You can tell why Diana Palmer is counted as one of North America’s top 10 romance writers. It takes all her considerable skill to turn her tragic hero, Kilraven, into a man ready for love and romance, which she does with magnificent aplomb.
When his wife and child were brutally murdered seven years ago, FBI agent Kilraven swore vengeance. It’s been years and the case believed cold, but when he gets a window of great opportunity to talk up the wife of a senator who might be involved, he knows he will do anything, hurt anyone, to seize it. The perfect way to get close is to pretend marriage to young socialite Winnie Sinclair and honeymoon at her Bahamas vacation home. He’s upfront and blunt about his proposed marriage of convenience to Winnie, who’s been not-so-secretly infatuated with him.
Q: Why marriage?
A: Because Kilraven is not a man-slut. Before Winnie, he’s only been with his late wife (who turns out to be manipulative and adulterous.)
Kilraven is a Native American hero who shuns his heritage while his brother embraces it. It’s mentioned bluntly in the novel and examples of his refusal to be Indian include: short hair, going by last name Kilraven instead of Blackhawk, etc.
Winnie is a shy violet and a virgin due to two protective older brothers and a nasty dad, who’s now passed away. She’s known pain herself, having lost her mother who ran off with her uncle when she was younger and her father taking out his anger on her, leaving her with scars on her back. Winnie has a touch of magic about her that gives her eerie insight into things she shouldn’t know about. This frankly bothered me because the story is clearly not a supernatural one. I was bothered more so when others started to have or claim to have this almost psychic supernatural ability.
The love story is slow because the hero needs to grieve, which he’s refused to do until he’s caught the people responsible for his daughter’s murder. Kilraven is constantly holding Winnie back with one hand, trying to protect them both from folly. He knows he can’t give her what she wants and deserves. She just wants him. He’s worried about the ten year age gap and how that looks. It’s clear throughout the novel that he’s slowly falling in love with her against will, which makes for a delicious read.
Rating: 4 Stars
PS - Dangerous is part of the Long, Tall Texans series.