Thursday, November 27, 2008

Up Close and Dangerous by Linda Howard ***

This is a romantic suspense novel - although it's more a road-trip type (well, a survival trip, anyway).

Bailey is the widow of James Wingate, to whom she was married for a business reason only: she was the trustee of his adult children's trust funds, and Wingate was hoping to shock his kids into being responsible with this action. He was diagnosed with a terminal illness and died less than a year after the marriage to Bailey. The Wingate heirs Seth and Tamzin were pretty hateful and public about it too.

When Bailey takes the Wingate private charter plane to meet her brother for a 2-week vacation, the regular pilot Bret is ill and has to allow his partner Cam to fly the plane. Cam and Bailey have never gotten along, so it seemed like it was going to be a long 5 hour trip - until the engine died over the mountains in Idaho, out of fuel.

Cam manages to find a place to land the plane, but is knocked unconscious with a gash in his head. Bailey has no survival training or skills, but she was on her way to a 2-week rafting trip, so she has 2 suitcases of helpful items including hiking boots and such. She manages to get Cam out of the plane and sutured up, and even builds a shelter of sorts for them.

They spend 5 days in the wilderness - Cam figures out the plane was sabotaged, and they both realize that Wingate's kids must have done it to kill Bailey. Meanwhile, on the ground, we have Cam's partner Bret and their secretary Karen, both shocked and grieving over the suspected deaths. Bret uncovers evidence of potential tampering and turns it over the to NTSB, but without real proof, no arrests can be made. Seth Wingate, scared straight that he might go to prison for this, starts work at his father's company, hoping to avoid any suspicion.

Cam and Bailey also spend their survival time realizing they don't hate each other after all...

So - there ya go. Suspense. Road Trip. Love and a HEA for Cam and Bailey. You'll have to read it yourself to find out whodunit. It wasn't bad, it wasn't good - average. 3 stars.

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