Loreth Ann White continues her Shadow Soldiers series with HEART OF A RENEGADE. Jessica Chan is a journalist who is on to something big. What she's uncovered about the Chinese Triad Dragons is going to get her killed.
Enter Luke Stone from the Force du Sable, a powerful paramilitary organization. He hates protection assignments; he wasn't able to protect his own loved ones when danger came their way, and he has no wish to get involved in that aspect of the business again. But, he's the only agent nearby, so he gets the call.
Luke is to deliver Jessica to the CIA as a witness, and it's a tough job doing it. Luke starts to suspect something's up when the Dragons are tipped off to nearly every pick-up point. Are they that good at tracking, is there a double agent in the CIA, or is something more sinister happening? He decides to keep Jessica on the run until he finds out.
Jessica isn't just reporting on the Triad Dragons and their illegal dealings- working this close to China is bringing up all her emotions about her Chinese mother, and the British ambassador father who abandoned them. Her world is shaken again when it looks like her father might be in this...on the wrong side.
I love 'couples on the run' stories, and Loreth does a wonderful job with what is surely a familiar plotline. Her pacing is sharp, her situations dangerous and believeable. She writes her action scenes with clarity and urgency, and I liked the ride. Luke's competence is shown without him being Superman, and Jessica doesn't suffer from Stupid Heroine Syndrome. They surely do steam up the windows (heat level is highly sensual) and it's easy to see the attraction. I felt for Jessica, as she decides whether to do the smart thing and go into witness protection, or stay on the outside and face the consequences. I like a woman who shows courage, not just feisty stubbornness cloaked as independence.
All of Harlequin’s front-list titles are currently being released as e-books, and there is link on Loreth's page if you would rather read it electronically. I've enjoyed this series tremendously, and I'm currently searching out the backlist. Thanks, Loreth!