Released March 2000
Jordy Decker is a sculptor, and a pretty dang good one. Only problem is her partner has lied, cheated and stolen Jordy right out of her business. Feeling the extreme need to hid for a while and concentrate solely on her art, she winds up in Florida, where she meets Malacai L'Baan, bestselling author, and a man with his own issues right now. Namely, a crazy fan who's been sending him bizarre and disturbing letters.
After meeting Cai's grandfather, she agrees to stay on their little island hideaway, figuring it to be the perfect, secluded spot to get the muse jump-started again. What Jordy doesn't figure on is the pull she feels towards Cai, and the crazy letter writer taking grave offense to her staying anywhere near Cai.
There are secrets in Cai's family ~ secrets that have a way of revealing themselves when necessary. The books Cai has written ~ all about the mysterious Dark Pearl ~ have sprung from Cai's subconscious, but his grandfather insists the Dark Pearl is very real, and the only hope Cai has to stop the crazed fan from acting out some of the very disturbing things he/she has written about.
I like how Ms. Kauffman weaves the two story threads into one seamless tale. The main plot of the book, the story of Malachai and his history regarding the Dark Pearl is well-played against the story of Jordy and Cai, and their deepening feelings towards one another. Cai's grandfather is quit the character, and the interaction between them characters is always interesting. The heat level is sensual, but not just thrown in for the heck of it.
If you have never read a novel by Donna Kauffman, you are missing out one good storyteller. You can check out her entire booklist on her website www.donnakauffman.com