"The pages will burn you!"
Anne Stuart is one of my favorite writers. I grew up in a
family of alpha males so I rather have a soft spot for
them, and no one creates the Alpha/Gamma rogue better than
Anne Stuart. Whether in shorter series romance, dark & sexy
contemporaries, paranormals or mysterious historicals, she
creates some of the most vivid "bad boys with black souls
and even blacker hearts" that set off females flight or
fight response, that clang the alarms for us to run as fast
as we can to some safe harbor, but yet they draw us against
will like a month to a flame. Don't think there is anyone
better at conjuring up the sexy, steamy dark magic and she
is in peak form in MOONRISE, my all time favorite of
Stuarts. It is a keeper, one I have read several times and
will read again... it's just that good.
Protected and sheltered Annie Sutherland is fast finding
out her life was built on nothing but a tissue of lies. Her
manipulating, driven father has just been murdered and she
is scared and running for her life, for answers to the
question of who murdered him. He was the former head of a
CIA elite hit squad (though she does not know these as her
question begins). He always told Annie, if anything
happened to him to seek out James McKinley.
Annie does not have an easy time following her father's
instructions, because James has dropped out of site. With
much trouble, she tracks him down to an isle off Florida
and the welcome is not one for which she would have hoped.
At the back of her mind, Annie remembers only too well, her
sexual attraction for James, the dark, tight-lipped 'pet'
of her father. He was always neat, trim and oh so perfect.
What she finds in Florida is a man she hardly recognizes.
He is unshaved, drunk and scarily bordering on paranoia. He
is hiding out expected "them" to come for him and execute
him as they did Annie's father. He is a man haunted by
demons, but are they all in his mind? Gone is the
conservative bureaucrat and in his place is the tortured
fugitive. Suddenly the Texas accent James had always
carried is laced heavily with an Irish Brogue, hinting this
man and his dark past hold many secrets.
Nearly immediately, Annie and James running for their
lives. Thrown together on a trek that leads them to Ireland
and then back to the State, they hide out by crossing the
US in a RV. Annie knows her only hope is to trust James.
But can she? There are too many lies, secrets and half-
truths between them, and secrets still driving James. Annie
starts to see her father was not the man she believed, and
that he used her, manipulated her right down to choosing
the man to whom she was once married. Her ex-husband offers
to help Annie and James, but can she trust him any more
than she can trust James?
As with all Stuart's writings, the sexual tension and
steamy love scenes burn up the pages. She provokes you to
walk on the dark side with a man who has sold his soul, a
killer...to step in Annie's shoes and realize how drawn she
is to James despite all the misgivings, despite dirty
secrets she learns. Slowly, Annie begins to realize she
cannot trust James. Though her lover, James might also be
the man assigned to kill her.
Stuart crafted a knock out of a book that should not be
missed. MOONRISE is a book that will not leave you when you
put it down. It's haunting, spun with a power and force few
writers ever achieve. And to prove it is not a fluke, read
NIGHTFALL and RITUAL SINS.
Posted March 31, 2003
Reviewed by Deborah Macgillivray
Posted November 18, 2006