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    WICKED WIDOW by Amanda Quick (Jayne Ann Krentz) See her website

    Bantam Books, April 2000

    Artemis Hunt has set his course on revenge. He means to destroy the three men who raped and terrorized his late lover to her death. He certainly doesn't have time for the Wicked Widow, Madeline Deveridge. Madeline is believed to have killed her late husband for convenience. Now, she lives in terror--terror both of nightmares and a very tangible threat. She blackmails Artemis into helping her despite her fear of his 'Vanza' mystic secrets.

    Set in Regency England, WICKED WIDOW is an exciting adventure tale. Artemis finds himself drawn to this willful woman despite his vows to focus only on vengence. When Madeline's ghosts turn out to be very real and very much alive, the two must together fight to protect one another and to protect those who depend on them.

    Amanda Quick (see more reviews of novels by this author) sustains an excellent balance between the emotional growth of the two protagonists and the adventure in which they find themselves. Artemis' Vanza training is both essential to their survival, yet a painful reminder of Madeline's dead husband--a husband who used her to harm her father and who then intended to kill her. Like the protagonists, the reader is kept in suspense about the nature of the threat until the climax.

    At 297 (hardback) pages, WICKED WIDOW is a page turner. You'll reach the end breathless. If any criticism can be offered, it is at the end when the romantic conflict is wrapped up a little too quickly and neatly.

    Four Stars

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