Night Heat

As Roslyn Carrington:

A Thirst for Rain

Mesmerized by Simona Taylor
(Arabesque/BET, $5.99, PG-13) ISBN 1-58314-070-0
Mesmerized is the second Arabesque/BET Books romance by Caribbean writer Simona Taylor. Set in her native Trinidad, it is the story of Sean Scott and Christian Devane.

The novel begins on a day Sean probably wished sheíd called in sick. When she arrives at her job as public relations manager for Orion Methanol, she discovers that the plantís new operations manager is Christian Devane. The same Christian Devane she was engaged to marry -- and jilted six years ago.

To compound matters, she has been assigned to help ease his transition from the States to Trinidad. Their first stop is the bank. Shortly after they arrive, the building is rocked by an explosion. Several people are killed. Christian is badly injured. The small island hospital is ill-equipped to handle the casualties from the blast. The authorities patch him up and send him to Seanís house to recuperate.

There are still sparks between them. We soon learn their break up is the result of a big misunderstanding.

However, before Sean and Christian can resolve their differences, they must deal with industrial sabotage, a religious cult, a rejected suitor, a too-friendly friend and secrets from Seanís past.

Itís much too much and Mesmerized sags under the weight of all that drama. Christian has miraculous recuperative powers and should be cloned to learn his secret. Taylor is still uncomfortable with her use of patois in her narrative. There are also continuity problems and several unresolved issues.

Simona Taylor is the pen name of Roslyn Carrington, who writes under her own name for Kensington Publishing. Her debut novel, A Thirst for Rain, was a sparkling, lyrical tale also set in Trinidad. Thatís the novel I recommend.

--Gwendolyn Osborne

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