Last week the “Bug” that was making its rounds hit our house. All I wanted was the couch, a cozy blanket, plenty of comfort drinks, and even more importantly, comfort, cozy books. One genre that I enjoy for light reading is the Harlequin Intrigues. Most of them are interchangeable, but one that I read was a notch above the usual and I thought that you might want to hear about it.
THE SPY WORE SPURS was written by Dana Marton, an author with a long history with Harlequin. The setting and the plot could have been taken from this week’s newspaper.
Former army medic Grace Cordero has returned to the deserted family ranch in South Texas to scatter her brother’s ashes. She and her brother had been close and returning to the ranch is an emotional trip for her.
Hearing shots on the remote ranch one night takes her out in a storm to find Ryder McKay, mysteriously shot and left for dead. McKay is a top secret commando soldier who has been sent to the Texas/Mexican border on a secret mission. Someone is using Grace’s property to smuggle drugs, weapons, and people across the border.
At the risk of blowing his cover, McKay needs Grace to help him blend in and get acquainted with the locals. When a Mexican woman appears at Grace’s door hunting her husband and two small children, Grace becomes emotionally involved and may become a danger to the mission as well as to herself.
The story follows fairly predictable lines, but with a few twists. The characters were a little better developed than usual for this type of book. The “villain” was not a big surprise, but Martin did a nice job of giving him some personal background which helped to explain his conflict with what he was doing.
The book also has an ending that makes the reader aware that the story is not really over. Whether this was a neat literary trick or a neat trick to prepare us for sequels, we will have to wait to find out.
There is probably a reason why Harlequin Intrigue has been around for ages. They are light, readable, romantic suspense stories and like any other publisher’s series, once in a while a little gem can be found.