Berkley Heat
ISBN-13:  978-0-425-26290-0
September 2013
Contemporary Romance

Galveston, Texas - Present Day

Rachel Hill has worked at Silent Circle Farm, an organic farm, for the past five months.  Rachel ran away from the Elysian Fields Community of God, an isolated religious community, and since looking after goats for her father was what she was used to, she fits in well working at the farm for Rob Strong, its owner.  Every Monday she still mails a letter to her father, and every week it is returned unread.  Living her life under the thumb of her pastor and her father left Rachel feeling like there was nothing of herself left, and baby steps of getting a driver's license and a car have set her on the road to a new life.  Now she wants to apply to a veterinarian tech school and maybe take one last step to normalcy, and hopes a bachelor auction at the farm one night will provide her with what she thinks she needs.  It is the hunky police SWAT office who is the next bachelor in line that attracts her attention.  She can tell by the way he looks he could give her a good time and maybe teach her about sex…after getting rid of her virginity first.  She pretty much can tell he won't even notice that fact.  For two thousand dollars on her debit card, she has herself a date with Officer Ben Harris.

Ben Harris is at the bachelor auction because he got the position on the SWAT team from another officer who was supposed to be there; and when he had to work said it was the least Ben could do.  Ben also works security at a hot nightclub in Galveston, and beautiful women are a fact of life for him anytime he wants them.  Lately they mean less than nothing to him, but it keeps the pain away.  After the sweet woman buys him at the auction he takes her on their date and they end up at his place just like normal for him.  It isn't until the next morning when he wakes up and sees the blood and can't imagine if he could have hurt Rachel the night before, or if she was starting her period.  It couldn't be the alternative, but he wants to know immediately and goes out to the farm to find out.  When Ben finds out Rachel is looking for some experience, he knows he is just the guy to show her what the modern dating life is like…especially the part where the man treats you like an object.

Rachel longs for the passion Ben can so easily ignite in her, but still knows she picked him mainly because, well, he basically had no morals and no compunction about worrying about a relationship growing between them.  Ben can tell Rachel is using him for experience, and he is just a man she doesn't need to worry about liking.  At sixteen Ben and his twin brother Sam's father kicked Sam out of the house for being gay, and it was several years later before Sam found Ben attending college.  Ben knows what Sam went through was because Ben never stood up for him.  Sam is now back with a partner, and they are trying to adopt a son, but the hatred for their father still simmers in Ben's gut.  Even though it seems Sam has made up with their father, Ben can't forget, and it's corrupting his soul.

Anne Calhoun introduces us to two people who, though grown up, are still stuck in their pasts.  Rachel because she has never entered the world, and Ben because of the situation with his brother Sam and his father, and he's still stuck in his memories of what happened to Sam all those years ago.  Rachel is the more self aware of the pair, trying to remember that her affair with Ben is merely physical, and using him for her own needs.  Ben is the perfect man for the job, ready to sleep with anything that walks and not particularly going by the SWAT rules in dangerous situations, even his commanders think he is taking unnecessary risks.  For each of them to decide what is needed to live a full and satisfying life is different and happens in unusual ways.

Secondary characters are Rob, owner of the farm where Rachel works, and he is definitely interested in her, but doesn't give off the sparks Ben does.  Jess is her roommate at the farm, and Sam is Ben's twin brother, and their father, the cause of all the pain in his life.  And behind everything going on is the ghost of Rachel's father, whom she will love and write to the rest of her life, even though he never answers.

UNCOMMON PASSION is a thrilling, heartwarming, and sensual treat for the senses.  Emotions, lust and trying to find their place in life have Ben and Rachel teetering on the edge of sexual defeat.  It will only be after they take care of their own selves that they will have something to offer the other.  UNCOMMON PASSION will show you laughter, passion, and deep rooted emotion all in one book, and is probably the best story you'll read this month.  Be sure to grab it up as an unknown treasure.

Carolyn Crisher