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Winning the lottery is not a sure trip down easy street, as Jenner Redwine soon learns. She had just dumped her mooch of a boyfriend, her father has a sudden “interest” in her life and everyone has their hands out for a piece of her good fortune. Fast forward ten years, Jenner hasn't succumbed to the “lottery curse”, she has carved a life for herself in the wealthy social circle. She is going on a charity cruise with her best friend, Sidney, when the unthinkable happens. She and Sidney are both hijacked, Sidney is being held hostage to coerce Jenner into cooperating with the demands of the kidnappers. 

Cael Traylor and his team are all set to go undercover to discover who is trading government secrets. This is just supposed to be a simple surveillance operation, that is, until the room assignments are switched around and he's forced to take drastic measures in order to secure his information. By kidnapping Sidney, he's able to convince Jenner to be his roommate for the cruise.

Jenner is determined to hinder the teams attempts, until she realizes that they are the good guys, then she wants to help them discover what is really going on. Cael and Jenner fight their attraction at first, but soon realize resistance is futile. Will they discover the secrets of the ship before all hell really breaks loose?

BURN is an excellently written tale, successfully entwining adventure and romance in a thrilling ride from start to finish. Linda Howard created a strong plot with well fleshed-out characters, I was absorbed into the drama from the very beginning. Jenner's inner-strength shined throughout the book. The initial altercations between Cael and Jenner were quite amusing, as he was to quickly learn that she was not one to just blindly follow directions. I loved the banter between them, I found myself chuckling frequently during their verbal sparing. The chemistry between them was combustible, both in and out of bed. Jenner was a strong, intelligent woman, who wasn't about to just take Cael's directives without question. Cael was an alpha, who expects people to respect him and listen to him without question. Jenner really threw him for a loop.

I would really like to see Tiffany with her own story. She was interesting and I loved her terribly trashy fashion sense, combined with her team skills!

Book Blurb for Burn

Money certainly changes Jenner Redwine's life when she wins a lottery jackpot. But it also costs her plenty: Her father rips her off and disappears, her fortune-hunting boyfriend soon becomes her ex, and friends-turned-freeloaders give her the cold shoulder when she stops paying for everything.

Flush with new money, Jenner can't imagine ever finding a place in the world of the wealthy. Seven years later, though, she's rubbing elbows with the rich, despite the fact she still feels like a party crasher. Luckily she finds an ally - and a guide to the rarefied realm of privilege - in shy, kind-hearted heiress Sydney Hazlett, who quickly becomes Jenner's confidante and surrogate sister.

When Sydney invites Jenner on a charity cruise aboard a luxury liner, Jenner reluctantly agrees. But while she's expecting - and dreading - two weeks of masquerade balls, art auctions, and preening glitterati, what she gets is more like a Hitchcock movie than a Love Boat episode. Taken hostage by a menacing stranger, Jenner must cooperate in a mysterious cloak-and-dagger scheme - or else. With nowhere to run, and with Sydney's life as well as her own at risk, Jenner is drawn into a game of dizzying intrigue and harrowing danger. But as her panic gives way to exhilaration, and fear of her captor turns to fascination, Jenner rediscovers feelings she hasn't had in years - and realizes she's found a life worth living. If she survives.

Night Owl Reviews Jul, 2009 4.75