Butterfly

Dark Water

Familiar Stranger

Mission Irresistible

Remember Me

Reunion

Rider On Fire

Roman's Heart

Royal's Child

Snowfall

Sweet Baby

Whipporwill

 
Nine Lives by Sharon Sala
(MIRA, $7.99, PG) ISBN 0-7783-2352-8
****
At age six Catherine Dupree was in an automobile hit by a drunken driver and killing her mother. She and her father became close, but at age an intruder awakened thirteen Catherine in time to watch her father murdered. The same murderer cut her throat and left her for dead. Nicknamed Cat, she has clearly used two of her nine lives.

Tossed into the social services network Cat emerged from childhood with one friend Marsha (Mimi) Benson, who became her family. Her career choice was obvious to her, as she became a bounty hunter to be feared. Dipping into the criminal world, she lived solely for the purpose of finding her father’s killer. It was not a totally impossible goal as the man she remembered had a heavily tattooed face, distinctive by its geometric patterns. For years she had collected mug shots and made inquiries about tattooed criminals.

Cat meets Wilson Mckay, a rival bounty hunter, while picking up a bail skipper. The meeting is memorable as they are both pulling people out of an apartment fire. Wilson is mildly attracted to her, and as with everyone but Mimi, Cat could take him or leave him.

Mimi is a private secretary to Mark Presley, a Dallas mover and shaker who married his power and position. Not content with this, he occupies his social calendar with mistresses on the side. Mimi has become just another one of these, until she tells him she is pregnant. She shares this with Cat, knowing that he will not divorce his wife but believing he will do the right thing for her and their child.

Instead, he fires her when she refuses to have an abortion. When Mimi disappears, Cat immediately suspects Mark of murder. Wilson keeps intruding into her life, and at first she grudgingly lets him help her search for Mimi. With Wilson’s Internet research assistance, Cat finds Mimi’s body and commits to finding the killer and proving his guilt.

Sharon Sala can always be depended upon to create memorable characters. Cat is tough, gritty, and distant, with unexpected streaks of femininity. Wilson is a good-looking “good ole boy” who does not want a relationship, but is unexpectedly drawn to her.

The most impressive thing about Sala’s writing is that although the reader is occasionally called upon to suspend disbelief, her characters’ actions are always consistent with the person she has created. Nine Lives has a plot that is fast paced with logical twists and unrelenting excitement.

Sharon Sala has written a romantic suspense novel that will both challenge and please readers.

--Thea Davis


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