Raintree: Inferno/Haunted/Sanctuary [NOOK Book]

Overview

Two hundred years after the Raintree clan defeated and abandoned them on a small Caribbean Island, the Ansara wizards are rising again to take on their bitterest foes. Despite their extraordinary powers and supernatural origin, the Raintree have largely blended into the modern world. They are bankers, cops, husbands, wives and lovers in the society of humankind. But now, from Nevada to North Carolina, the rejoined battle will measure the endurance of their people. It will test their loyalties and relationships. ...
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Raintree: Inferno/Haunted/Sanctuary

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Overview

Two hundred years after the Raintree clan defeated and abandoned them on a small Caribbean Island, the Ansara wizards are rising again to take on their bitterest foes. Despite their extraordinary powers and supernatural origin, the Raintree have largely blended into the modern world. They are bankers, cops, husbands, wives and lovers in the society of humankind. But now, from Nevada to North Carolina, the rejoined battle will measure the endurance of their people. It will test their loyalties and relationships. And it will force upon them all new lives they could barely have imagined before.

This trilogy was five-years in the making. What started as, more a less, a creative lark for the three of us soon became a creative adventure that in the end bordered on a creative obsession. Since we were not contracted to write these books, we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted with these fantastic people--two ancient races with incredible powers, the "good" Raintree and the "evil" Ansara. For lack of a better way to explain their supernatural powers, we refer to them as wizards. Linda Howard coined the phrase that is found on the back cover of these books: There have always been those among us who are more than human.

From the beginning, one thing was understood--that each of us had authority over her own book, the plot and the characters, so long as everything fit within the basic framework of the overall "big picture." Considering the fact that each of us has a strong personality, it is a miracle that we seldom disagreed about anything concerning our Raintree books. It was as if we each instinctively knew when something was right or when it was not.

I think our being good friends who respect one another was a key factor in the success of this trilogy, as well as the fact that we went into this project as equals. During the process of planning, plotting and writing, we each voiced our opinions and jointly decided on each aspect of the basis plot thread that was woven throughout the three novels.

Somewhere along the way we realized that these three stories would have to be told simultaneously, so each story runs from Sunday or early Monday to the following Sunday. This meant we had to share a timeline and check on any phoneconversations or secondary character interactions. Man, did we burn up the e-mail on this one! Of course, since the stories are so closely related it meant a few in-person brainstorming sessions, which was not exactly a chore. Plotting and planning is usually done alone, so this was a new experience. While writers are usually control freaks - yes, even us - this shared plotting was a lot of fun. I suppose it might've been less fun if we hadn't agreed on so many aspects, but when something was right we all knew it.

When it came to the overall story which runs through all three books, nothing significant could be written without checking with two other writers. It's amazing how details that seem so small can rise up to impact someone else's story, so it was always best to check with the others. At the same time, each romance is uniquely our own, written in our own styles and with out own types of characters.

Between the necessary interaction and trying to work around three busy schedules, it's a wonder this project only took five years.

Okay, we'll confess: the project took five years because our "research" trips (to casinos, to the mountains -- multiple times) were so much fun. Yes, we actually worked on the project on each of those trips, but it seems logical that our brains would need to rest while we communed with the neon one-armed bandits. Right? After all, the first book was set in a casino. And the last book was set in the mountains. I can't believe we didn't manage a trip to the beach . . .

We're delighted that Silhouette Nocturne let us share our adventures with you and hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Linda Howard Raintree: Inferno - May
Linda Winstead Jones Raintree: Haunted - June
Beverly Barton Raintree: Sanctuary - July

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Lorna Clay, a woman who is suspected of cheating at a Reno casino, provides the opening spark for Linda Howard's blazing opener in an intense paranormal trilogy. Dante Raintree, owner of the casino, is concerned that the woman might be a spy from the Ansara clan, which is at war with his own. (Both families have powers that make them more than human; the Raintrees, for example, can channel special earth energies.)

Before Dante can determine more about Lorna, a fire breaks out in the casino, and it takes Dante's powers -- and Lorna's -- to control them. That near disaster convinces Dante that Lorna, although not a member of either clan, is certainly precognitive, and he persuades her to embark on a week's training to channel her gifts. Howard turns up the heat as Lorna and Dante battle and then give in to their intense attraction, even as the Ansaras continue their attacks. In the cliffhanging finale, the Ansaras attack Sanctuary, the heart of the Raintree clan, and both Lorna and Dante are compelled to respond. It will fall to two different authors -- Linda Winstead Jones and Beverly Barton -- to carry the continuity series forward. Ginger Curwen
Romantic Times
Suspected of cheating and brought to casino owner Dante Raintree's office, Lorna Clay is shocked at the immediate surge of attraction between them. But right after they meet the casino goes up in flames and Dante, a paranormal with the ability to control fire, drags her into the inferno to control the flames so the people in the casino can escape. Scarred by her terrible past, Lorna has to learn to trust Dante, but their relationship is hurried along by the danger in which they find themselves. Raintree: Inferno (4.5), by Linda Howard, is an exciting and fast-paced novel. The plot is refreshing, her characters are unique and her writing sparkles. Her creation of a new kind of paranormal character will keep readers entertained from start to finish.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426822520
  • Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises
  • Publication date: 1/1/2008
  • Series: Raintree Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 201,758
  • File size: 543 KB

Meet the Author

Linda Howard is an award-winning author whose New York Times bestsellers include Open Season, All the Queen's Men, Mr. Perfect, Kill and Tell, and Son of the Morning. She lives in Alabama with her husband and two golden retrievers.

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Read an Excerpt


Sunday

Dante Raintree stood with his arms crossed as he watched the woman on the monitor. The image was in black and white, to better show details; color distracted the brain. He focused on her hands, watching every move she made, but what struck him most was how uncommonly still she was. She didn't fidget, or play with her chips, or look around at the other players. She peeked once at her down card, then didn't touch it again, signaling for another hit by tapping a fingernail on the table. Just because she didn't seem to be paying attention to the other players, though, didn't mean she was as unaware as she seemed.

"What's her name?" he asked.

"Lorna Clay," replied his chief of security, Al Rayburn.

"Is that her real name?"

"It checks out."

If Al hadn't already investigated her, Dante would have been disappointed. He paid Al a lot of money to be efficient and thorough.

"At first I thought she was counting," said Al. "But she doesn't pay enough attention."

"She's paying attention, all right," Dante murmured. "You just don't see her doing it." A card counter had to remember every card played. Supposedly counting cards was impossible with the number of decks used by the casinos, but no casino wanted a card counter at its tables. There were those rare individuals who could calculate the odds even with multiple decks.

"I thought that, too," said Al. "But look at this piece of tape coming up. Someone she knows comes up to her and speaks, she looks around and starts chatting, completely misses the play of the people to her left—and doesn't look around even when the deal comes back to her, she just taps that finger. And damned if she didn't win. Again."

Dante watched the tape, rewound it, watched it again. Then he watched it a third time. There had to be something he was missing, because he couldn't pick out a single giveaway.

"If she's cheating," Al said with something like respect, "she's the best I've ever seen."

"What does your gut say?" Dante trusted his chief of security. Al had spent thirty years in the casino business, and some people swore he could spot cheats as soon as they walked in the door. If Al thought she was cheating, then Dante would take action—and he wouldn't be watching this tape now if something hadn't made Al uneasy.

Al scratched the side of his jaw, considering. He was a big, bulky man, but no one who observed him for any length of time would think he was slow, either physically or mentally. Finally he said, "If she isn't cheating, she's the luckiest person walking. She wins. Week in, week out, she wins. Never a huge amount, but I ran the numbers, and she's into us for about five grand a week. Hell, boss, on her way out of the casino she'll stop by a slot machine, feed a dollar in and walk away with at least fifty. It's never the same machine, either. I've had her watched, I've had her followed, I've even looked for the same faces in the casino every time she's in here, and I can't find a common denominator."

"Is she here now?"

"She came in about half an hour ago. She's playing blackjack, as usual."

"Who's the dealer?"

"Cindy."

Cindy Josephson was Dante's best dealer, almost as sharp at spotting a cheater as Al himself. She had been with him since he'd opened Inferno, and he trusted her to run an honest game. "Bring the woman to my office," Dante said, making a swift decision. "Don't make a scene."

"Got it," said Al, turning on his heel and leaving the security center, where banks of monitors displayed every angle of the casino.

Dante left, too, going up to his office. His face was calm. Normally he would leave it to Al to deal with a cheater, but he was curious. How was she doing it? There were a lot of bad cheaters, a few good ones, and every so often one would come along who was the stuff of which legends were made: the cheater who didn't get caught, even when people were alert and the camera was on him—or, in this case, her.

It was possible for people to simply be lucky, as most people understood luck. Chance could turn a habitual loser into a big-time winner. Casinos, in fact, thrived on that hope. But luck itself wasn't habitual, and he knew that what passed for luck was often something else: cheating. Then there was the other kind of luck, the kind he himself possessed, but since it depended not on chance but on who and what he was, he knew it was an innate power and not Dame Fortune's erratic smiles. Since his power was rare, the odds made it likely the woman he'd been watching was merely a very clever cheat.

Her skill could provide her with a very good living, he thought, doing some swift calculations in his head. Five grand a week equaled two hundred sixty thousand dollars a year, and that was just from his casino. She probably hit all of them, careful to keep the numbers relatively low so she stayed under the radar.

He wondered how long she'd been taking him, how long she'd been winning a little here, a little there, before Al noticed.

The curtains were still open on the wall-to-wall window in his office, giving the impression, when one first opened the door, of stepping out onto a covered balcony. The glazed window faced west, so he could catch the sunsets. The sun was low now, the sky painted in purple and gold. At his home in the mountains, most of the windows faced east, affording him views of the sunrise. Something in him needed both the greeting and the goodbye of the sun. He'd always been drawn to sunlight, maybe because fire was his element to call, to control.

He checked his internal time: four minutes until sundown. He knew exactly, without checking the tables every day, when the sun would slide behind the mountains. He didn't own an alarm clock. He didn't need one. He was so acutely attuned to the sun's position that he had only to check within himself to know the time. As for waking at a particular time, he was one of those people who could tell himself to wake at a certain time, and he did. That particular talent had nothing to do with being Raintree, so he didn't have to hide it; a lot of perfectly ordinary people had the same ability.

There were other talents and abilities, however, that did require careful shielding. The long days of summer instilled in him an almost sexual high, when he could feel contained power buzzing just beneath his skin. He had to be doubly careful not to cause candles to leap into flame just by his presence, or to start wildfires, with a glance, in the dry-as-tinder brush. He loved Reno; he didn't want to burn it down. He just felt so damn alive with all the sunshine pouring down that he wanted to let the energy pour through him instead of holding it inside.

This must be how his brother Gideon felt while pulling lightning, all that hot power searing through his muscles, his veins. They had this in common, the connection with raw power. All the members of the far-flung Raintree clan had some power, some heightened form of ability, but only members of the royal family could channel and control the earth's natural energies.

Dante wasn't just of the royal family; he was the Dranir, the leader of the entire clan. "Dranir" was synonymous with "king," but the position he held wasn't ceremonial, it was one of sheer power. He was the oldest son of the previous Dranir, but he would have been passed over for the position if he hadn't also inherited the power to hold it.

Gideon was second to him in power; if anything happened to Dante and he died without a child who had inherited his abilities, Gideon would become Dranir—a possibility that filled his brother with dread, hence the fertility charm currently lying on Dante's desk. It had arrived in the mail just that morning. Gideon regularly sent them, partly as a joke, but mainly because he was doing all he could to insure that Dante had offspring—thus upping the chances that he would never inherit the position. Whenever they managed to get together, Dante had to carefully search every nook and cranny, as well as all his clothing, to make certain Gideon hadn't left one of his clever little charms in a hidden place.

Gideon was getting better at making them, Dante mused. Practice made perfect, after all, and God knows he'd made plenty of the charms in the past few years. Not only were they more potent now, but he varied his approach. Some of them were obvious, silver pieces meant to be worn around the neck like an amulet—not that Dante was an amulet kind of guy. Others were tiny, subtle, like the one Gideon had embedded in the newest business card he'd sent, knowing Dante would likely tuck the card into his pocket. He'd erred only in that the very power of the charm gave it away; Dante had sensed the buzz of its power, though he'd had the devil's own time finding it.

Behind him came Al's distinctive knock-knock on the door. The outer office was empty, Dante's secretary having gone home hours before. "Come in," he called, not turning from his view of the sunset.

The door opened, and Al said, "Mr. Raintree, this is Lorna Clay."

Dante turned and looked at the woman, all his senses on alert. The first thing he noticed was the vibrant color of her hair—a rich, dark red that encompassed a multitude of shades from copper to burgundy. The warm amber light danced along the iridescent strands, and he felt a hard tug of sheer lust in his gut. Looking at her hair was almost like looking at fire, and he had the same reaction.

The second thing he noticed was that she was spitting mad.

Several things happened so closely together that they might as well have been simultaneous. With his senses already so heightened, the quick lash of desire collided with Dante's visceral reaction to fire, sending explosions of sensation cascading along all his neural pathways, too fast for him to control. Across the room, he saw all the candles leap with fire, the wicks burning too fast, too wild, so that the multiple little flames flared larger and more brightly than they should. And on his desk, Gideon's damn little fertility charm began to buzz with power, as if it had an on/off switch that had suddenly been pressed.

What the hell… ?

He didn't have time to dissect and analyze everything that was going on; he had to control himself, and fast, or the entire room would be ablaze. He hadn't suffered such a humiliating loss of control of his powers since he'd first entered puberty and his surging hormones had played hell with everything.

Ruthlessly, he began exerting his will on all that leaping power. It wasn't easy; though he held himself perfectly still, mentally he felt as if he were riding a big, nasty-tempered bull. The natural inclination of energy was to be free, and it resisted any effort to tame it, to wrestle it back inside his mental walls. His control was usually phenomenal. After all, having power wasn't what made a Dranir; having it and controlling it was. Lack of control led to devastation—and ultimately to exposure. The Raintree had survived the centuries due in large part to their ability to blend with normal people, so it wasn't a matter to be taken lightly.

Dante had trained all his life to master the power and energies that ran through him, and even though he knew that as the summer solstice drew near his control was always stretched a bit, he wasn't accustomed to this degree of difficulty. Grimly he concentrated, pulling back, clamping down, exerting his will over the very forces of nature. He could have extinguished the candles, but with an even greater force of will he left them burning, for to make the tiny flames wink out now might draw even more attention than lighting them in the first place.

The only thing that evaded his control was that damn fertility charm on his desk, buzzing and throbbing and all but sending out a strobe effect. Even though he knew Al and Ms. Clay couldn't pick up on the energy the thing was sending out, not glancing at it took all his self-control. Gideon had outdone himself with this one. Just wait until the next time he saw his little brother, Dante grimly promised himself. If Gideon thought this was funny, they would both see how funny it was when the tables were turned. Gideon wasn't the only one who could make fertility charms.

All the wildfires once more under control, he returned his attention to his guest.

Lorna once again tried to twist her arm away from the gorilla holding her, but his grip was just strong enough to hold without applying undue pressure. While a small part of her appreciated that he was actively trying not to hurt her, by far the largest part of her was so furious—and, yes, scared—that she wanted to lash out at him with all her strength, clawing and kicking and biting, doing anything she could to get free.

Then her survival instinct kicked into high gear and her hair all but stood on end as she realized the man standing so silent and still in front of the huge windows was a far greater threat to her than was the gorilla.

Her throat closed, a fist of fear tightening around her neck. She couldn't have said what it was about him that so alarmed her, but she had felt this way only once before, in a back alley in Chicago. She was accustomed to taking care of herself on the streets and had normally used the alley as a shortcut to her place—a shabby single room in a run-down building—but one night when she had started down the alley, alarm had prickled her scalp and she'd frozen, unable to take another step. She couldn't see anything suspicious, couldn't hear anything, but she could not move forward. Her heart had been hammering so hard in her chest she could barely breathe, and she had abruptly been sick with fear. Slowly she had backed out of the alley's entrance and fled down the street to take the long way home.

The next morning a prostitute's body had been found in the alley, brutally raped and mutilated. Lorna knew the dead woman could have been her, if not for the sudden hair-raising panic that had warned her away.

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Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Linda HowardBarnes & Noble.com: Your new book, Raintree: Inferno is the lead title in a new paranormal series from Silhouette Nocturne. Tell us how you got involved, and how it works creatively, since other authors write the later books. Linda Howard: I'm very good friends with the other two authors, and about five years ago when we were sharing a suite for a Readers' Luncheon, we began discussing continuity series and how difficult they could be. From there we progressed to writing connected stories ourselves -- though we didn't have one in mind -- so we began searching the phone book for a name that sparked our imaginations. "Raintree" was that name, and from that we began world-building. B&N.com: The love story between the powerful Dante Raintree and civilian Lorna Clay, who has extraordinary but unchanneled powers, is terrific, even as it is conducted in the midst of grave danger. There are many great moments here, but to you, which scene best represents their changing dynamic? And was that the hardest or easiest to write? LH: Ah, I don't want to give away too much, but the car crash and the reaction of each. Dante was willing to sacrifice himself to save her, and when she realized what he'd done …. It's strange, but the difficult scenes to write are never the tension-charged ones; it's the transition scenes, the necessary but undramatic scenes, that are hardest for me, perhaps because I haven't visualized them time and time again. The easiest scenes are the ones that have the most going on, because then the words just tumble out. B&N.com: What new books are you working on? What's coming up next? LH: The next book is Up Close and Dangerous, to be published by Ballantine, which is a sort of murder mystery, plane crash, survival type of thing. You can tell I'm synopsis-challenged by this description, can't you?!
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 270 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(108)

4 Star

(90)

3 Star

(46)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(13)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 273 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not a bad book

    This was a very interesting book. I wasn't sure I was going to like it at first because I found some of the male characters very arrogant. I did not like that aspect thoughout the book but the story itself was very interesting and the characters were very bold which kept my interest. Not the best book I've ever read, but it was intertaining.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent Value

    3 books in one for a great price! If you like trilogy stories, these three books are highly enjoyable. Interesting characters with a bit of magic thrown in make these stories unique.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    Raintree Sanctury

    I read the trilogy but each book could stand alone. Each book was a"good read". The themes of family, change and interconnectedness brings these books from sci- fi fantasy to human relation reality.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2012

    solid

    Read this book on my nook. Got a great deal on it, and enjoyed it. Not sure I would have purchased all 3 if I hadn't gotten the one lump sum trilogy. But it was a nice solid, paranormal romance. If you like that kind of book you will like this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Raintree : Inferno/Haunted/Sanctuary

    Don't know what really to say but that these books were really great.
    My favorite of the three books would be Haunted. (Gideon & Hope)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    Loved it

    Perfect!

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  • Posted September 19, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    I really enjoyed the action in this story and it was really interesting reading the story through three author's imaginations.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 8, 2011

    sometimes you just need a little pretend

    It's about time I found a fun fantasy romance mix that didn't make me feel like a 16 year old want to be.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 1, 2011

    Highly Enjoyable Yarn

    I really enjoyed this trilogy in one book. Ok the paranormal activity is a bit "out there", but so much fun to read. I wish there was a follow up - I would love to read more...couldnt put the book down. Great value for a 500 plus page book (on the nook). Go ahead and give your self a fun beach read...

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  • Posted April 17, 2011

    Definitely REcommend

    Three terrific stories on a very unique storyline. Very hard to put down. My only regret is that the third book spent a bit too much time on the sexual behavior of the main charactors instead of sticking to the storyline. But all in all, a great read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 12, 2011

    loved it

    The way they all came together was great.Verry exciting with a strange and hot verry fast romantics,Alot can happen in week! A must read. You don't have to read it all at once eather, or long segments. It was perfict for me and my nook for the bus trips to and from work. Kinda makes you think they the writers wear given a set of conditions they all had to meet, I can't explain it you have to read it and know each book was (I think) by the differant authers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2011

    Fun Read! Couldn't put it down.

    One of those books that sticks with you for a while. Don't read too many any more that I don't quickly forget. This one was a pleasure from start to finish.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2010

    Recommended

    I chose this book for Linda Howard who I have read before and enjoyed. I was not disappointed though I liked the first 2 books the best. I felt the 3rd one dragged a little. I would love to more of these characters!!

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  • Posted November 30, 2010

    Highly Recommended

    This series fits many genres, paranormal, mystery, crime. The series moved along nicely for having three different authors. I liked each style and description. I enjoyed the evolution of the male characters and the strength of the women. I was fascinated and was eager for the finish. I am still "Haunted" by this collection. It left me thinking about our world and the "clans" within, so different yet so alike. Nothing of what I expected for a bargain book collection :-)

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  • Posted November 20, 2010

    highly recommended

    Great series and smooth read throughout though different authors.

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  • Posted November 15, 2010

    Highly recommend this series completed by three different authors

    Wonderful series started by Linda Howard followed by Beverly Barton and Linda Winstead Jones. All three books are wonderful, with characters linked and questions answered.

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  • Posted October 25, 2010

    First two books were great, the third was a little quiet.

    I enjoy Linda Howard immensely and I have just become a fan of Beverly Barton, Linda Winstead?? I will have to read another just to be sure. I enjoyed the concept, and look forward to hearing about more Raintree and Rainsara.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2010

    Fun Read

    These books are fun and good enough to re-read. Each author has a slightly different style in writing and characterization but that was part of the fun, too. Well worth the price unlike some of the others in the bargain section.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2010

    HIGHLY recommend I am very glad that I bought

    This is a must read you will have a hard time putting it down!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2010

    recommended

    I enjoyed th8s book fast paced and it was different kept my interest.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 273 Customer Reviews

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