Evangeline Morrissey, a college teacher, is touring a tiny medieval church outside of Cabrisi, when she unexpectedly encounters a couple in the almost deserted church. The woman leaves, but the extraordinarily beautiful man takes a distinct interest in Evangeline, and eventually convinces her to accept a ride with him back to the hotel. Little does Evangeline know that the couple has just committed a murder, and don’t know what she’s witnessed. The woman is eager to kill her, but the man is running this job, and will make the decision. James Bishop is an agent for “The Committee,” an organization whose purpose is to stop international crime. While they are the “good guys,” their agents kill and destroy, the same as any other agency. James doesn’t enjoy killing, and he doesn’t like collateral damage, so he intends to find out for sure if Evangeline witnessed anything. If she didn’t, he wants her to live. His partner, however, the bloodthirsty and unstable Claudia, enjoys killing, and doesn’t want any chance that there is a witness. When James fails to kill her, he fears that Claudia will do the deed on her own. His only way of protecting Evangeline is to marry her, as Committee rules forbid killing the spouse of an agent.
James uses his charm and seductive talent to sweep Evangeline off her feet and rapidly into marriage. They have a passionate and romantic honeymoon, then James disappears from Evangeline’s life, taking her one valuable possession, her grandmother’s earrings. James’ purpose was to make Evangeline believe he was a con man and thief. He wants her to hate him, then move on with her life and forget him.
James’ betrayal cut Evangeline deeply, and it changed her greatly. In the five years since it happened, she’s become hardened and totally unlike the trusting young woman she used to be. Out of the blue, James comes back into her life, basically hijacking her into driving him to New Orleans. Unknown to Evangeline, enemies have found out James is married, and are targeting her to get to him. Once again, James is trying to protect her, and has to play the bad guy to do so. While James and Evangeline journey to New Orleans, amidst much action and drama, their off the charts attraction to each other comes back into play. It’s a wild ride in more ways than one. Is there any possible way they can be together? And for that matter, are they really married?
This is an exciting first book in the new Fire series, an offshoot of the popular Ice series. If you have never read Anne Stuart, you need to know that her heroes are unlike any others. Yes, they work for the “good” guys, but they are assassins, liars, users, and whatever else they have to be to get the job done. They are hardened agents, yet, they manage to fall in love, and deal with that in their own unique way. The romance is dark and complex and contrary. And hot. And it works. Anne Stuart rocks!
Reviewed by Blue