In Collins’ erotic romance, a deputy sheriff seeks redemption after a disturbing encounter with a seductive, dangerous stranger.
Deputy Sheriff Dale Jackson enjoys his life in a small New Mexico town. After years of battling rampant crime and corruption in Santa Fe, he’s found a quiet, welcoming community. One night he pulls over a speeding car with Texas plates. The driver, a woman named Elena Chavez, claims she got lost trying to find her apartment. Dale senses Elena is trouble and decides to keep an eye on her. His suspicions are confirmed when he’s called to assist a man injured in a fight. The victim claims the man who attacked him was high on heroin. On a hunch, Dale watches Elena’s apartment that night and sees two men enter carrying a cooler. Determined to find out what she knows, Dale finagles an invitation from her to her apartment, where the encounter turns violently sexual. Later, Dale returns to apprehend the men with the cooler; however, a shootout with the dealers leaves him seriously injured. In the hospital, Dale meets a nurse named Sharon Mitchell; she’s attracted to Dale, but the specter of Elena Chavez clouds their burgeoning relationship. Collins’ romance moves at a brisk pace and is full of erotically charged action. One of the strongest elements is the setting, as Collins successfully evokes the feel of a small New Mexico town, even if central characters are rather underdeveloped. Dale and Sharon have high-pressure, fast-paced jobs, and the narrative complements the rhythm of their daily lives. Elena, on the other hand, is the antagonist whose encounter with Dale brings out his dark, violent side, yet little is revealed about her other than her address and her possible involvement with local criminal activity. She’s one of the most important characters in the story, but she’s little more than a cipher.
Fast-paced and replete with steamy romance and eroticism but short on meaningful character development.