While doing research for a new novel, American author Laura Winters visits a prison to interview Sean, an IRA prisoner whom she has corresponded with for the past ten months. When she meets him face-to-face, she is stunned by his sexual heat-and by her wanton response to it. Laura believes that as long as he is locked behind bars, she can use that sexual attraction to write blistering love scenes for her novel. But then comes the day that Sean escapes from prison and arrives on Laura’s doorstep. She soon learns that real life sex is so much steamier than in her books, especially when she becomes entangled in Sean’s love…
(Originally published via Ellora’s Cave in the Captured anthology. The characters names seemed to have changed from the blurb above with the copy I have. This story is now out of print, from what I can find.)
Laura Danville, an American novelist, has been exchanging letters with an Irish prisoner for the past ten months. She’s fallen head over heels for the charming, poetic man she’s gotten to know in their letters, and she moves to Dublin, Ireland to do further research on IRA prisoners. After she meets Declan in person at the prison, their attraction is instant. Even though she knows he’s a dangerous man, she’s infatuated with him and can see the man beneath the IRA terrorist label. After Declan escapes from prison and winds up at her flat, shot and bleeding, she takes him in and nurses him back to health. She quickly falls under his thumb and finds herself trapped in the seedy world of the IRA.
Declan Fagan has spent the last seven years in prison for arms dealing, but after he escapes and meets up with Laura, he rejoins the local IRA faction and brings Laura along with him. He’s determined to see Ireland united and to drive out the English, and he believes violence is the only way to achieve this. After he and his friends kidnap a child, an English prince, he forces Laura to baby-sit the boy, putting his strained relationship with Laura through the ultimate test.
I really enjoyed this story and the complex characters, but I found the H/h’s actions hard to handle. The book is predominantly told from Laura’s POV, so I understood the intense love she felt for Declan and the passion between them, but for her to condone her lover’s role in the kidnapping and to accept the way he threatened the child was too much. Though Declan never hurt Laura or the prince, she feared him and what he would do in the name of his country. He was often cold to her when his friends were around, and he used sex and her feelings for him to manipulate her, and she let him even though she knew what they were doing was wrong. I expected the twist at the end—Declan couldn’t really be a bad guy in a romance book—but the climax still kept me on the edge of my seat.
The sex scenes were plentiful and super hot. There are some unanswered questions but nothing that affected the overall plot. I wish there would’ve been more scenes in Declan’s POV (there was only one), but then the reader would’ve known his secrets too soon. Anyway, I loved the danger and excitement, and I would definitely recommend this story for a reader who wants something different from mainstream romantic-suspense.