**spoiler alert** A sea urchin diver finds an injured man underwater and shares her air supply with him to save his life. She has no idea what kind of...more**spoiler alert** A sea urchin diver finds an injured man underwater and shares her air supply with him to save his life. She has no idea what kind of man she has rescued or what she has let herself in for.
I was amazed and surprised by the characters Christine Feehan chose for her protagonists. I've gotten used to the men she writes, agressive killers with a protective streak a mile wide. This one started out a little closer to sociopathic killer than I was comfortable with. Feehan redeems Lev by having him suffer quite a bit from his head injury, so he seems less of a threat, and then showing how he is first surprised at having emotions, then later cherishes the ability to feel. By the last part of the book he is able to laugh, to joke, and to tease.
Our heroine Rikki is also someone I was not at first comfortable with. We first see her reflecting her fears that she somehow unconsciously started the fires that killed her parents and her fiance. She is unable to stand being touched, unable to socialize in public, she makes others uncomfortable, and she fears she is a sociopathic killer. In contrast to this, Feehan shows us her heart of gold, her care for her adopted sisters and for a local homeless man.
We later learn that someone else started the fires, and that her socialization problems are because she suffers from autism, though she is apparently what they call "high-functioning". Her solitary career as a sea urchin diver enables her to make a living in spite of the handicap. I'd never before thought that an autistic person could feature as the heroine in a love story, but Feehan's skill brings us to understand her character very well.
This series is set in Sea Haven, though the only Drake sister to make an appearance is Hannah, just for a single scene. Her husband, our fond sherriff Jonas, appears a few times, but one need not have read the Drake Sisters series to appreciate this book. The town of Sea Haven is a welcoming and understanding place, as Rikki finds when she freezes up at the grocery store and the kindness of others makes it possible for her shopping to be completed.
The plot centers on Lev's character growth, on his need to leave behind forever his former life as an undercover agent and sometime assassin, on his need to feel that he is a better person than that and worth loving, and on his need to convince his former employers that he no longer exists. Rikki's autism ends up as a weapon and a shield in this task.
There is a second primary plot featuring the threat to our heroine from the deranged arsonist who targets her and everyone she loves. I love the paranormal scenes in this story. Rikki is a water elemental, and Feehan wrote some lovely scenes illustrating how that might play out. In addition, this talent is what finally defeats her foe.
Lev's talents are a bit more varied and are hinted to have much to do with his former profession, but the more acceptable ones illustrated include telepathy and the ability to control birds and to see through their eyes. One time he physically moves Rikki with the power of his mind from a distance to keep her from falling into the pond.
This story is a great romance in that the developing relationship and the character growth of the protagonists overshadows all other plot elements. I now want to go back and read the entire Drake Sisters series through with this one tacked on to the end. I can hardly wait for the next installment. (Christine Feehan, if you die before completing this series, I'm going to want to curse your immortal soul, but I'm too nice to actually do it.)(less)
This was so steamy that I'm surprised the public library had it. Whew! I like that the theme is acceptance of one's true self. I love that the sex sce...moreThis was so steamy that I'm surprised the public library had it. Whew! I like that the theme is acceptance of one's true self. I love that the sex scenes actually move the plot forward. The characters are beautifully drawn, human and flawed like the rest of us.
If anyone is going to try the erotic romance genre, this would be a wonderful entry point. Now I have to save up to buy a copy for my keeper shelf.(less)
A modern woman with special gifts encounters a skeptical Hollywood screenplay writer. Sparks fly. I found it wonderful that (view spoiler)[when she lo...moreA modern woman with special gifts encounters a skeptical Hollywood screenplay writer. Sparks fly. I found it wonderful that (view spoiler)[when she lost her temper she made it snow on him, indoors. (hide spoiler)]
As usual, Roberts gives us deep, complex characters who have to experience growth before earning their happy ending. The siblings are featured in the rest of the trilogy, and earn great supporting role credits in this story.["br"]>["br"]>(less)