Shannon K. Butcher
Forever, 2008 (2008)
Reviewed by Martina Bexte
ana Hancock's plan to help the underprivileged goes horribly wrong when she and fellow aid workers are kidnapped by terrorists bent on proving themselves to a more powerful organization called the
. Lana is the only survivor - after the timely intervention of one of the terrorists. While recovering in hospital, Lana learns the man's real identity - Caleb Stone is a Delta Force operative ordered to infiltrate the group and take them down - at any cost. She grasps the fact that he had been forced to follow orders and that to stop the torture and killing would have blown his cover and ended in his own death. But that didn't make her hate Caleb Stone any the less.
aleb understands how Lana's ordeal has damaged her. What she doesn't seem to grasp is that her terror - and his inability to protect her - will also haunt him for the rest of his life. He walks away from her, accepting her revulsion and knowing he will never be able to set things right between them. When Caleb is given a second chance to stop those who destroyed her life, he vows to bring down the terrorists or die trying. But once he and Lana are thrust back together, they both begin to understand that there's a very fine line between hate - and love.
is Shannon Butcher's follow-up to her debut romantic suspense,
which introduced Caleb Stone as a secondary character. In this instalment, she does a great job rounding out his character as well as portraying his and Lana's burden of guilt. However Lana's refusal to identify her enemies (one of whom is hiding in plain sight) goes on far too long and seems more like a plot device than the action of a seemingly intelligent woman intent on protecting those close to her. Overall though, Butcher has created another cast of interesting characters as well as a moderately complex plotline that keeps readers guessing.
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