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Author: Sandra Brown.

Softback, 261 pages, Warner Books, New York, 2000.


The setting of this captivating story is in a gas station convenience store, located in a small out-of-the-way town in New Mexico. Sandra Brown's brilliant writing style always entices her readers. Each chapter springs forward into continuous and unexpected action, never letting go of the reader's attention. She continues to throw curve balls into the plot, always catching the reader by surprise. It's no wonder that Sandra is continually on the New York Times' best sellers list.

The main character Tiel, is a hard working thirty something television news reporter. She is finally going to take a long overdue vacation with her new boyfriend. When she calls him to confirm their plans she is immediately thrown off guard by learning that he is married. Although she is hurt, she is more disappointed in her inability to detect that she was getting involved with a married man. However, still determined to give herself the vacation she so much deserves, Tiel decides to go on her own.

While listening to her car radio, she hears a news report about the kidnapping of the daughter of one of Texas' most infamous billionaires. Tiel immediately calls her boss at the station advising that she wants the story. Although he had assigned it to someone else - her rival in the industry - he indirectly pointed Tiel in the direction that the kidnapper was going.

When Tiel stops at the gas station to refuel and to get something to eat at the convenience store she takes note of the other customers. A mysterious cowboy, a cute elderly couple on vacation and two ordinary Mexican men buying smokes. Soon after the calm atmosphere in the store is disrupted by two young teenagers, one of whom is very pregnant and the other wielding a gun with intentions of robbing the cashier. Tiel remains calm, as do most of the other customers, she instantly recognizes the girl to be the millionaire's daughter. Later Tiel discovers that the girl is not being kidnapped, but is running away with her boyfriend, Ronnie. While money from the till is being put into a bag, the girl unexpectedly goes into labour. Not only does Tiel have full coverage of her story, but actually becomes a part of it when she and others are taken hostage by Ronnie.

The story continues to unfold with very tense and tender moments during the standoff. Sandra Brown continues to surprise her audience when she reveals the history of some of the other hostages, making this story more alluring and almost impossible to put down. The book contains some violence and some sexual content, therefore it is a story strictly for adults. Other such books by Sandra Brown are Envy and The Alibi.