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Island Heat    by Susan Kearney order for
Island Heat
by Susan Kearney
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2007 (2007)

* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

After the highly publicized death of her husband, actress Shara Weston is content to live a solitary life on a remote South Pacific island, away from prying eyes and news cameras. However, her idyllic existence changes dramatically when a man literally falls out of the sky and splashes down a few hundred yards from where she's snorkeling. Cade Archer claims that he's from another planet and that his mission on Earth is a matter of life and death. Millions of his people will die unless he opens a portal between both worlds and initiates a harvest of a much-needed mineral found in Earth's oceans.

Shara hardly credits this stranger's wild claims, despite his miraculous survival after a free fall of thousands of feet, and a few other oddities she can't explain. She patches his surprisingly minor injuries and calls on a pilot friend to remove Cade from her island. But moments later, her home is destroyed by those determined to stop Cade. Now the pair are on the run, prime targets as they desperately try to stay one step ahead of assassins, headed by Cade's murderous brother. Hot on their trail is a very resourceful reporter whose skill at uncovering the truth adds even more danger to their quest. The fact that Shara and Cade are attracted to each other throws both for an unexpected loop, leaving them even more committed to fulfilling Cade's mission and then taking a chance at love.

Kearney presents another enjoyable and well-written story that has a great balance of action and romance, along with well-rounded characters that readers will root for. The leads are both well realized and strong-willed - Cade completely dedicated to his mission, while Shara is quick to lend her support in ways that often surprise Cade and make the difference in their making it to the next hair-raising leg of their journey. A strong supporting cast and a nice secondary romance round out the story and heighten the adventure, making Island Heat a good choice for your winter reading list.

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