Catch Me If You Can

Sins of the Father

Sweet Revenge

Sweet Suspicion

Enemy Husband by Nina Bruhns
(Silh. Int. Mom. #1402, $4.99, PG) ISBN 0-373-27472-6
Dynamic original characters, fast moving complex plots and steamy sex characterize Nina Bruhnsí novels. Only one would be sufficient to leave the reader with an enjoyable reading experience but Bruhns just keeps getting better. Enemy Husband is her ninth offering in just about as many years of writing.

Two agents are sent on an undercover assignment as husband and wife to perform a mission. Sound familiar? Well, during chapter one, you will realize that this will definitely not be a deja vue experience.

Kansas Hawthorne, FBI trained cat burglar, is a business rival of Stewart Rio, the Special Agent in Charge of an anti-terrorist division. The book opens as Kansas, nicknamed Sass, is pitted against Rio in the annual contest between divisions. The winner is the same as the year before and is gloating when the boss assigns them both to an undercover mission. The FBI has recently arrested a husband-wife team who had been planning to attend an auction for a recently stolen nuclear trigger.

Rio and Sass are to impersonate the arrested team. The husband is a turned Interpol agent, and the wife is a Swede who had worked her way up through the prostitution ranks to become a joint partner in crime. The auction is to be held on a small one-owner island off the coast of South Carolina. Access is to be by the terrorist boat owned by the husband/wife team now in the custody of the FBI.

Sass is really good at what she does, since her father is in prison for burglary, genetics may have contributed to her success in the FBI training program. Rio is on a lifetime crusade to get the person responsible for his FBI agent fatherís death. Since Dawson, the prospective auctioneer, is believed to have had a role in that death, he is anxious for closure.

Off they sail, very attracted to each other; upon arrival they find Dawson to be as paranoid, evil and twisted as they come, but Rio and Sass pass his first tests.

The author apparently has lived in South Carolina and a real sense of place is apparent throughout the story. The dialogue is pert, impudent, funny and always in the voice of the moment.

The plot is subtly well structured and peppered with bouts of explosive action throughout. The tension ebbs and flows around the action, the result of exceptional pacing. All of this is done with very likeable good guys, and detestable bad guys.

Thanks to Nina Bruhns, this is a great book to begin your reading year!

--Thea Davis

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