SPY HARD - Dana Marton
Harlequin Intrigue #1358
ISBN: 978-0-373-69625-3
June 2012
Series Romance

South America - Present Day

Jase Campbell is hoping that his year-long mission gathering intelligence on drug kingpin Don Pedro will soon be over when he runs into some complications.  He and the team he is scouting with find a young native boy in the jungle, and Jase knows that if Alejandro catches the boy, it won't be good news for the child.  However, when they finally catch up to the boy, it's to find him in his devastated village, with his family and tribe dead.  Jase takes responsibility for young Mochi when they return to camp, where he runs into the second complication.  The beautiful woman on the balcony begging the night for help has to be the Don's latest mistress, and while the side of Jase that can barely resist rescuing a damsel in distress wants to help, he knows that to even talk to her would be a death sentence.

Melanie Key can't believe the surreal turn her life has taken.  After a whirlwind courtship, she married restaurateur Julio, but he died weeks later.  Planning to fulfill his last wish, she brings his ashes to his family, where she finally learns just who her brother-in-law is.  When Don Pedro realizes that Melanie is carrying his brother's child, he manipulates her into visiting his “country home.”  Once at the compound however, Melanie becomes a prisoner, and though she hopes for rescue, nobody knows where she is.  Then she meets Jase, who isn't like most of the other thugs in the camp.  She's determined to get him to help her escape, and being eight months pregnant, it'll have to be soon.

Realizing that Melanie is the Don's sister-in-law and pregnant changes things for Jase, and that rescuer side of him becomes even more difficult to ignore.  With Don Pedro's biggest enemy about to attack the hacienda, Jase hatches a plan to get Melanie and Mochi out of harm's way.

Two people in a difficult situation learn to depend on one another in SPY HARD.  Melanie has come to understand that she needs to rely on herself and grow up, but first she needs to escape.  Don Pedro is treating her kindly right now, but once her son is born, he'll be completely under Don Pedro's control—and Melanie will most likely end up in his bed.  She has to save herself and her baby, but maybe Jase will be able to help out.  Jase has worked hard to get this close to Don Pedro, and he knows that getting involved with Melanie could sabotage his mission, but he can't just let her remain trapped with Don Pedro, especially with the war on its way to their doorstep.  Mochi also needs rescuing, but turns out to be surprisingly helpful during their journey.  Along the way, things change between Jase and Melanie, and he knows that it's more than his need to rescue women that has him captivated.  He also helps Melanie to see how strong she truly is, all while trying to escape Don Pedro and evade not only his enemy, but local soldiers and the other natural dangers of the jungle.

An intriguing, suspenseful story, look for SPY HARD.

Jennifer Bishop