The Kissing Blades
Prime suspect in her beloved teenage assistant's kidnapping, 40-year-old jeweler Kameko Sayura uncharacteristically jumps bail and enlists the help of her own former kidnapper and ex-lover, Sean Delaney, an alcoholic, retired Army colonel-cum-cow herder. Warned her young employee will be killed if a priceless Asian sword collection known as the White Tiger is not retrieved within five days, Meko and Sean embark on a desperate search for answers, all the while being tailed by the police, the FBI and the Asian mob, which her deceased father once headed. Jessica Hall (The Steel Caress) packs The Kissing Blades with action and plenty of details pertaining to Japanese folklore and culture but leaves little room for character development or a credible romance to bloom between Sean and Meko. Indeed, many romance readers may lose interest in this tangled tale before it takes its final, far-fetched turn.