In all of her wonderful New York Times bestsellers, Jude Deveraux crafts more than just a magnificent story: she creates positively unforgettable characters who live on long after the last page is turned. In this sizzling new novel, she features a hero from one of her best-loved families -- the dashing Montgomerys -- and entwines thrilling sensuality, warmhearted wit, and hotblooded suspense.
A rising star at a Manhattan corporation, Fiona Burkenhalter is a New Yorker through and through, with a New Yorker's disdain for anywhere but the city's bustling streets. When her boss inexplicably sends her to handle a new account in the Florida Everglades, it may as well be another planet to city slicker Fiona. But this is no ordinary business meeting: Fiona is to join her client on a rustic fishing expedition, accompanied by a guide with the larger-than-life name of Ace Montgomery.
More than a little steamed at this detour from the executive fast track, Fiona never imagined that she'd embarked on the wildest adventure of her life -- or that the rough-hewn, undeniably handsome Ace Montgomery from the Southern backwoods would become her closest ally. But hair-raising circumstances pull her deep into trouble from the moment she steps off the plane. Only in Florida could Fiona get arrested for smashing to smithereens a frighteningly lifelike mechanical alligator.
And only in the heart of the swamplands could she get lost in a maze of intrigue and become the prime suspect for a shocking murder -- with Ace as her presumed accomplice. Suddenly, they discover that they have inherited the murder victim's vast fortune -- and they are now Florida's most wanted couple!
Joining forces is a matter of survival for Ace and Fiona. Following a string of jumbled clues tied to childhood memories -- a fabulous yarn that Fiona's father once told her, a long-lost treasure map -- they desperately attempt to decipher their connection to the deadly inheritance. As they wade into the murky waters of past secrets, an irresistible chemistry flares -- and Fiona surrenders to the legendary Montgomery charm. Now, with their lives and hearts on the line, they turn up the heat in their desperate search for a killer.
Take off on a wild ride with High Tide, and discover once more why Jude Deveraux -- and her marvelous Montgomerys -- have won the hearts of millions.
"One night I went to bed and when I woke up, there was a dead man on top of me... " is only one of the problems faced by Fiona Burkenhalter, embattled heroine of Deveraux's latest novel. Fiona is a hotshot at Davidson Toys in New York, and she's the obsessed creator of Kimberly, a popular Barbie-like doll. She is furious and pouty when her boss forces her to leave her beloved Kimberly for three days to negotiate a deal with a client in the Florida Everglades. In the Fort Lauderdale airport, petulant Fiona sees a man being attacked by a giant alligator and springs into action, hurling a pink bowling ball case at the beast. The alligator, however, is a mechanical contraption, and it explodes. Fiona is arrested for her heroics, and the man who just saw her destroy his $15,000 investment has to be forcibly restrained from choking her to death. Upon her release Fiona embarks on her dreaded meeting with her client and his guide, a man named Ace Montgomery, hero of many previous Deveraux adventures. Ace turns out to be the same man whose alligator Fiona incinerated, so their antipathy begets the inevitable flying sparks that camouflage mutual attraction. When Fiona's client ends up stabbed to death in her bed , Ace acts fast: he drugs Fiona and drags her off to a hotel to hide and decide what their story is going to be. By morning their photographs are splashed across the front pages, fugitives wanted for the murder. Ace and Fiona go on the lam, bickering, wearing disguises and learning about each other as they try to outrun the police and unravel the mystery. Fast-paced, suspenseful and shot through with goofy humor, Deveraux's latest (The Blessing) adventure romance should please fans who like a low danger quotient, slap-happy dialogue and a corny but sassy love story. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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August 31, 2000
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Excerpt from High Tide by Jude Deveraux
"I refuse to accept it in that condition," Ace said, glaring at the man who was holding out a clipboard and expecting him to sign the acceptance papers.
"Look, mister, I'm just the deliveryman, and nobody said anything about busted crates. So just sign it so I can get out of here."
Ace kept his hands at his side. "Maybe you can't read, but I can," he said. "The fine print on that contract says that once I accept shipment, it's my responsibility. That means that if it's broken, then it's my problem. But if I find out that it's broken before I sign, then it's your problem. Got it?"
For a moment the man stood there opening and closing his mouth. "Do you know what's in that thing?"
"I most certainly do, since I'm the one who ordered it. And paid for it, I might add."
The man still didn't seem to understand. "So let's get it out of here so we can--"
"No," Ace said. "We open it here and now."
At that the man looked about him pointedly, as though Ace didn't understand exactly where they were. They were in the baggage claim area of the Fort Lauderdale airport. Right now there were only a few porters removing unclaimed bags from the carousels, but any minute the escalator to the left might start delivering a plane full of people. "You want me to uncrate the thing here? Now?" the man said quietly.
"Now," Ace said firmly. "You put it in my truck, it's mine, so I have to pay for it if it's damaged, and I paid too much for it to--"
"Yeah, yeah," the man said, bored, then turned to a skinny kid standing next to Ace. The kid was wearing the same gray uniform that the guy giving the orders was wearing. "He always like that?"
"Naw, sometimes he's a real pain in the neck."