This one's worthy of a re-release

Love With The Proper Stranger (Harlequin Silhouette Intimate Moments) - Suzanne Brockmann

Opening Line: "She laced his coffee with opium."

 

This is one of the better early Brockmann romances I‘ve read. (Shame about the cover though) Written in 97, it's really worthy of a re-release because there’s an excellent suspense filled story here that managed to surprise me several times by not following the usual cookie cutter formula required of category romances. I never really knew where this was going to go; with events setting up in one direction only to end up going a very different way. And with several steamy love scenes, a tortured hero I just wanted to hug and a heroine that was well… normal (meaning that she didn’t ‘suddenly’ know how to use a gun, or annoy me with stupid talk and the usual quarrels) I had trouble putting this one down. When Brockmann’s on her game there's just no one better and this quick romantic suspense gave me everything I could possibly want.

 

FBI agent John Miller is known throughout the department as “the robot”. Still reeling from the death of his partner which he blames himself for, John is unable to sleep or eat, just barely going through the motions of living. When he’s sent undercover to catch a black widow serial killer, John actually resembles the hollow, sickly cancer patient he’s meant to be.

 

The plan is for “Johnathan Mills” to appear wealthy, in bad health and to marry their suspect Serena Westford, gathering enough evidence to take her down before she murders another husband. The plan however is not for John to fall in love with her best friend Mariah Robinson. Somehow though she’s made him feel alive for the first time in years and even though he knows he’s sending her mixed signals (that kiss was probably a mistake as was falling asleep on her couch after a back rub) he can’t blow his cover. For as much as he wants Mariah he’s going to have to follow through and marry and sleep with Serena.

 

As I said the story here is not as straightforward as I first thought; the antagonist is always one step ahead of the FBI and as it turns out Mariah is not who she seems to be either. Oh and our strong, manly hero cries at the end which just did me in. Cheers.