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Jude Deveraux's series of books highlighting the rambunctious and romantic Montgomery brothers were all runaway bestsellers. Now it looks like Jude will continue to ride that wave of success with her latest book, High Tide, a novel of romantic suspense that explores a new branch in the Montgomery family tree.
Toy company executive Fiona Burkenhalter has structured her whole life around the adventure-seeking doll, Kimberly, that she created years before. Kimberly's astonishing success as a major rival to that other "B" doll has allowed Fiona to live a comfortable though structured life. And structure and security are important to Fiona, compensation for the lonely childhood she spent being raised by an aunt and uncle while her cartographer father traveled the world. Between her New York City lifestyle and her affectionate but predictable lawyer boyfriend, Jeremy, Fiona's life is right where she wants it. But not for long.
When Fiona's boss gets an odd request from Roy Hudson, a millionaire who is also the creator of a children's TV show -- "Raphael" -- which is about to be launched nationwide, Fiona's life starts to unravel. For reasons Fiona can't puzzle out, Roy wants her to come and join him on a three-day fishing trip through the Everglades. She goes under duress, and trouble begins before she can even get out of the Fort Lauderdale airport when she inadvertently destroys a very expensive mechanical alligator, earning the extreme ire of Ace Montgomery, the man who owns it. The next day Fiona discovers, much to her chagrin, that the river guide and owner of the boat that will be used on the fishing trip is none other than Ace.
Plenty of sniping and spats follow. When Roy Hudson turns up dead and his blood is, quite literally, on Fiona's hands, she and Ace are forced to go on the lam until they can find the connection that binds them -- a connection that will hopefully lead to the real killer. In the process they discover that their mutual dislike of one another is merely a manifestation of their mutual attraction. If only they can escape from the police, the killer, and Ace's fiancee.
Deveraux masterfully builds both the passion and the suspense, mixing a clever tale of murder, intrigue, and hidden treasure with a love story that throws two extreme opposites together, sparking both romance and rancor. Playing on the dual themes of a fish out of water and an opposites-attract odd couple, Deveraux delivers plenty of laughs amid the gasps. The end result is a highly entertaining and enjoyable read that is Deveraux at her best.