Joan Johnston, Author . Pocket $7.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-7434-5440-7

At the start of Johnston's swift-moving Bitter Creek romance (The Price , etc.), 17-year-old Kate Grayhawk, the out-of-wedlock daughter of Libby Grayhawk and Clay Blackthorne, skips out of her Virginia boarding school and heads for Jackson Hole, Wyo., where her mother lives. But soon after leaving a phone message for her mother, she's drugged and kidnapped at a Teton Village bar near home. Desperate to find her daughter, Libby phones Clay, the U.S. attorney general, and is surprised when he later shows up on her doorstep. Romantic tension sizzles between the estranged lovers as they recall their long-ago affair and the decades-old animosity between their families, but they put their differences aside to join Deputy Sheriff Sarah Barndollar in the hunt for Kate, which is made perilous by threats of avalanches and impending blizzards. A precipitous secondary romance between Sarah and Drew DeWitt, Clay's cousin, is complicated by the disappearance of Sarah's husband, Tom, 15 months earlier. But as the search for Kate leads Sarah and Drew to nearby Bear Island, Sarah discovers that Kate's disappearance may be linked to Tom's "abandonment." Though some elements of the protagonists' heroic search will strain readers' belief, the story's suspense and surprising conclusion nicely counterpoint the dual romances. Agent, Trident Media Group. (Sept. 1)

Reviewed on: 08/30/2004
Release date: 08/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 402 pages - 978-1-4165-1482-4
Prebound-Glued - 402 pages - 978-1-4177-2132-0
Hardcover - 445 pages - 978-1-58724-870-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 402 pages - 978-1-4165-4476-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-3528-1
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