DESPERADO by Diana Palmer


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Debut hardcover, about a mercenary soldier who cracks an international child-slave ring.

But Cord Romero, who is no ordinary mercenary. He’s the son of a famous Spanish bullfighter (who conveniently died in America, thus orphaning Cord as a teenager). When not chasing bad guys, Cord raises prize bulls on his Texas ranch. Still, he can’t stay out of action for long, and the Global Enterprises case makes his blood boil. The CEO, a shadowy figure named Gruber, nets millions from an operation that buys or steals Third World children from their poor, illiterate parents and sells them to mining companies, agribusinesses, and child pornographers. When Cord got too close to vital information about Global, Gruber’s evil henchmen set off a bomb in his face. Fortunately, he’s blinded only temporarily—and that’s how his former foster sister Maggie finds him. She’s always loved Cord, even though he took her virginity one night years ago when he was drunk and then was horrified at what he had done. Maggie married a rich man, whose physical abuse landed her in the hospital a few months later, but he’s dead now. Cord is also free of personal entanglements, though it's clear he grieved deeply after his wife’s recent suicide. Not surprisingly, these two are passionately drawn to each other once more, in breathless, category-romance style. Lashes flutter, bosoms heave, and three-dot ellipses abound as Cord wastes no time in bedding her. “Can’t . . . stop,” he gasps. “Can’t . . . stop!” Yes, Cord is one hot-blooded dude, but Maggie keeps her priorities straight as she writhes blissfully under the onslaught of all that manly lovemaking. “Cord . . . make me . . . have a baby!” Meanwhile, back at the child-slavery HQ, there are dark mutterings about getting rid of Cord and Maggie forever. Can the reunited lovers join forces with crime-fightin’ pals Dane and Tess Lassiter and rid the world of this evil scourge?

A silly thriller with a decidedly old-fashioned tone, especially in the clinches.

Pub Date: July 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1-55166-920-X
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2002


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