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Monday, October 26, 2009

Counterfeit Hearts by Peggy Parsons

Counterfeit Hearts by Peggy Parsons
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Romantic Suspense; Contemporary
Length: Full (324 pages)
Heat: Hot
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Sali flies to Jamaica believing her father sent her to photograph rare hummingbirds for a retired ambassador. After she arrives, she meets Sebastian, a man who makes her question her past belief in men.

Sebastian insists they pose as lovers to cover their real reason for being there. Although Sali doesn't trust her judgment in men, she reluctantly agrees. Even with that though, she fully intends to be home in time for Christmas—whether their mission is completed or not.

Along with Sebastian, the danger she faces with her personal safety, and with her heart, threatens to change her life forever.

Peggy Parsons’ great combination romantic suspense novel jump-starts with an intriguing courtroom scene. Although Sebastian should surely keep his focus on the trial, the attractive redhead on the witness stand is more than a distraction.

Stunning Sali has her own problems, and her attitude toward Sebastian is anything but encouraging. Still, you can’t help but have some hope for them, and right from the start, some suspicion that "Something Else" is going on here… Sali’s father didn’t really send her to Jamaica to photograph birds, did he? And, exactly what brings Sebastian on this particular venture?

The location – Jamaica- provides a really delightful backdrop for much of the story. Descriptions are simply delicious, with a feel-like-you-are-there sense in some scenes. Dialogue is plausible, and adds to the story, although some discussions are really fun. (Sali almost upon meeting the handsome man calls him a ‘horny toad.’) A lot of the dialogue is snappy, and the combative stuff is the best. Sali, for someone who starts out as such a toughie, is disappointingly dominated in a number of scenes. She just doesn’t seem like that kind of girl, at the outset. She does come through with a lot of courage eventually, but in several scenes you’ll fight the desire to kick her. The great thing is, the story is engaging enough so that you never sigh and put it aside – even when the characters are (frustratingly!) not doing what you want, they are still and most definitely engaging.

There is some measure of predictability in their ongoing relationship, but the events around them are intriguing and at times complex. Highs and lows of the investigation run at sharp parallels to their relationship’s ups and downs. And their various delights in one another are offered as important parts of the story, and evocatively show an impact on different levels of that relationship; from sexual delights to a desire to protect.

Counterfeit Hearts is a really nice romance with a touch of suspense. The near-poetic descriptions will make you want to hop on a plane.