Blood Crystal

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Blood Crystal

On the remote island of San Delta life was not good. It is a poor country located about 70 miles in the Indian Ocean off the coast of India. The sole income came from selling vegetables and handmade trinkets. This is way the 8 councilmen were meeting. Maybe it was time to let the big hotel chains come to San Delta with their jobs for the young people. Maybe they would stay. Suddenly, a meteorite landed among them and on it’s top was a crystal the size of a hen’s egg but shaped like a heart. 

This was not an ordinary crystal. When squeezed, it turned red and started pulsing like a real heart. It also turned warmer with each beat. Once released, it turned back into a normal looking crystal.
Stephen Douglas was cruising down a seedy neighborhood street in Los Angeles. He was hired to pick up a cop’s daughter at a certain address. The problem was, he couldn’t find it and now was running late. It also didn’t help that he picked a bright red convertible to rent that really stood out in this neighborhood. Just as he was thinking about putting up the roof a guy jumps in the back, puts a gun to his side and tells him to drive. 
Danielle Lovato, Dani, is a new agent for a government agency. She was undercover when a crocked cop killed her partner. Now, she’s on the run trying to keep alive! Dani and her partner removed a crystal belonging to the country of San Delta from an international gangster. He wasn’t happy and apparently a local cop wanted it too. Dani’s only choice is to try to make it back to DC without getting caught.
To Dani’s surprise and Stephen dismay, they keep getting followed. Stephen isn’t sure what exactly is going on but is willing to go along with Dani while he figures it out. He’s going to need all the skills he learned with the military to keep them alive and moving. Dani isn’t sure whom to trust and she doesn’t trust easily but she’s not stupid and she needs help, help that Stephen seems willing to give. Can they loose the bad guys, figure out who the good guys are and make it to DC before they figure out that they actually want to go to bed together to do more than sleep?
This is Ms Hoffman’s third book concerning the Douglas family. They do not need to be read in order. Each book has a wonderful story that is great by itself. The later books refer to characters in previous books and they may have a guest appearance but they do not play a major role in the books.
As usual, I loved the characters. Dani is so over her head that she’s not sure what to do. This is her first assignment and everything is falling apart. Stephen keeps taking charge and then she’d remember that she is the agent, not Stephen. Stephen takes charge automatically and without thought. This causes some friction when Dani remembers that she’s the actual agent. Still, Stephen is having the time of his life evading the bad guys and hanging out with Dani.
Though most of this book is one long chase scene, there is subtle humor throughout. Most of this humor concerns Dani or something Stephen did that involves Dani. Dani claims that she is an agent but when asked for her badge she remembers that it is in the coat that Stephen left at his ex-wife’s house. Talk about being flustered! That’s not the only thing that was left there either. Even a quick shopping trip had me smiling, as Dani and Stephen’s ideas on necessary items weren’t exactly the same.
Trust is a big issue for both characters but especially for Dani. Neither is sure they can trust the other yet they are drawn to each other. Can you love someone you don’t trust?
I loved this book. I wasn’t too sure about this strange crystal but by the end of the book I was okay with it. As usual, the characters were wonderful and the plot perfect. I just didn’t want to put this book down. As they raced across the country, I was right there with them. Fight scenes were tense as you weren’t sure of their outcome. All the elements of a great story came alive.
While there is sex in this romance, it is not real graphic nor is there a lot of it. There is just enough to make the love story believable.
Need a good book for a snowy afternoon or just to relax? This could be your perfect fit.

Book Blurb for Blood Crystal

When a priceless crystal is stolen and five international agents killed, rookie agent Dani Lovato is sent undercover into the clandestine world of precious gems to retrieve it.

Stephen Douglas returns from Afghanistan, a wounded war hero, to find the life he left behind in shambles. Depressed and hitting rock bottom in an LA jail, he’s offered the chance to be released with a clear record. All he has to do is show up at a warehouse and pick up the sheriff’s daughter who is stranded and in harm’s way. What sounds like a simple venture turns into an escapade that becomes the ride of his life.

Thrown together, not trusting each other, Stephen and Dani embark on a cross-country mission to return the Blood Crystal from bowels of LA to its rightful owner in Washington D.C. Along the way, they discover there is a thin line between the good guys and the bad guys, and staying alive becomes more challenging with each perilous turn. Sparks fly between them in more ways than one as Dani accidently learns the startling secret of the Blood Crystal.

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2010 4.75