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Vortex
by Cherry Adair
(St. Martin's, $7.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-0312-37195-1
***
This is one of those books that I want to give more hearts to but know that deep down it is just another story about an alpha male and his strong-minded woman in danger. It is a very good story about them and it did keep me turning the pages, but it is also a bit far-fetched and rather formulaic.

Logan Cutter is the oldest of the Cutter brothers and is in charge of their salvage company. This is not a regular salvage company, but one that seeks and finds treasures from sunken ships. Logan is a millionaire and has no problem spending money. His men have been with him a long time and there is a lot of trust and profit between them. His two brothers are also adventurers and have already found their HEAís in previous books. Logan hates liars and when he fishes a woman out of the ocean who is just full of lies, his antennae for danger is high. After all, he has people who are constantly following him and trying to steal the treasurers he finds. He is currently seeking a ship that supposedly had a ton of diamonds and emeralds when it sank.

Dani Rosado comes from a family who is split; her mother being from one country and her father another. She is also in a heap of trouble. First she was thrown off her cousinsí ship because she didnít want to help them steal this treasure from Logan, only to find herself rescued by the very man they wanted her to con. But even more importantly, she is on the run from her former fiance, a well-known politician with secrets, and trying to kill her from telling those secrets. What she doesnít know is how far to trust Logan.

The story moves through the various dangerous situations and ultimately Logan gets the whole story from Dani. Despite his hatred of liars, he gives her a break, mainly because he finds himself so attracted to her, he canít keep his hands to himself. He is a nice guy though, backing off when he realizes she has experienced some trauma in her past relationship. Dani, meanwhile just doesnít know what to think, since she is sure no one can fully protect her from this really powerful bad guy. Logan pulls in security Ė men from T-FLAC Ė who are covert operators. But even they have trouble keeping her safe. The final third of the book is extremely suspenseful and kept me from putting it down.

Overall, I enjoyed Vortex. I liked the characters and the men of Loganís crew. I liked Logan and Dani when they finally stopped lying to each other and started to build a real relationship. However, one has to suspend oneís belief about all of the shooting, killing and covert operations going on. And of course, the whole treasure thing was almost a backdrop just to keep the story moving.

So I wanted to recommend this story for all the right reasons, and I enjoyed it enough to look into the other two stories in the Cutterís Bay series. But ultimately, despite being well written and engaging, Vortex is another in the long line of stories with a plot that one has read before.

--Shirley Lyons


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