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Over two centuries ago, Eleanor Campbell had run off with Angus MacPherson, the man she loved, escaping from the engagement party in which she had been betrothed to another man. Her fiancé had given her the Stuart Sapphires as a betrothal gift. Without realizing she still had the jewels in her pocket, she and Angus left Scotland that night and settled in America. Angus had replicated her family home, including the magical stone arch in the family garden. He had even stolen some of the stones from the original arch to give the new arch the same magic. According to Campbell legend, the man or woman you kissed under the arch would be your true love. Eleanor had always regretted not returning the jewels, consisting of a necklace and a pair of earrings. But after Angus’ death, he started appearing in her dreams, telling her how to right the wrong. She has already hidden one earring to be found by a descendant named Adair, which would start the process of the jewels being returned to their rightful owner. Obeying a second dream, she hides the other earring in a different place under the arch, so it can be found by Piper, another descendant, to further the process along.
Two centuries later, Piper and her two sisters, having grown up in the castle built by Angus, are well aware of the legend and know it to be true. Right out of law school, she went to work for Abe Monticello, an attorney to the celebrities. Recently, Abe handled a case for a man accused of being the Rose Petal Killer, the RPK, for short. Discovering a technicality, Piper had managed to get the man cleared of the charges and many were angry about it. One morning, returning from her early morning run, Piper found her apartment door standing open. Peeping inside, she saw a scene that shocked her. A sheet had been laid out and was covered with rose petals, just like the scenes after a killing by the Rose Petal killer. The only thing missing was the body.
Duncan Sutherland and his brothers were triplets. They had grown up with Piper and her sisters, but have not seen them in years. As adults, Duncan and his brothers have all gone into law. He is now working as a profiler for the FBI and is very good at his work. Recently, he had been involved in the investigation of the Rose Petal Killer. Although he has been busy, his brother Cam has trying to get him to travel to the MacPherson castle and check out some incidents that have been happening there. He had planned to go that weekend, but then a call came in that took precedence. There had been another RPK incident. Although no one had been killed, he had to determine whether the scene had been set by the RPK or a copycat. He had been shocked to find that the apartment belonged to Piper, who also fit the description of the girls that the RPK went after.
Piper has not seen Duncan or his brothers in seven years, when they had all been present at the wedding under the stone arch between Duncan’s mother and Piper’s father. That day, she had been struck by how gorgeous the college age triplets were, especially Duncan. They had had a moment when their eyes had met that day and the rest of the world had slipped away. But that had been the last time she had seen him. That night, she and her sisters had taken a bottle of champagne and slipped away to the arch. There they had each written of an erotic fantasy encounter with a man. For Piper, that man had been Duncan.
He had not forgotten the attraction that had been evident between them at the wedding, but he was determined to protect her. She needed to get out of town until the controversy over the release of the RPK suspect died down and the instigator was captured. So he talked her into going with him to visit the MacPherson castle. However, he has a problem – he can’t keep his hands off of her and their close proximity as well as her mutual desire for him only enhances the problem. Can he protect her from the impending danger, or will his desire for her distract him to the point that he loses the woman he loves?
An intriguing tale, NO HOLDS BARRED, the latest book by talented author Cara Summers in Harlequin Blaze’s FORBIDDEN FANTASIES mini-series, is an exciting, sensual contemporary romantic suspense that will captivate you from the very beginning. The prologue is particularly haunting, especially reading about the deep love and trust between Eleanor and Angus that continued even after death. Duncan and Piper are well matched and the chemistry between them is off-the-charts. Although this story is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone. But I suggest that you also read Ms. Summers’ first book of this series, NO RISK REFUSED, which is Piper’s older sister Adair’s story. In that novel, Adair discovered the first earring as foretold by Angus from beyond the grave. Now Piper is at the castle and it is her turn to find the remaining earring. Packed with charming characters, mystery, danger, intrigue, magic, a killer on the loose, passion, hidden treasure, romance and true love, this suspense-filled adventure is definitely one you will not want to miss! I highly recommend it and look forward to reading Ms. Summers’ next contribution to this absolutely delicious series.
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