No Chance
by Christy Reece
(Ballantine, $7.99, PG-13) ISBN 978- 0-345-51778-4
****
Eight years prior, Gabe Maddox was recovering from being incarcerated in a revolutionary's prison camp, in a country where he had been building houses for the villagers. Rescued finally by a philanthropic organization, he is found on Katamina Island in the South Pacific by world famous supermodel Skylar James.

Gabe has not a clue who Skylar is and she becomes enchanted because he accepts her for herself; that progresses to love and then marriage in a whirlwind courtship.

As well as being super rich in her own right, Skylar is of manor born and returns to New York City by herself to acquaint her family with her marriage. That does not go well as Gabe is an alleged nobody. Her father and mother manage to delay her departure back to the island twenty-four hours, sufficient time for her father to get there before her. He fails in his attempt to buy Gabe off, but he succeeds in his long term goal. Gabe is so disillusioned because Skylar did not disclose any part of her life to him, that he disappears on his own.

They never divorce as Skylar has been told by her father that Gabe is dead and she regards herself as a widow. Currently, she has become involved in reaching out to struggling girls and mentoring them. Gabe has joined LCR, an organization that rescues victims.

Skylar or Skye as Gabe knows her is in search of her latest mentored girl Kendra, who had responded to a job advertisement for a model, She had been enthusiastic in describing the coming interview to Skye but has not been seen or heard from since. While snooping around, Skye is kidnapped and her father receives a ransom note. He turns to LCR and the head, Noah McCall, assigns Gabe to the case, over Mr. James's objections.

Gabe indeed rescues Skye who had believed him dead, and after some exchanges of confidences occur Gabe agrees to help her find Kendra. They have fallen into the web of a large organization that kidnaps girls for a special order sale or for speculation.

Sky and Gabe have much emotional baggage to work through, especially Skye who has been betrayed by her family as well. This is done artfully rather than becoming tedious for the reader..

These characters are very well developed; the dialog is interesting and the author utilizes the locale to add texture and interest to the constantly evolving plot line. Reece's secondary characters are more than usually interesting and the reader knows some will emerge in upcoming books.

The climax is skillfully contrived, although subtle foreshadowing is effectively used. As in many excellent books, it is not the ending but the journey that is the most enjoyable.

--Thea Davis


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