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Afterglow (Lodestone) Mass Market Paperback – March 20, 2012
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Former movie stuntman, now security expert Rand Maguire has a nightmare on his hands when a powerful aphrodisiac is unleashed at a celebrity wedding in the first of Adair’s Lodestone books after Hush (2011). Rapture in small doses completely loosens inhibitions and in large doses kills almost instantly. Only Dr. Dakota North, a chemist who helped develop the drug for manic depressives and the woman Rand almost married, can help him find the drug’s source. As they grudgingly work together, they stumble on a death scene in a bank, caused by a larger, airborne dose of Rapture. Dakota and Rand’s father, now in prison for killing his wife, are the only known survivors after the lab where Rapture was developed blew up. So who can be causing these incidents, and why? As Rand and Dakota grapple with their romantic past and deadly present, Adair, the mistress of adrenalin, pours on complications and setbacks in action-packed European locales and steamy hotel bedrooms. Readers looking for quintessential romantic suspense can never go wrong with Adair. --Pat Henshaw
About the Author
Cherry Adair has garnered numerous awards for her innovative action-adventure novels, which include White Heat, Hot Ice, On Thin Ice, Out of Sight, In Too Deep, Hide and Seek, and Kiss and Tell, as well as her thrilling Edge trilogy: Edge of Danger, Edge of Fear, Edge of Darkness, and her latest paranormal, Hush. A favorite of reviewers and fans alike, she lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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We get a quick introduction, right at the start, to the drug that's central to the entire story. The drug when given in very small doses, makes people lose all their inhibitions and amps up their sexual need to the highest level. Orgies break out, it's all about sex and unfortunately for the people high on this drug, they'll remember every single thing that they did. When the drug is given in a slightly higher dose, it causes death, within mere minutes of being either ingested or inhaled. The drug itself and reading about the first scene where it's used made me think "ewwwwwww!" quite a few times. Since Dakota had a hand in developing the drug, she's called in to help Rand, who was running security on the wedding party that was the first group of victims the drug was unknowing tested on. Rand wants nothing to do with Dakota but when she comes clean about why she's working for Zak Stark (Hush) her sixth sense (touching an object and being able to find it's owner) helps them track the men who are in possession of the vials of drugs.
The first part of the story really left a bad taste. Rand can't stand to even look at Dakota for the majority of the time. He never gave her the chance to explain her side of what happened and it kills her to see his hate for her as plain as day in his eyes. Then they get a hit of the drug in airborne form and end up having sex, high on the drug and unable to stop themselves. This just didn't sit well with me. They have sex for the first time since breaking up two years ago and it's sex when they're high - I really wanted them to reconnect when they were both, um, NOT HIGH. I get that it was probably supposed to come off as kind of angry, hurting, hot sex and it didn't work for me. The middle of the story, when the plot picked up and the leads actually started talking about their past and things that were assumed but never discussed, the action really got good and I was pulled into the suspense of who the mastermind behind wanting to produce this drug was.
Ah, communication - it's everyone's friend. Nothing frustrates me more than when a hero and heroine will not talk about the things that need talking about. I'm all for angst, but the conversation that needed to happen between Rand and Dakota was a long time coming. Once they finally cleared the air, their relationship took on a sweet note, protective in the case of Rand to Dakota, and it was nice to see these two reconnect after outside forces were the reason they were torn apart.
I'm giving the book 3 ½ stars. The first part of the book didn't really set well with the whole `high on drugs/sex scene', but the middle and the end related to the suspense picked up the pace and had me fully interested in the outcome. My one other small issue - this book needed an epilogue...I needed an epilogue! With all that Rand went through with his security company employees and how they were all divided and dragged into the whole drug mess, I needed to know what happened to him and his business at the end. I like to think that he and Dakota head to Seattle, but the book ended abruptly and I needed a few extra pages to wind their story down.
*Sort of a series spoiler*
PS: I'm not, I repeat, NOT giving up hope that Zak's brother Gideon is alive. There's no real mention of him in this book, but I would love to get back to him and bring Zak back to the forefront of the series.
Blog rating: 3.5/5
Rand Maguire used to be a stuntman and is now security specialist to the stars. His current job was to protect the celebrity guests at a wedding. Well that didn't turn out so great. He calls Zak from the Lodestone group asking to send someone that can help figure out what and who could have done this. Was it a terrorist act or someone's sick sense of humor?
Dakota North is sent to the hotel by Zak because of her previous history as a pharmaceutical chemist. Dakota and Rand's father were the creators of DL6-94 which she thinks the guest were given. Its highly addictive and lethal in large doses. Which Rand knows all too well, since his mother died from it and his father is in jail for her murder. All of which he blames Dakota for.
Dakota has the same type of ability Zak does. She can touch an object and see coordinates to track the owner of the item. This leads Rand and Dakota on a chase from Monte Carlo to Barcelona to a bank. But when they get there they find the aphrodisiac has been released airborne and everyone is dead. Both Rand and Dakota inhale the toxin and whew for the next couple of pages you need a fan and a cigarette after.
From here we are taken on a wild ride. It is nonstop action from Spain to France where they scour the catacombs under the Paris streets to jumping out of a moving vehicle. You start to get the impression that both the bad guys and the good guys are not who they say they are.
During all of this both Rand and Dakota are still dealing with the pain of their broken engagement 2 years before. She is still in love with him but due to many misunderstandings he thinks he hates her even though he is still very attracted to her.
From the opening scene to the shocking ending this book was one thrill ride. I look forward to the next book in this series.
The background intrigue was a bit odd. The manufacture & distribution of new street drug was interesting but the drug masterminds screwy logic & head games seemed a waste of time.
I would recommend this book to Adair fans but if you've never read one of her books than Hush is a better option
Most recent customer reviews
Honestly, there was just too much crazy up in this book! I loved Hush so I bought this one, but this has nothing on Hush.Read more