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by Kate Morgenroth
     
 

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Too high, too far, too fast ...

A woman without fear, Lieutenant Commander Ellie Somers has been pushing the boundaries for so long she's forgotten where they are. She is a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter pilot operating out of Alaska's Air Station Sitka — the toughest assignment in the service. In battling fierce storms and treacherous terrain, Ellie has

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Overview

Too high, too far, too fast ...

A woman without fear, Lieutenant Commander Ellie Somers has been pushing the boundaries for so long she's forgotten where they are. She is a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter pilot operating out of Alaska's Air Station Sitka — the toughest assignment in the service. In battling fierce storms and treacherous terrain, Ellie has proven herself to be one of the very best ... and more than a little crazy. But one risk too many leaves a crew member dead and her own career destroyed in a twisted wreck of metal and machinery.

Haunted and traumatized, she moves zombielike through an empty life devoid of the excitement of flying — until a stranger enters her bleak personal hell. A man addicted, like her, to the thrill of danger, he's about to lead Ellie places she never dreamed she'd go, into unexplored realms of chance and deadly peril. But there are some borders that shouldn't be crossed. And if Ellie Somers steps over the line, she will never get back ...

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Editorial Reviews

Susan Tekulve
Lieutenant Commander Ellie Somers makes a living saving people. The only female Coast Guard helicopter pilot stationed in Alaska, she spends her days perfecting her daredevil reputation and carousing with her fellow crewmen. During a high-speed chase after a suspected drug trafficker, Ellie's hotshot maneuvering costs her the life of a crewmate, her pilot's license and her job. While recovering from her losses in the small town of Sitka, she meets Nicolas Andreakis, a wealthy playboy who whisks her off to Las Vegas. The two thrill seekers gamble for high stakes, go parachuting and tumble into an edgy love affair. As in her debut novel, Kill Me First, Morgenroth challenges traditional gender expectations by placing her heroine in a male-dominated profession. Ellie can fly a helicopter as well as any man, and she holds her own while gambling and parachuting with Nicolas, but she doesn't take a critical, decisive action until very late in the book. However, Morgenroth's hard-boiled narrative style and a final plot twist save this action thriller from its heroine's frustrating passivity.
Publishers Weekly
What is the nature of risk? That question lies at the heart of Morgenroth's riveting second novel, set primarily on the rugged Gulf of Alaska. Ellie Somers, a fearless Coast Guard helicopter pilot, finds herself in a horrible position when one of her more daring acts at sea results in the death of a colleague. Downgraded to a desk job, she resigns from the Coast Guard. Her life quickly spirals out of control, and she crosses paths with Nicolas Andreakis, a rogue whose own recklessness once pulled Ellie into a treacherous search and rescue mission. The pair feed on each other's desperation during a Las Vegas gambling binge. The son of a shipping billionaire, Nicolas has nothing to lose, and Morgenroth (Kill Me First) deftly reveals the underside of life when Ellie gets caught up in his schemes and decadent lifestyle. Ellie's fight for self-esteem during this intriguing detour in her life leads her to dark places and causes her to take ever more dangerous chances shoplifting, skydiving and worse. A startling plot twist compels Ellie's former boyfriend and one of her alienated colleagues to risk their careers as they try to save her from Nicolas's influence and clear her name at the same time. While offering fresh insight into characters who live their lives on the edge, Morgenroth's juxtaposition of the heroic, death-defying feats of the Coast Guard against high-rolling Las Vegas ratchets up the tension, making this an unusual and effective thriller. (Aug. 1) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
First-rate thriller about a Coast Guard helicopter pilot crazier than most-a woman! Even those who like Lieutenant Commander Ellie Somers hold little brief for her sanity. Sure, she's terrific at what she does-might be, in fact, the best helo pilot on Air Station Sitka (Alaska). Her SAR (Search and Rescue) record is outstanding: 14 people pulled out of the drink (a bitterly cold drink often as not, given the geography), 14 lives that almost certainly would have been lost if not for her. Nevertheless, her colleagues argue, it's well known that Ellie Somers "gets high on risk." Her response is partial acknowledgment while assigning the lion's share of blame-if there is blame-to male chauvinism. The Coast Guard, Ellie insists, isn't comfortable with female pilots, which means the pressure is on the women not just to perform but to dazzle. Risk, then, is scarcely the issue: the reality of Coast Guard politics is. Still, it would be hard to deny that Ellie's a natural gambler, the daring rescue of Nicolas Andreakis being a case in point. Her equally bold attempt to forestall a smuggling operation, however, makes exactly the opposite point and has disastrous consequences: a copilot killed and Ellie's soaring career abruptly terminated. Reenter rescued Nicky-super-rich, indecently handsome-to lead her, if not actually down the primrose path, at least in a hedonistic direction she never expected to go. Suddenly, she finds herself among the fleshpots of Las Vegas and hopelessly in love. But is enigmatic Nicky in love with her, too, or is he the double-dealing scoundrel his father maintains he is? When the answers finally come, they're shattering at first but redemptive in the long term. Anappealing heroine supported by savvy plotting. Morgenroth's second outing (Kill Me First, 1999) proves again that she knows how to weave a spell.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061097751
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/27/2003
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

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