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Friday, September 4, 2009

Amazon Connection by Carol Henry

Amazon Connection by Carol Henry
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (230 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Holly Newman has been sent to monitor GlennCorp’s pipeline project to ensure it doesn’t endanger the rainforest. Working with GlennCorp’s two field engineers, Holly approves the proposed route. But trouble-shooter Jake Daniels arrives in Manaus and postpones signing contracts.

Jake has been sent to investigate a money-laundering scheme involving GlennCorp’s two engineers. Jake’s boss suspects Holly is an accomplice and orders Jake to get ‘close’ to her. The last thing Jake needs is to ‘get close’ to a tree-hugging female.

Jake plans to keep an ‘eye’ on Holly. Holly follows Jake into the rainforest to keep an eye on him. Sparks fly. And it has nothing to do with ‘saving the trees’. Being stranded in the back of beyond isn’t what Holly bargained for. Neither was being kidnapped.

Will their misadventures in the dark, mysterious Amazonian Rainforest keep them apart? Or will it be the catalyst that brings them together?

Carol Henry’s Amazon Connection is the ultimate escape. Not only do we find ourselves in an exotic locale, we are plunged into confusion and concern about what is coming when we are privy to a revealing conversation in the opening. We are gripped by concern for people we have yet to meet. And, with the appearance of both Holly and Jake, we can only guess at how many ways this relationship can go wrong; never mind that we know the evil doers have it in for them. Carol Henry’s clever opening is merely the start; as readers, we are hooked and stay hooked.

Ms. Henry wastes no time in developing heart-thumping suspense and even more tantalizing moments side by side with the oh-so-handsome Jake…who is also incredibly annoying. Our main character, Holly, is a busy career woman, and her latest batch of contracts is being held up by the doubts of none other than this one handsome dude, who insists on inspecting the planned route for the fuel pipeline himself. Holly, the consummate professional, does not appreciate anyone questioning her documents, even this super-sexy man who reminds her so much of the last playboy she’d inadvertently hooked up with. Holly doesn’t plan to land another, similar relationship, and sets off determined to keep a cool professional distance.

The cool exterior is put to the test, not only by the attractive man, but finding herself in-–of all things--an alligator hunt. Suspecting the horrors of the day were put together for her benefit, Holly can only surmise what Jake’s goal may be. Her job is more challenging than she ever expected. And, the rainforest itself is nothing for anyone to take lightly; it will pose challenges even for the overconfident Jake, as well.

Super details bring the Brazilian rainforest to life, from the heat and humidity to the array of nocturnal animals. It’s a great action story, although there are subtle details that contribute to the overall. I especially like that the good guys/bad guys are clear, but at the same time, no character is merely stereotypical. Even the bad guys have the odd second thought or concern. The story moves forward rapidly, and for the most part, unpredictably. The setting couldn’t be better, or better described.