morey
(SRS #1526, $4.99, PG) ISBN 0-373-27596-0
The Secret Soldier is Jennifer Morey's debut novel with SRS and the first of the McQueen's Men Series. Cullen McQueen, a soldier, but not a soldier, runs a security business with friends in very high places. One such friend is Noah Page who calls in a favor that will utilize Cullen's field talents.

Noah Page has been estranged from his daughter Sabine O'Clery. She works as a contract hydrologist in Afghanistan. Sabine and her co-worker are kidnapped by a terrorist group; however, no demands have been made for ransom. Noah enlists Cullen to get her out with the admonition that he cannot tell her who is responsible for the rescue mission.

Cullen finds Sabine and rescues her, but by this time her co-worker has been executed. On their helicopter ride away, they are attacked. As they manage to get away from this danger, they are again mysteriously attacked in the Mediterranean Sea near a Greek Island. Cullen manages to crash land their craft and they spend some recuperating time on the island.

On the island their simmering passion takes over. They then proceed to London where to preserve the secrecy of his business Cullen must disappear from Sabine's life. One last good bye kiss in the London airport is captured by the new media. A photo which haunts Cullen.

Sabine returns to the small Colorado town where she grew up resolved to forget Cullen, resolved to stop trying to garner her father's respect, and resolved to live forever after in the small town with her mother and to open a book store.

Not surprisingly, there was more to her kidnapping than a random snatch. Soon after Sabine visits the widow of her co-worker, her book store is broken into. Since the media has dubbed this high profile for public interest, the news is carried has almost her every move had been since her return to the US. This draws Cullen out of his anonymity to Colorado to protect her.

Sabine is an overachiever, trying to earn praise from a father she did not respect, and many of her actions are generated by this conflict. Cullen is unused to the concept of love and fights it as hard as he would any lethal opponent. Each has to face their respective emotional morass.

The Secret Soldier starts with a great deal of tension and conflict but that dwindles as the story progresses to the expected ending.

--Thea Davis

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