The always splendid Mallery takes on a tough challenge with a hero whose royal arrogance and dedication to duty make him a tad unsympathetic. Longtime readers will be thrilled to catch up with the whole Marcelli clan and see Mia finally come into her own in this series finale. This family drama has been heartwarming and filled with complex emotions.

Smart and multilingual, Mia, the youngest Marcelli, became a spy. Her one big overseas assignment ended in heartbreak when she fell in love with a criminal who died in a violent shootout. Discovering she was pregnant, Mia quit the spy business and returned home to raise her young son, Danny.

Unexpectedly, the man she believed dead reappears, and Mia learns that he's really Rafael, Prince of Calandria. Having discovered that he has a 4-year-old heir, Rafael is determined to take Danny back to Calandria by whatever means necessary. Mia is torn. While she is happy the man she loved is not dead and that Danny has a father, she is concerned about how his royal roots will affect the boy. Mia is right to be concerned -- for Rafael's plans do not include her. (POCKET STAR, Mar., 384 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith