You Never Can Tell

You Never Can Tell

4.0 4
by Kathleen Eagle

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"Best-selling and award-winning author Kathleen Eagle provides readers with an exciting ethnic romance . . . a classy reading experience." — Harriet Klausner,

"You always can tell that a Kathleen Eagle book is going to be an enjoyable, intelligent read." — The Romance Reader

"Kathleen Eagle never fails to enthrall." –

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"Best-selling and award-winning author Kathleen Eagle provides readers with an exciting ethnic romance . . . a classy reading experience." — Harriet Klausner,

"You always can tell that a Kathleen Eagle book is going to be an enjoyable, intelligent read." — The Romance Reader

"Kathleen Eagle never fails to enthrall." – The Best Reviews

She tracks him until he catches her . . .

Some say Native American activist Kole Kills Crow is an outlaw; others say he’s a hero. To reporter Heather Reardon, he’s a must-have story. Her friend Savannah, who’s married to Kole’s half-brother, Clay, can vouch that Kole won’t hurt Heather, even though a brush with the law has turned him into a fugitive.

When Heather locates Kole in an isolated Minnesota cabin, she quickly learns that he’s a loner with no interest in sharing his side of the story with the world. Yet neither Kole nor Heather can resist the attraction that complicates their relationship, along with Heather’s persuasive arguments. Years ago Kole gave up a daughter for adoption because he couldn’t raise her on the run. His daughter is now seven and deserves to know what kind of man her father really is.

Kathleen Eagle expertly mingles passion, suspense and Native American political issues into an unforgettable story of love and healing.

Kathleen Eagle retired from a seventeen-year teaching career on a North Dakota Indian reservation to become a full-time novelist. The Lakota Sioux heritage of her husband and their three children has inspired many of her stories. Among her honors, she has received a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times, the Midwest Fiction Writer of the Year Award, and Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA Award. Visit her at

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Inspired by her husband's Lakota Sioux heritage, Eagle (The Last Good Man) illuminates the injustices and stereotypes visited upon Native Americans in this politically charged yet temperate romance. Determined to write the story of her career, freelance journalist Heather Reardon tracks down Native American Kole Kills Crow, a retired Native American rights activist and prison escapee who doesn't wish to be found, in a Minnesota dive. Heather spends a few nights with Kole in his remote cabin as his "hostage" before he finally agrees to be the subject of her article and head one last campaign to bring the plight of his people to the public's attention. During their journey south to Hollywood, the attraction between Heather and Kole turns to love, but first Kole must put the ghosts of his past to rest and find out who wants him dead. Heather and Kole exchange a bevy of one-liners some witty and some downright corny ("You're nuts." "They come with dessert") and their chemistry is only a degree above tepid. Overall, this novel succeeds more in piquing the reader's social conscience than in lifting the romantic soul. Agent, Steven Axelrod. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
When freelance journalist Heather Reardon heads for the wilds of northern Minnesota in search of the legendary Kole Kills Crow, a Native American activist and fugitive who has purposely dropped out of sight, she has more than just a journalistic interest that his story be told. Not only is he one of her heroes from way back but he is also the father of her seven-year-old goddaughter, whom he will never see unless he deals with his violent and dangerous past. But it isn't until Kole sees a revealing video clip that he reluctantly realizes that he must face his demons if he ever is going to be free. Politics, murder, and betrayal are all part of this sensual, involving spin-off of The Last Good Man (Avon, 2000), which nicely blends romance and activism. Noted for her especially well-drawn heroes and sensitive treatment of Native American issues, Eagle is a RITA-award winning writer and lives in the Minneapolis area. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Rita Award-winner Eagle once again tries for a mainstream audience, this time in a story that centers on a journalist, Manhattan-based, who falls in love with a Lakota Sioux activist and his cause. Heather Reardon describes herself as having "made quite a name for myself writing stories that speak to the American social conscience." In northern Minnesota, she tracks down her idol, an American Indian Movement activist and prison escapee named Kole Kills Crow. Jailed for taking hostages at a post office, a bogus charge, Kole was framed for the killing of a fellow prisoner. Then, while he was living in supposed hiding, his wife was killed in a mysterious house explosion. Heather knows the whole story because her best friend Savannah, the supermodel heroine of Eagle's last title (The Last Good Man, 2000) and coincidently Kole's sister-in-law, has been raising Kole's daughter in order to keep her safe. Not surprisingly, the attraction between Kole and Heather is immediate. But should Kole trust this stranger? And should Heather sleep with her story? After clever if facile banter, soft-focus eroticism, and far too much political discussion of Native American rights and governmental wrongs, the affair takes off as the two start a trek cross-country to Hollywood to demonstrate against film stereotypes and incidentally to clear Kole of the murder charge by finding the real perp. The story, in all, never quite jells. While some details, like the obvious alias "Kola" under which Kole successfully hides from the law, create minor implausibility, others, like a nuclear waste company's involvement in filmmaking and murder, are just heavy-handed. In Eagle's black-and-white world, all Indians are nobleand wise, even a former activist turned passive traitor who gets his act of redemption in the novel's one, slightly out-of-place scene of unexpected violence. Eagle, a veteran romancer, knows her Indian facts and history, but her characters fail to bring either to life.

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Chapter One

The man she wanted was sitting kitty-corner across the bar, big as life.

Heather Reardon felt hot and damp all over, her gut gone goosey, like a silly teenage groupie, but one with no friend along to poke her and remind her not to stare. The tinny chords from a steel guitar looped round and round her, while a dying bulb in a beer sign above the door marked "Can" did a crazy dance.

Can, indeed, she thought giddily. Can and did. Searched and found. She had followed her leads and her instincts deep into the backwoods, nearly to the Canadian border, and found the man she'd been looking for perched on a run-of-the-mill bar stool.

She wasn't staring. She didn't have to. Heather Reardon was a professional. She had the eavesdropping ear of an owl and the peripheral vision of a horse. Staring was no way to get what she'd come to the Minnesota backwoods for, which was not so much the man as his story. But the man -- seeing him in the flesh, hearing his voice live, remembering his public deeds as well as the personal stories she'd been told -- the man was something else.

His name was Kole Kills Crow, and he was acting remarkably ordinary, sitting there, minding a beer on the stained bar, the sportscaster on the small screen above the fat bartender's head, and the occasional comment from the younger Indian man sitting two stools down on his far side.

He didn't resemble any fugitive she'd ever encountered -- and she'd met a few -- nor did he strike her as a martyr. He didn't look like a rabble-rouser or a terrorist or a messianic leaderof Native people or a convict. He certainly didn't look like a murderer, but Heather had interviewed enough murderers to know that you couldn't tell by looking at them.

And he knew she was looking at him, if furtively. That much she could tell by the way he studiously ignored her.

She was fairly certain that being the only woman in the Cheap Shot Saloon rendered her somewhat noticeable. She was also the only Caucasian, although the bartender was probably more white than Indian. He was the only person who'd said anything to her so far -- "What'll it be?" and then "Never heard of it. You got a second choice?" She'd ended up with red wine vinegar in a juice glass.

"How is it?" the bartender asked her after he'd delivered a couple of beers at the other end of the bar. "The wine."

Heather looked down at the glass. Not that she'd forgotten, but she couldn't bring herself to look the guy in the eye when she said, "Fine."

"Didn't know if it would keep. Opened it up for a lady last month."

"Last month? Well..." She flashed a tight smile. "As long as you keep the cap screwed on tight."

"Lost the cap, so I just --"

"Are you palming off some of that stuff you make yourself, Mario?"

The bartender raised his voice as he shot the younger man a scowl. "Put a cork in it."

"Damn, we lose more tourists that way."

The exchange drew a chuckle from the reticent Mr. Kills Crow as he set his beer down after taking a sip.

"They come all this way to soak up the flavor of, uh, the native..." The young guy made a rolling gesture. "What do you call it, Kola?"


"Not that. The atmosphere. The whole cultural --"

"That ain't hooch, hey. That there's genuine --" The bartender grabbed the bottle, checked the label, then shoved it under the younger man's nose. "Italian. It's Italian wine. Imported from Chicago. I got a cousin there."

Heather slid Kills Crow a quick glance. She had the edge. She knew who he was, knew from her reading that kola was the Lakota word for "friend," knew that they were both visitors to the woodsy Northern Minnesota Blue Fish Indian Reservation that was home, not to the Lakota, but to their traditional rivals, the Chippewa. He, on the other hand, knew nothing about her.

Not that he was interested. Clearly he meant to spare her no more than a glance as he lifted his beer, but he stopped short of a sip and lowered the bottle. A spark flashed in his dark eyes, like a secret smile. "Youre supposed to let the lady check the cork, Mario," he said.

He no longer wore his hair in the braids he'd sported when he'd waved an assault rifle above his head and defied the South Dakota National Guard with a chilling whoop that echoed across the airwaves into living rooms across the country. Heather had only had a passing interest at the time -- much like that reflected in the look he was giving her now -- but she'd since gathered every piece of news he'd made. His hair had been jet-black then. It was shorter now and streaked with an abundance of silver for a forty-year-old man. She could count the years in his tawny face, too, but he wore them well. And his eyes promised a fascinating story.

"Ain't nothin' wrong with the cork. See? Just a cork." Mario snatched it out of the sink and thrust it under each nose along the bar, as though he wanted them to sniff for spoilage. "Damn, you guys," Mario said, flicking the cork in the young man's face when he grimaced. "She said herself, it's good wine. Right?"

"I said it was fine." She offered another tight smile to the bartender as she grabbed the glass, then cast a quick glance at the man she'd come two thousand miles to find.

Dare ya, said the eyes with the secret smile.

She drank, willing her tongue to let...

You Never Can Tell. Copyright © by Kathleen Eagle. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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