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Monday, January 11, 2010

Shattered by Joan Johnston

Shattered by Joan Johnston
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense
Length: Full (423 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

Nine years ago Kate Grayhawk Pendelton walked into Wyatt Shaw's life - and out of it the next morning. Now Wyatt's back - and has the power to shatter Kate's future with the man she loves.

By reputation, Wyatt Shaw is a brutal killer who always gets what he wants. And he wants Kate and her twin eight-year-old sons.

Texas Ranger Jack McKinley is hot on Wyatt Shaw's trail. The presumed heir to the D'Amato crime syndicate is threatening to steal the woman he loves.

Holly McKinley is fighting to keep Jack from leaving her for another woman. Now the secret she's kept for over twenty years may save their son's life, and cost her the only man she's ever loved.

Kate Grayhawk Pendleton’s life is in one heck of a mess. She is supposedly a widow--but not. She has been shot by an assassin that wanted to kill her mother-in-law. She is strongly attracted to Texas Ranger Jack McKinley who is not divorced from his wife. More than that, she is confronted by a man she picked up one night long ago when she was devastated after finding her husband cheating and his not caring that she found out. She never planned to see that stranger again. He had been a passionate, tender lover that night and had given her solace and pleasure, but now he seems like trouble with a capital T.

Wyatt Shaw’s life changes the day he learns he is a father. Using the same single-mindedness he uses to make his billions, he sets in to create a safe life with and for his family. But his mafia-type father proves to be a challenge as does a man that is supposed to be dead. He meets their challenges head on, but how to cope with the man that holds the affections of the woman Wyatt wants becomes his biggest challenge.

Joan Johnston creates a true page-turner that is fast-paced, timely, and full of tension and sensuality. SHATTERED teems with complex characters and subplots that enrich the main plot. She weaves in the humor and the resilience of eight-year-old Lucky and Chance and six-year-old Ryan that add a dimension to a story that only children can add—it all seems to fit in so naturally.

If you’ve had the pleasure of reading other Bitter Creek novels, you will feel like you are hearing from old acquaintances. If you haven’t read the others then SHATTERED will nudge you toward wanting to know more about characters like King Grayhawk, Jackson Blackthorne, Breed Grayhawk, and many others. They are colorful and bigger than life.

The characters in SHATTERED deal with the horrors brought on by drug trafficking, the viciousness of cancer that strikes both young and old, while they try to untangle emotional tangles they have gotten themselves into. Joan Johnston creates a special tapestry as she weaves the lives of the many characters together with the emergence of enduring and committed love being the most pleasing part of the design.

The swirling threads of events make a compelling story that lingers in the mind long after the last word is read.