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    Review of HIGH-STAKES PASSION by Juliet Burns (see her website)

    Silhouette Desire, March 2005

    After a bull-riding accident, injurred rodeo cowboy Mark Malone, the 'Lone Cowboy' goes to ground refusing to talk to any reporter, finding comfort in the bottle. Aubrey Tyson stands to win her dream job at her newspaper if she can get the story no one else can get. Going undercover as the ranch housekeeper, she plans to get close to Mark, learn his secrets, and write the killer story of her life. Because Mark had always been her hero--ever since he'd rescued her from abusive young men years before. Mark has forgotten that incident, but Aubrey will never forget it.

    Drink and anger at the world, as well as a deep distrust for all women have transformed Mark from the cowboy hero to someone darker, more dangerous. Still, Aubrey's heart goes out to him. She, of all people, understands the fear, self-loathing, and self-destructive tendencies that Mark is going through. In a poker game, she has a chance to reveal her secret and ask for the interview, but instead, raises the stakes further, demanding that Mark give up drinking and deal with his injuries. But for Aubrey, the reformed Mark is even more dangerous than the drinking one--and the stakes aren't just money or even her body--because she's falling in love with a cowboy who swears he'll never have a relationship, never want children, never trust a woman.

    Author Juliet Burns combines steamy lovemaking and strong emotional conflict in her compelling debut novel. Aubrey's undercover reporter and Mark's drinking provide a new twist to the much-loved rancher/housekeeper plot hook. With his deep issues of betrayal, Aubrey's secret profession leads inevitably toward a powerful black moment.

    I look forward to seeing more books by this talented writer.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 11/21/04

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