|Jessica Hall: The Deepest Edge|
(Paperback), ISBN 0451207963
I suffered "one of those days" for the past few months, but bless her heart, Jessica Hall cured what ailed me. I picked up her romantic adventure, The Deepest Edge, settled on the love seat and quickly fell under the spell of Valence St. Charles, abandoned orphan, foster child and juvenile street-wise felon turned curator at the New Orleans Museum of Art and Antiquities. Valence lusts after old swords the way fashionistas swoon over a vintage Valentino.
When Val hears businessman T'ang Jian-Shan amassed a staggering number of Nagatoki blades from the fabled White Tiger collection, she jumps on a plane to Paris with a plan to woo him and his swords to New Orleans. With the swords in hand, she can prove her theory about the blades' true maker, finish writing her book and establish her professional reputation.
Jian-Shan, the reclusive son of a tong leader, finds Val alluring from the moment he sees her. But he must carry through with his plan to set himself free of his father and protect his baby daughter while still mourning the death of his beloved wife. The plan's success turns on his possession of the White Tiger collection. He rebuffs Val's attempts to talk business.
Undaunted, she calls on her street smarts and tails him to his home. There she saves his and his daughter's lives from a hired assassin, but at a high price. He takes her into his home and protects her as part of the debt he feels honor bound to repay.
Of course they fall in love, fight the feelings, fight the tong, fight for their lives, admit their love and face the consequences. Characters come to life in Hall's tantalizing, exotic romance. Unexpected sub-plots tie up neatly at the end. And the ancient White Tigers fable woven in and around the adventures, adds an alluring mystic Eastern aura.
Readers may recognize Hall as sci-fi writer S. L. Viehl who also publishes under the pseudonym Gena Hale. Several characters cross over from Hale's trilogy to The Deepest Edge, the first in yet another trilogy. The second book of this series, The Steel Caress, hits bookstores in May.
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