Connected to McKenna's popular Morgan's Mercenaries series, this tale about Morgan's son, Pete, brings to life the struggle faced by those trying to help modernize Afghanistan. But too much of the story is devoted to the main characters internalizing how they can't give in to their attraction for each other.

Assigned to a construction project in Afghanistan, Marine Major Pete Treyhorn is determined to keep the job on schedule and on budget. Liaising with civilian construction workers, he discovers he'll be working with Cali Roland, who's in charge of this Roland Construction project.

He's surprised that Cali is a woman, and believes the attraction they feel for one another must be suppressed. When Cali is injured, it appears that someone is passing along information about her movements. The tension mounts as a new engineer takes a personal interest in Cali. But when she vanishes, it's up to Pete to find her. (HQN, Dec., 384 pp., $5.99)
Reviewed by: 
Susan Mobley