THE AGENT'S SECRET CHILD by B. J. DanielsHarlequin Intrigue #585, October 2000
For six years, Texas Confidential Agent Jake Cantrell has agonized over the death of his FBI lover Abby Diaz. Now he's assigned the task of going to Mexico and rescuing/capturing a woman who looks like Abby but has been living with a Mexican drug lord. Isabell Montenegro cannot remember anything before the day Julio brought her home from a hospital telling her she was his wife. He has held her captive for years but now is dead in a drug war. Isabell seizes her chance to escape, following instincts that make little sense to her. Her child, Elena, discovers a locket with an unfamiliar picture and instantly decides this is her father. But how could it be? It certainly isn't Julio. The documents near the picture show that this man, Jake Cantrell, set up his partner Abby and was responsible for her death.
Jake tracks Isabell down just in time to watch her escape from an ambush set up by the Mexican drug lords who killed her 'husband.' She seems to have Abby's resourcefulness, but no hint of recognition shows in her eyes. Abby is conflicted over Jake. On the one hand, he helps her escape. On the other, he refuses to turn her over to the FBI once he crosses the border into the U.S. As they travel, they discover evidence of a conspiracy that ties into the FBI and beyond. Isabell is going to need all of Abby's smarts and all of Jake's trust if the two of them are to survive.
THE AGENT'S SECRET CHILD is a fast-moving adventure. B. J. Daniels effectively demonstrates the growing trust and inter-reliance between Jake and Abby/Isabell. Indeed, trust becomes the dominant theme of the novel as both Jake and Abby/Isabell must confront their doubts. The amnesia device allows a rediscovery of love between two characters, adding to the emotional impact of the novel. One minor flaw is the coincidence of Abby's being discovered on the train which seems contrived. In THE AGENT'S SECRET CHILD, B. J. Daniels has another winner.
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