Breaking the Rules

Duets 43

Flirting With Danger

Rules of Engagment

Sleeping With The Enemy
by Jamie Denton
(Harlequin Blaze #10, $4.50, R) ISBN 0-373-790-147
I havenít had an opportunity to try the new Blaze line until this review, so I was anxious to see if these new "hotter" books lived up to all the hype. Iím happy to report this one certainly did, without sacrificing a really great story.

FBI agent Chase Bracken is better known as "Bend The Rules Bracken" - an agent with a chip on his shoulder a mile wide and a reputation for taking risks. Risks the agency has reprimanded him for time and time again. In his last assignment, several innocent bystanders were shot and now Chaseís superiors are itching to get rid of him.

What better way than to assign him a case no one else has been able to crack in the past three years. That of apprehending agent-gone-bad Jared Romine, wanted for the murder of a fellow agent and a top senatorial aide. No one has had any luck in tracking down the elusive agent and now itís Chaseís task to find him or turn in his shield. Chase is determined to use whatever means are necessary to get his man.

It appears that Jared Romine has one weakness, his younger sister Dr. Destiny Romine. Although previous attempts to get her to talk have failed, Chase is certain heíll be successful - even if it means sleeping with the enemy.

Chase goes undercover as the local high school football coach and arranges to lease an apartment in Deeís building. Things move along precisely as Chase has planned, with one big exception. Dee has found a place in Chaseís heart and he knows once she discovers his deception, sheíll never forgive him.

The author walks a fine line with the character of Chase, a man who has no qualms about sleeping with a woman to get what he wants. I wasnít entirely sure Iíd find him a sympathetic character, but as I learned of Chaseís difficult past and watched him wrestle with his conscience regarding his relationship with Dee, I was won over.

Besides, Chase has clearly met his match in Dee Romine. Although she has no idea where her brother is hiding, Dee is certain that Jared is innocent. All she has to hold on to is a series of mysterious phone calls where no one speaks on the other end. Sheís sure that is Jaredís way of letting her know heís all right.

I liked Dee a great deal, although she comes across as a bit rigid. It was that quality that caused me to scratch my head over her transformation to a wild woman in bed. It seemed a shade out of character for Dee, but it worked well for Chaseís character. I donít think I would have found Chase nearly as sympathetic had he been the aggressor in their sexual relationship.

The author has set up a nearly impossible conflict and I was anxious to see if she was able to pull off a satisfying resolution. I was not disappointed. Thereís quite a bit happening in such a short book and it all worked perfectly. My first introduction to the new Blaze series is a success and I canít wait to read others.

--Karen Lynch

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