Risking his neck is all in a day's work
Tough and relentless, Cord Romero lives for the adrenaline rush that comes with being a mercenary for hire. But this time the job is personal. Having barely survived a murder attempt from an elusive enemy, Cord is determined to neutralize his foethe head of a multinational corporation that fronts a child labor ring. In order to get closer to his target, Cord joins forces with the Lassiter Detective Agency, where he's reunited with his childhood friend Maggie Barton. Maggie is no longer the impressionable young woman he once knew. She is now strong, independent and in charge of her own lifeand, professionally, Cord's equal. She has one vulnerability: a tragic secret from her past that threatens her relationship with Cord and sets her up as a pawn for his deadly enemy.
Cord cannot afford to be distracted during the most important case of his life. But Maggie plays an indispensable part in unraveling the links to his enemy's crimes. Forced to trust each other for their very survival, Cord and Maggie embark on a lethal game of cat and mouse that can leave only one winner standing.
A gripping story is sabotaged by leaden writing in this hardcover debut from bestselling author Palmer (The Texas Ranger; Lord of the Desert). Mercenary Cord Romero returns to his Texas ranch after barely avoiding being blown up by a bomb planted by his arch-enemy, Raoul Gruber, only to find his beautiful and long-estranged foster sister, Maggie Barton, at his door. Disturbed by his desire for Maggie, Cord lashes out at her. Heartbroken by Cord's hostility, and jobless she left the perfect job in Morocco to rush to Cord's side Maggie takes a job in Houston doing the books at a detective agency. She quickly finds herself tangled up in a mission to bring down Gruber and his international ring of child labor exploitation baddies and when Gruber discovers her connection to Cord, she becomes his next target. Maggie and Cord flee overseas to catch Gruber, traveling from Houston to Spain and Morocco and back again to lure him into their trap. Believable sexual tension sizzles between Maggie and Cord as they struggle with their haunted pasts and crippling secrets in order to find the strength to trust each other. Unfortunately, their cookie-cutter personalities make the romance fall flat, and Cord's me-Tarzan-you-Jane high-handed treatment of Maggie is far from sexy. Palmer's compelling suspense and beautiful visuals keep the reader interested, but repetitive and hackneyed writing ("her shell-like ear") bog down an otherwise fast-paced romantic thriller.