Break Every Rule

The Heart of the Falcon

Silken Betrayal

Winter Nights

Incognito by Francis Ray
(Arabesque/BET, $4.99, PG-13) 1-58314-055-7
In 1997, Francis Ray took a hiatus from writing stories about the Taggart family of Texas. The Taggart series has since grown to include stories about the Taggarts; their in-laws, the Falcons; and now, the Falcons' first cousins -- Graysons of New Mexico. They are among Ray's best and most popular stories. I recommend them all. During her short break from the Taggarts, the author tried her hand at romantic suspense. Incognito is the result.

“Incognito” is the first of ten made-for-TV movies produced by Black Entertainment Television, the cable company which purchased Arabesque Books last year. The film, starring Allison Dean and Richard T. Jones in the lead roles, is based on the Francis Ray novel. “Incognito” will air September 17 on BET. Arabesque/BET Books is reissuing Incognito with an updated cover featuring Dean and Jones as a tie-in to the film.

One night, Erin Cortland, an advertising executive and member of a socially prominent Austin family stopped at a convenience store to use an ATM. There, she crossed paths with Frank Scanlon. Scanlon had just robbed the convenience store and murdered the two clerks inside. He carjacked Erin in an attempt to escape.

A quirk of fate saved her life and she was able to testify against Scanlon in court. After sentencing, he swore revenge against Erin and the judge. She was traumatized and had recurring nightmares about the night of the robbery. Erin spent time in a victim's recovery program in an effort to get her life back on track.

Now comes word that Scanlon has escaped from prison. When the judge is murdered, Erin's father and godfather are determined to protect her. They hire security expert Jake Hunter.

Jake and Erin have met before. Several months earlier, at a social event in Chicago, Jake made an inept pass at Erin. It was not his finest hour. He is both pleased and embarrassed to see her again. Erin is less ambivalent about her feelings and erects an icy front between them.

Erin eventually begins to trust Jake and feel save with him. As they spend time together, they fight their mutual attraction. The ever-present danger Scanlon poses, a jealous would-be suitor and class conflicts add to the mix.

As I mentioned, Incognito is the author's first foray into romantic suspense. There are minor flaws that reflect Ray's inexperience with the form. However, it is a good story. If you liked "The Bodyguard," you'll like Incognito.

--Gwendolyn Osborne

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