Lone Star Magic

Powerful Magic

Soul Magic

Bulletproof Marriage
by Karen Whiddon
(SRS #1484, $4.99, PG) ISBN 0-373-27554-0
Not specifically described as part of a series, Bulletproof Marriage is nonetheless another novel featuring the Lazlo group, a private organization dedicated to the same goals as the British Secret Intelligence Service but without the constraints of government regulations.

The Lazlo group head, Corbet, is being threatened by emails which he believes originate with the famed "Hungarian" who is someone interested in world domination. Sean McGregor had been one of the Lazlo agents, and was reported killed by a fiery automobile accident. His wife and soul mate Natalie spent the two years thereafter struggling through one day at a time emotionally while working for the SIS. Fearless, often taking too many risks, she has risen to in the promotion chain to group leader.

The story opens as Natalie finds her team wiped out and she is backed into a corner with evildoers surrounding her with automatic weapons. Having run out of options, she had called Corbet for help. A rescuer arrives in the person of her dead husband Sean McGregor.

They escape, knowing "The Hungarian" is now actively pursuing them. Among other things that come out, Natalie learns that Sean had faked his death because of the certainty that the Hungarian would kill Natalie next, having disposed of Sean's family. Why Sean is in the hot seat with the Hungarian is revealed late in the book.

This fight with the evildoer is rooted by his hatred of Sean, and the presence of some code that Natalie has, which the Lazlo and SIS groups are waiting for her to crack. The code issue is not clearly set forth and turns out not be a central issue anyway.

Much of the novel deals with Natalie's anger with Sean, and with her guilt issues generated by her emotions. From Sean's viewpoint, the novel centers on his knowledge that he will never regain Natalie as his wife if she finds out the reason the Hungarian is focused on him. And for an unexpected twist, the identity of the Hungarian is meant to add interest.

Unfortunately, much of the angst gets repetitious. However the author does an adequate job with the escalating sexual tension between Natalie and Sean. The suspense plot is thin, and except for occasional flashes, is almost without tension. Little is made of the story's environs.

Karen Whiddon is probably better known as a novelist who deals in paranormal romances. For those fans that expect that in Bulletproof Marriage, they should know this is contemporary romantic suspense.

--Thea Davis

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