Annie O'Toole has a past....
The last time Annie saw Sam, they were lying in each other's arms beneath a canopy of stars. Now Annie paces a secluded airfield at midnight, awaiting the arrival of an unmarked Navy helicopter. Her assignment: Get this Navy SEAL back into fighting form pronto-and keep his identity a secret. But who's going to protect her from a man who looks at her as if she were a stranger and who doesn't remember the one night she'll never forget?
His name is Sam McKade.
Six foot four inches of tough, trained professional, Sam risked his life in an act of rare courage, saving a busload of schoolchildren from certain death. But becoming America's newest media hero can be dangerous for a man with an undercover past. Sam could do a lot worse than this secluded beach resort. Ditto the sexy therapist who seems maddeningly familiar-if he only knew where or when. But he's about to find out-as a dangerous enemy surfaces out of his shadowed past, leaving a trail of bodies right to Annie's door.
Now the rugged SEAL who doesn't believe in love or commitment is about to risk everything...because for Sam McKade, protecting this woman, this extraordinary woman, has become the most important mission of his life....
"To have sex or not to have sex" that is the question hotel-spa owner and physical therapist Annie O'Toole must ponder when Sam McKade, a wounded Navy SEAL suffering amnesia, is sent under strict security to her for rehabilitation. Among the memories locked in his brain are a traitor's name and the tender affair Sam had with Annie before he set off on his final mission. Skye (Going Overboard) delves deep into the details of a spa owner's responsibilities but skims over creating a credible romantic conflict. At the same time, Sam's relentless, heavy-handed propositions to Annie, whom he doesn't remember, cast him more as a lecher than a hero, and the novel's focus on Annie's fear of intimacy fails to take into account the couple's recent affair. Nevertheless, the action and emotional turmoil heat to a rolling, and more convincing, boil toward the finale when the unmasked traitor tracks Sam to Annie's spa. Less a romance or thriller than a hotelier's handbook, this frothy tale misses its mark, spurring more interest in Annie's various spa remedies than in whether she and Sam will live long enough to make a future together. (Feb. 5) Forecast: Dell is launching this title with a spa gift-certificate sweepstakes, which should prompt luxury-loving readers to pick up the book. A Romantic Times cover ad as well as print advertising in First for Women, Philadelphia Inquirer, Dallas Morning News, etc. will also draw readers in, but her fans may find themselves longing for a story with a little more depth. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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January 28, 2002
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Excerpt from My Spy by Christina Skye
Chapter One "There's a naked man in the swimming pool." Annie O'Toole didn't turn her head. Smiling, she watched her assistant bend closer to the telescope positioned by the broad glass windows of Summerwind Resort and Beach Club. Every inch of it was hers, from the high flagstone terraces to the windswept beach. And as far as Annie was concerned, work outweighed any male body--naked or not. "Trust me, Megan, he isn't naked." Her assistant squinted harder. "Wait, I'm serious here. I can't tell if that's his butt or his--" Annie reached across and covered the lens. "That's not a naked man, that's Mr. Harkowitz from room thirty-one. He always wears a flesh-colored suit for the shock value." Annie's assistant gave up in disgust. "From what I saw, Mr. Harkowitz doesn't have a whole lot to shock with." "The man's pushing ninety, so give him a break. And if the naked-body scare is over, maybe we could get back to work." Annie stared down the length of the table. Her staff was excellent, and she paid them well. Each one was experienced, fit, and enthusiastic. Annie knew she was lucky to have them. But lately they made her feel . . . Old. Stupid, of course. Annie wasn't even thirty. There was no earthly reason she should feel as if her life were stuck on the pause button. She cleared her throat. "We've got new arrivals in the Santa Barbara Suite. They'll need lavender salt glow scrub and our signature candles. Repeat guests in rooms twenty-two through thirty-five. Remember the daily flower arrangements. And put out edible chocolate body paint for the honeymooners in the Monterey Suite." Ignoring an off-color comment, Annie shoved back a strand of cinnamon-colored hair, once again struck by the sense that life was passing her by. She drove away the thought. "Heather, what about the new inversion equipment?" "Up and running." Her Pilates trainer, a twenty-year-old with impossibly small thighs, snapped to attention. "They're fully booked." Annie made a note in her book and moved on. "Zoe, what about the organic produce?" Her chef shrugged. "The new beds are thriving. We'll have lettuce and baby carrots before the end of the month. But . . ." Annie crossed another item off her list. "Is there a problem?" "The new basil is ruined." Annie's eyes narrowed. "Vandals?" "Rabbits." The chef drummed her fingers on the country pine table. "Damned sneaking little things." Annie fought back a smile. Somehow rabbits didn't seem like a particularly earthshaking threat. "Try more netting. I'll have Reynaldo take a look after lunch." She made another quick note, then moved on. "Marty, what about the problems with the new whirlpool overlooking the beach?" Chairs creaked. Annie glanced up, searching for her chief engineer. "Where's Marty?" Across the table Zoe cleared her throat. "Remember how he wanted to clear that brush near the garden?" "Don't tell me the rabbits got him, too." "Not rabbits, poison ivy. Full body. The man's blown up like a radioactive radish." Annie blew out a breath and scribbled another reminder on her list. "I'll go see Marty as soon as we finish up. Meanwhile, we need that new whirlpool ready for evening treatments, and all the landscaping has to be in place." She stared out the window, watching a lone surfer tackle a pounding wave out beyond the cove. For a moment she yearned to be there beside him, feeling the sun, face to the wind. Or maybe on a sleek boat with sails unfurled. No, she couldn't think about that. Not ever again. She stared blindly at her leather notebook. &q