From Publishers Weekly
A single mom and gifted horse handler, Grace Archer goes on the lam with her equally exceptional eight-year-old daughter, Frankie, after a Middle Eastern magnate named Marvot kills the owner of the Alabama horse farm where they have been hiding under the watchful eye of Grace's former employer, the CIA. Johansen (Firestorm
, etc.) blends action, suspense and family values as Frankie's father, ex-CIA commando Jake Kilmer, comes back into Grace's life to protect her and the child he has never known. Grace blames Jake for her father's death and the end of her career, but there's no one else she trusts against Marvot, who wants her to train his lethal blue-eyed Arabian stallion and mare, known as the Pair, to lead him to treasure buried somewhere in the Moroccan desert. The novel starts off with guns blazing and doesn't slow down for murder, kidnapping, blackmail, sex or sandstorm. Johansen borrows openly from the movies Hollywood thinks women love (Grace talks to horses, though she balks at being called a horse whisperer), crafts family scenes (Marvot playing chess with his son; the Pair with their colt) and offers a mother and father who defend the world from criminals while yearning for domestic tranquillity. The Johansen formula works so well in this novel that readers may expect a sequel. (Dec.)
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The CIA put Grace Archer and her young daughter, Frankie, under protective custody on a small horse farm in Alabama. When their cover is blown, the CIA wants to use Grace and Frankie as bait to smoke out Marvot, an old enemy. The only person who can help is Jake Kilmer, a rogue agent. Years ago, he trained Grace as an operative so that the CIA could benefit from her uncanny talent for handling horses. They wanted to find out why a French Moroccan underworld kingpin wanted to train two beautiful, wild, and extremely dangerous horses known as "the Pair." The mission was a failure, and Grace, then pregnant, went into hiding, distrusting Kilmer, with whom she was having an affair. Now Marvot has put a bounty on Grace and Frankie's heads, wanting to bring them back to Morocco to train the horses. Kilmer wants to kill Marvot and use "the Pair" himself. Frankie trusts Kilmer; now Grace must find out if she can do the same. Johansen gives her readers what they have come to expect from the queen of suspense: a truly evil, skin-crawling villain and complex heroes who must tangle with him in the shadow world of foreign intrigue. Patty EngelmannCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved