JAYNE ANN KRENTZ, writing as STEPHANIE JAMES
Synopsis from Goodreads: Tabitha Graham thought she had found a soul mate when she rescued Dev Colter from a dangerous situation. She thought he was a kindred spirit: gentle, shy and in need of love.
But Dev had a secret life that made him as dangerous as any of the fabulous, legendary beasts the bookstore owner had studied. When she fled from his sensual claim, his pursuit was relentless. Once he had tasted Tabitha, Dev had no intention of relinquishing his prey!
Too late Tabitha discovered she had roused a sleeping dragon...
Stats for my copy: Mass market paperback, Silhouette Books, 2000.
How acquired: Via Book Mooch.
My thoughts: If this had been the first Jayne Ann Krentz book I read, I probably would not have bothered to hunt down and collect more of her books (I think I have around 25 now that I've yet to read).
While on a Caribbean cruise, Tabitha is tourist shopping on one of the islands the ship visits, and stumbles across fellow passenger Dev in an alley, beaten and bleeding. She helps him back to the ship and takes care of him while he recovers. Thus the romance begins.
I struggled a little to like Dev. He is very calculating in his pursuit of Tabitha, letting her believe he is shy and unassuming. He decides right away that he wants her in his bed, but he deliberately pretends to be someone he is not, patiently waiting for her to make the first move, fearing that she'll be frightened away otherwise. But also, it seemed, so that when she does finally succumb to his charms, she can't accuse him of seducing her. Not if she thinks she is the one who did the seducing.
Tabitha is divorced, and yet she seems quite naive. I'm not sure if she's really written that way, or if I'm just too jaded...normally I love quaint older books with inexperienced heroines, but maybe since she's been married it just didn't ring true to me.
About halfway through the book Dev's big secret comes out, and along with the action my interest picked up quite a bit after that. And in the end I was pleased with the outcome.