IN HOT PURSUIT
Pinnacle Encanto August 2000
Setting: Present day Miami, Florida
While digging a hole to plant a tree for her daughter Suzie, Isabel Garcia unearths a briefcase filled with packets of white powder. It could only have been buried by her ex-husband before he was killed, so Isabel calls Lieutenant Linc Heller, the narcotics officer who questioned her about Frank's involvement with the drug trade. Linc recalls the lovely Cuban American very well as he hurries to The Tropical Paradise Nursery, Isabel's home and business. The attraction that had lain dormant for months awakens full strength as Linc sees her again. His feelings deepen for Isabel, and a strong mutual attachment develops between him and five-year-old Suzie. Isabel feels drawn to Linc also, but her fears override her other emotions. She will not put herself and Suzie into a relationship that could end in violence at any time. Isabel's fears and Linc's dedication to his job provide strong barriers they will need to overcome if there is any hope for a future for them.
Victoria Marquez writes in a smoothly flowing style, free of any errors or awkwardness that jerk a reader out of the story and away from the characters to whom she gives coherent personalities and motives. She endows Linc with strength and gentleness and sets him to wooing Isabel so disarmingly it seem she must succumb, yet Isabel has her own strengths. The man, the woman, and the little girl form such a charming unit, that one can't help but hope for them to become a family. Ms. Marquez adds spice to the mix with the introduction of Isabel's relatives and the delicious-sounding food they prepare and enjoy.
The suspenseful plot provides external conflicts as well. Linc and his partners have worked for two years to bust a Colombian drug cartel, and they will be in danger before they are finished. So, too, will the fruit tree farm that Isabel's father started and that she and her mother now run. These add exciting moments to IN HOT PURSUIT, but the best part is the sharing in Linc's pursuit of love and in Isabel's coming to realize that life without love is no life at all.
Linc, Isabel, and the rest are people I'd like to know. I greatly enjoyed their story and strongly recommend IN HOT PURSUIT to fans of warm contemporary romance with a dollop of suspense. The Encanto line contains both English and Spanish versions in one volume.
SECOND OPINION IN HOT PURSUIT
IN HOT PURSUIT is a totally enjoyable story that takes a look at the relationship of Linc and Isabel, against the backdrop of dangerous underworld drug connections. The story includes an interesting look into the life of her family and their traditions - a look that was thoroughly enjoyable and served to give the entire story a rich, warm feeling. Wonderful characterization; I especially loved Suzie and her relationship with Linc. The story is well plotted and Linc's job provides a good suspense angle. While somewhat predictable in places, IN HOT PURSUIT is filled with excellent emotional appeal and some really amazing characters - a highly entertaining read.
* * Another Review * *
IN HOT PURSUIT is a wonderful book. It's fast-paced and extremely well written. The plot is believable and the characters are richly drawn. This novel makes for an engaging read and will have readers on the edge of their seats rooting for this couple that are perfect for each other in every way. The bonus is that readers are given an intimate glimpse into Cuban culture, Marquez has written a winner. If you're unfamiliar with ethnic romances involving Latin characters, pick this one up and this reviewer guarantees that you'll be pleased with it.
-Nathasha Brooks-Harris, The Belles and Beaux of Romance
WILD FOR YOU
WILD FOR YOU
Pinnacle Encanto April 2001
I have to say I was wild for Clay after reading WILD FOR YOU! What a wonderful book. I was amazed how fast I breezed through. Once started, I was caught up with the captivating characters of Clay Blackthorne, a Miami police detective hired by his friend Marcos Calderon, wealthy doctor and long time friend ,to keep an eye out for his sister, Marisol, who had just opened a new beauty salon in South Beach. He wanted to keep it hush, hush as his sister hated him interfering in her life.
Clay goes to Marisol's shop for a haircut and to check out the situation. When Marisol gets a look at this tall, dark and handsome man she decides to cut his hair herself. Marisol is so full of life and bounces with energy within her petite form. She wears short, short skirts, and high heels and she has a walk that could shake up any man in sight. Clay knew this case was going to be trouble the minute he met this ray of sunshine!
Marisol is being stalked by a sicko and is in need of Clay's help, especially after she had been receiving threatening notes from someone out to get her. Clay tries to protect Marisol but she won't listen to what he tells her so he comes up with a doozie of a plan: Marriage in name only until the suspect is caught, and then an annulment. I wonder if this will come true? <Grin>
Wow, the story is a sizzler as these two people who are so attracted to one another sexually are put into a combustible situation that slowly turns to something more. It isn't long before they start to fall in love but Clay has sworn off love and marriage because of a very hurtful episode in his past. Marisol has never had anybody care so much for her that they were willing to put their life in jeopardy for her. There are so many colorful characters in this book that it is impossible to put down. No more on what happens, dear readers. You'll have to read it and find out! I think you're going to love it. I'm hoping there is a story for Marcos Calderon too. He is one hottie whose story I can't wait to read so please Victoria think of something for this dynamic man!!!
You know something readers, you're missing out on some great love stories if you are not reading the Encanto line from the Kensington Publishing Company. Check it out on http://www.encantoromance.com
Suzanne "If I Had Someone Like Clay Guarding Me I Would Be Weak In the Knees Constantly. Wow, What a Man!" Coleburn
"Victoria Marquez is just wonderful! Her stories have zing, terrific characters, good plots and leave you wanting more."
Suzanne Coleburn, The Belles and Beaux of Romance
* * Another Review * *
WILD FOR YOU has every attribute of a fine romance, an attractive hero with a large but scarred heart, a heroine who keeps her femininity in spite of her strengths, and suspense in the form of a mysterious stalker. The writing flows smoothly, and the characters are well rounded and likable. I have enjoyed both Encantos by Ms. Marquez (IN HOT PURSUIT, released last August, and WILD FOR YOU) and recommend them highly, but a word of warning: Keep a snack handy; this author can make your mouth water with her descriptions of tasty foods.
On a side note, I was about to say that I wouldn't be surprised to see Victoria Marquez breaking out into mainstream romance when I checked her website and found she has a novella in HOT AND BOTHERED, a St. Martin's Press summer anthology coming out in June.
Jane Bowers, Romance Reviews Today
"The love story of Clay and Marisol was simply wonderful!" Four stars.
Debbie R. Sims, Romantic Times Magazine
HOT AND BOTHERED
Lori Foster, Laura Bradley, Gayle Callen, Victoria Marquez
St. Martin's Press Anthology July 2001
"The four tales are quite different occurring in radically diverse settings. Yet each contains a sexy hunk, a gorgeous female protagonist, tons of torrid passion, and entertaining plots that are well written. HOT AND BOTHERED lives up to its title as each contribution seduces the reader." -- Harriet Klausner
Four Stars "Author Victoria Marquez offers a humorous and sexy tale in Treading Dangerous Waters. Romantic Times Magazine
"Sizzling sexual tension fills the pages of this romance on the high seas. For a fast read try TREADING DANGEROUS WATERS."
Terrie Figueroa Romance Reviews Today