The Second Sister
Carrie Weaver
HSR 1222, $5.50, PG
Reviewed 8/30/04 (SL)

Cinderella's Secret Agent

Engaging Sam

Eye of the Beholder

Fugitive Hearts

Loving the Lone Wolf

Romancing the Renegade

Under the King's Command
A Wish and a Dream

Army of Two
by Ingrid Weaver
(SRS# 1621, $4.99, PG-13) ISBN 978- 0-373-237691-2
Special Forces Major Mitch Redinger first met Chantal Leduc seventeen years ago, the daughter of his commanding officer, now a retired General.  Young and impressionistic she had fallen for him and his removal from that situation had been less than artful. Chantal is divorced and is aware that Mitch's wife has been dead for some seven years. Now she is running a remote resort in Maine known as The Aerie.

The premises have been leased for a week by arms manufacturer, Petherick Corporation, to a delegation from the Army. Graham Petherick and some of his staff are scheduled to meet with them in brainstorming sessions in order to determine the direction their development department should take for weaponry development in the next decade.

After an awkward first meeting upon arrival, early the next morning Chantal and Mitch meet by accident at the dock with their early morning coffee. While she is showing Mitch the boat house area, he hears an incoming helicopter. Too quickly they realize the resort is under attack and the men in the chopper are armed with assault weapons.  As they are fleeing for help, the attack chopper suddenly is in pursuit. Their fuel tank is ruptured and they manage to get out of the truck before it explodes in flames. The chopper sees the fire and they believe Chantal and Mitch to be dead and return to the resort.

The purpose of the attack and holding the resort and all in it hostages is soon revealed. The attackers want Petherick to divert delivery of missiles which they intend to sell to the highest bidder. Mitch and Chantal know they have to get help and, initially, Mitch thinks the boats are the best avenue of escape. They double back to the dock to find them put out of commission by the attackers.

Their efforts persist and as they begin working together as a team as they reexamine the short period of their initial time together, which had created a lasting impression upon both. Weaver does very well in developing her characters and using dialog to mature her plot. The use of Maine's rugged terrain adds to the challenges Mitch and Chantal face in their rescue efforts.

The greater challenge is their growing attraction to each other, both dealing with their respective pasts and emotional baggage. Juxtaposing this with the difficulties their environment imposes on their efforts adds zest to a well worn plot. Weaver does her usual fine job in fashioning a story that is better than the sum of its parts.

--Thea Davis

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