St. Martin’s, Sep 2008, $7.99
Nathan Malone joined the SEALs; eventually he fell in love with Sabella and they marry. Several years later his Uncle Jordon informs Sabella that Nathan died.
Two years have past since Sabella buried Nathan. He thinks back to the mission that led to his funeral. He was captured by a brutal Columbian drug cartel, who broke every bone in his body and subjected him to tons of Whore’s Dust, an aphrodisiac that keeps males hard; but for the eighteen months of his captivity he refused to break his vow to Sabella. He was rescued and healed physically though his body was changed, but mentally Nathan Malone is dead. He left the SEALs and joined Jordon’s “dead men” special operations team as a cold killer.
Jordon gives Nathan a file that focuses on Sabella and the Black Collar Militia that hunts illegals to kill, rape, and sell their babies. Almost everyone in his hometown of Alpine, Texas deserted Sabella who after a two year mourning funk has tried to make a go of Nathan’s garage. Nathan still loves Sabella, but refuses to tell her he lives as he believes Malone died in Columbia. Mechanic Nathan Hawke obtains work at the garage. His eyes which remind her of her Nathan and his first name disturb Sabella. Worse she is attracted to him. He is stunned to watch his pampered southern belle work as hard as she does as a blue collar mechanic as he never knew she had such skills. As they fall in love, she begins to put together his HIDDEN AGENDA while he and his team seek the Black Collar Militia.
The premise of a Martin Guerre like spouse coming home after being buried is superbly handled leading to the prime couple gaining reader empathy early on. The action is fast-paced and the suspense high. Although the militia at times comes across as inane and the audience never learns why they want the garage, fans will enjoy Lora Leigh’s engaging romantic suspense.