After accidentally killing an undercover DEA agent, Chicago police officer John Merrick quits the force and returns home to New Orleans. There he ends up taking on the job of extra security for Julia Wainwright, the owner of a bookstore that specializes in antique books, who he hasn't seen since they were teenagers.

Julia has been receiving threatening letters from someone because of an erotic romance she's written. Though it was published under a pseudonym and she's kept her identity a secret, someone knows who she really is. As the threats to her escalate, so do John's feelings for her. But how can a psychologically damaged ex-cop who can't even pick up a gun keep the woman he's falling in love with safe?

Castillo's novel is a suspenseful story with plenty of action and a nice romance. But some scenes involving the villain may be disturbing to more sensitive readers, and lack of common sense in the characters' actions and consistency between scenes keeps this from being the fascinating story it could be. (Aug., 352 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed by: 
Susan Mobley