Taking the Heat

Taking the Heat

by Brenda Novak
3.8 13

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Taking the Heat by Brenda Novak

The small town of Florence, Arizona, is known for one thing—its prison. Gabrielle Hadley is in Florence for personal reasons, though; she's seeking the mother who abandoned her more than two decades ago. In order to support herself and her two-year-old daughter, Gabrielle is working as a prison guard—just about the only job available in this bleak desert town.

Randall Tucker is a prisoner at Florence, convicted of murdering his wife. He has one goal: to survive until he can prove his innocence—and reclaim his seven-year-old son, Landon, now living in foster care.

In the prison's atmosphere of tension and corruption, Gabrielle discovers that Randall Tucker is far from the murderer he's said to be.When he escapes during a prison transfer, she follows him into the unforgiving desert. To protect her job, her own integrity—or him? But the guard becomes the prisoner's captive…and more. It's a relationship that's not supposed to exist, and yet it might save them both.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781460302064
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 09/17/2012
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 55,283
File size: 568 KB

About the Author

Most writers say they've had stories running around in their head since they can remember, but that wasn't the case for Brenda. She grew up thinking she didn't have a creative bone in her body. She considered herself "left-brained," with talents in science and mathematics, and even went to school for business.

It wasn't until she was 29 and married with three kids that she discovered writing--and if not for a difficult situation that prompted her to find a way to make money from home, she might not have started even then.

Brenda was a loan officer for a mortgage company when she caught her in-home daycare provider drugging her children with cough medicines and Tylenol to get them to sleep while she was gone. They'd been waking up several times in the night and she couldn't figure out why. Except for the baby, they were too old for that. But once she found the medicine in her baby's bottle, she suspected the baby-sitter had been doing this for several months.

No longer able to trust someone else with her children's well-being, Brenda quit her job to stay home with them--but her husband's business was failing and she needed to find some way to help him financially. That's when she decided to write a book.

It wasn't the "quick fix" the Novaks were hoping for. It took her five years to teach herself the craft and to finish her debut novel, Of Noble Birth, published in November 1999. But it introduced her to something she loves to do more than anything else. Shortly after she sold Of Noble Birth, she sold three books to Harlequin's Superromance line, the first of which, Expectations, came out in February 2000.

Now she has fivechildren; three girls and two boys, and juggles her writing career with softball games and field trips, carpool runs and homework sessions, and trying to keep up with her active husband. Fortunately, her family is as involved in what she does as she is in their activities. Her husband or one of her daughters sometimes go to conferences with her, they put stamps on the postcards she sends to her mailing list when she has a new book come out, and they come to all her book signings.

Her oldest, Ashley, throws her backpack down when she gets home from school and immediately joins Brenda at her computer, wanting to hear the latest installment on her current work in progress. Ashley gives Brenda valuable feedback, and so does her husband, who hears the same pages when he comes home from work. Now, as a family, the Novaks look back on those hard times when Brenda was just starting out and are grateful that something so good came out of it.

Brenda loves to hear from fellow romance enthusiasts. You can contact her at P.O. Box 3781, Citrus Heights, CA, 95611 or via her web site at www.brendanovak.com.

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Taking the Heat 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
charleneC 19 days ago
I had to read this book since it was about prison and I worked in a county prison at one time. It was very accurate in regards to what goes on with the officers. Intense storyline and a book I did not want to put down! I loved the characters and the story and was so happy with the ending of this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
J: That was really good!!!
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6789-1234_567 More than 1 year ago
This was not a believable story!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been a huge Nora Roberts fan for years. Brenda Novak, you are definitely in her league! I have read all but one of her books and have loved them!! Novak is a GREAT writer and she's got me hooked. Can't wait for her next book. I highly recommend this!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gabrielle and her daughter Allie are reloacating to Florence Arizona and Gabrielle will be working as a prison guard for an all male prison so that she can support herself and her daughter.She is also hoping to meet up with the mother that gave her up.While she is working at the prison she is harassed by the other guards and finds herself attracted to an inmate Randall Tucker who is wrongly accused of murdering his wife and when they are in an accident in which Randall Tucker excapes Gabriel takes off after him.This was wonderfully writen and by far one of the best I have read for a contemporary line.Can't wait for her next book.Brenda Novak out did herself with this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Few women are prison guards in a male prison, but that is the best career choice open to Gabrielle Hadley when she moves to Florence, Arizona in search of her birth mother. Daily she faces grueling work, where she is harrassed and scorned by both inmates and coworkers. Amidst the ugliness, she finds herself drawn to one of the prisoners, one who stands out as unusual, Randall Tucker, convicted wife killer. Tucker is serving time for a crime of which he is innocent, so when he has the chance to escape during a transfer, he does. Gabrielle goes after him, out of a mixture of concern and a feeling of responsibility. Yet, when she finds him, they become reluctant allies, drawn together by the necessity of survival, and the heat between them that is hotter than the surrounding desert. Even when Tucker ties her up and abandons her, Gabrielle still believes in him, and is willing to risk everything to save him so his quest to prove his innocence and be reunited with his child will go forward. ***** A vivid painting of an ugly world provides an intense backdrop for this compelling story. Few women would have the grit to handle what Gabrielle faces. Tucker is the kind of man we all yearn for; tough, yet still loving. Both do what they must without flinching. Despite the harshness portrayed in the prison and in the wild, there are heartwarming moments of family that lighten the mood. You have not read many books like this one. ***** REVIEWER: AMANDA KILLGORE
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gabrielle Hadley relocates with her baby Allie to Florence, Arizona to start work as a prison guard at the state facility. She also hopes to find closure by meeting her biological mother who lives nearby and left her for adoption when Gabrielle was an infant. At the prison, Gabrielle intercedes in a fight between convicted wife killer Randall Tucker and four other convicts that was sanctioned by her superior. Her whistleblowing to the warden leads to Randall¿s transfer to the Alta Vista facility and the ostracizing of Gabrielle. Guard Eckland and Gabrielle escort Tucker, but the car crashes. Gabrielle¿s actions enable Tucker to escape into the desert. She follows. As he tries to find evidence that he never killed his wife so he can regain custody of their son, he receives help from Gabrielle. Soon they fall in love, but the state wants him behind bars and will do whatever it takes to insure that occurs rather quickly. This novel is Richard Kimble inside a romance. The story line is very exciting though readers will doubt that a prisoner with a broken hand even caused by the actions of the guards would not receive medical treatment. Still, fans will relish the non-stop action as Randall aided by a person who should be his enemy not his beloved struggles to prove the state convicted the wrong person. Brenda Novak provides a wonderful romantic Fugitive. Harriet Klausner