Laden with the heavy inner monologue of two seriously conflicted, cautious and passive-aggressive characters, this story may leave readers wishing for more plot. Very little actually happens as the hero and heroine spend pages and pages thinking about what they do or don't want but rarely acting on it. The romance is tied up neatly, but the fate of the sapphire -- the major reason the characters resisted each other -- is left unknown. The final chapters possess the much-needed pace and style of the previous Black Sheep books, but too much talk and not enough action results in a sluggish feel and a novel that's very hard to finish.

Finn Dalton may be self-employed while Felicity Jane Trent works undercover for a government agency, but they are hunting the same thing -- an elusive, stolen sapphire. Personal issues and a fiery attraction hinder their ability to unite as a team, and when Finn lays all his cards on the table and Felicity Jane is unsure if she can follow suit, the fate of their relationship and their case hangs in the balance. (Brava, Aug., 368 pp., $14.00)
Reviewed by: 
Jennifer Madsen