Pocket Books, Paperback Release Aug 2002
Reviewed by Sissy Jacobson
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Theo Buchanan, an attorney for the Justice Department and brother of Nick
Buchanan, the FBI agent featured in HEARTBREAKER, is in New Orleans to
attend a fund raiser and receive an award. He has ignored the ache in his
side for several days, and what's a little fever? Buchanans are tough.
Dressed in his tux, he mops the sweat off his brow and heads downstairs to
the banquet held in his honor.
Dr. Michelle " Mike" Renard, a gifted
surgeon, is bemoaning the fact that she spent four hundred dollars for the
dress she is bought to attend this gala, when she observes a tall,
handsome man with an athletic build, and a pasty gray cast to his face. As
she watches, he leans against a pillar, bends over, and clutches his
abdomen. Michelle goes to him and asks if she can help; Theo raises his
head and promptly throws up all over her brand new designer gown. Mike
calls an ambulance and rushes him to the hospital where she performs an
emergency appendectomy. He is vaguely aware of Willie Nelson singing,
Michelle's blue eyes, and a few other bits and pieces that happen before
he goes to sleep on the operating table. When he wakes up in his room, Dr.
Renard is there checking his chart.
Members of a crime family have made threats against Theo's life. After he
wraps up some loose ends in Boston, Theo is ordered to make himself scarce
for a while and carry a revolver. Since he can't get the beautiful,
red-headed, blue-eyed Dr. Renard out of his mind, he decides to take her
father up on his invitation to go fishing. Three weeks later, he lands in
New Orleans, rents a car, and heads to Bowen. He stops to get directions
from a teenager who immediately decides Theo is the new football coach the
local high school is recruiting. Nothing Theo says can convince him
otherwise, so the rumor spreads like wildfire before he even gets to The
Swan, Jake Renard's bar.
In New Orleans, a foursome whose greed led them to form the Sowing Club
are discussing ways to get rid of Michelle. They know papers sent to her
reveal they are responsible for a certain mercy killing. The sole aim and
purpose of the Sowing Club is to sow millions of dollars into a secret
offshore bank account, and nothing should be allowed to get in their way.
When Michelle's office is trashed and her home is broken into, Theo calls
Noah Clayborne, an FBI agent and friend, who along with Michelle's
brother, Jean Paul, help protect her and try to find out who the killers
are. Monk, the professional the Sowing Club hired, gets away and appears
in Ms. Garwood's next book, KILLJOY.
For those of us who have bemoaned the fact that Julie Garwood has turned
to contemporary romantic suspense, there is good news. In MERCY, Ms.
Garwood's "voice" comes through loud and clear. She writes with the same
rhythm, sentence structure, and humor that we love in her historicals. The
characters are wonderfully true to life, and the dialogue is snappy and
witty. Not once is a Cajun word or phrase used, yet I can hear the Cajun
accent when the characters speak. The romance is more than satisfying, the
action is edge of the seat, and this book never slows down. We meet Jean
Paul, Michelle's brother who is the hero in KILLJOY, and are briefly
introduced to her brother, Remy. I waited a long time to read MERCY and
now I'm sorry I put it off. I find that it is better than HEARTBREAKER,
but that is only my opinion. If you haven't read MERCY yet, I suggest you
pick up a copy and see if you agree with me. Julie Garwood has another hit
with this one, and has left openings for more books to follow. We can only
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