The Man Behind the Badge

 
Virgin Without a Memory
by Vickie Taylor
(Silh. Int. Mom. #965, $4.25, PG) ISBN 0-373-07965-6
***
Businessman Eric Randall received the telephone call we all dread. A rural sheriff in the mountains of Utah tells him his brother Mike is dead. In a terrible accident, Mike’s motorcycle plunged from a high cliff to the rocky river below. His body has not yet been recovered.

Eric begins his search for answers at the scene of the accident and is attacked and brutally beaten. Trying to elude his attackers, he flees into the path of Mariah Morgan and her stallion, Jet.

Mariah is one troubled lady. Twelve years prior, she had lost her memory for the events which immediately preceded her parents’ death. And the black void has come again. This time, she has awakened in her bed unable to remember what happened to her after she left the ranch to meet Mike Randall.

Armed with a gun, Eric forces Mariah to let him ride with her as he eludes his pursuers. When they reach her small ranch and Eric restrains her, the reader learns two things: that Mariah was abused as a child and that the deputies are probably Eric's attackers.

As Mariah nurses Eric back to health, he half believes she was involved in Mike’s death, but he enlists her help in trying to find out what happened. What begins as lust matures to love as they fight to rid themselves of the ghosts of their troubled pasts.

The gentleness of their developing love is contrasted dramatically with the savagery of the threats and attacks from all sides, while echoes of the past join in sustaining a high level of suspense. The characters are well presented, but the plot is overly complicated and at times it feels overburdened with evil and enemies.

This is foremost a suspense story with a romance tucked into it. While not as evenly balanced as most Intimate Moments books, the author does a good job of placing her characters in a setting that is rarely written about and utilizing plot devices with unexpected twists.

--Thea Davis


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