Out of Time

Samantha Graves
August 2008, Romantic Suspense
Forever, $6.99, 336 pages, Amazon ASIN 0446618373
Part of a series

Grade: B
Sensuality: Warm

I'm a sucker for romantic suspense involving archaeological and historical treasures and Samantha Graves' Out of Time, featuring lost antiquities in Mexico, fit the bill. It also provided me with a good read that kept me guessing.

Simon Bonner just returned home from what he hopes is his last job as a tomb raider. His desire to live a safe, quiet life and leave his old world far behind lasts for about 30 minutes when one of his old rivals suddenly appears and, with his dying breath, reveals that Simon's ex-wife is being held captive. Simon can rescue her if he gives an ancient crystal lens and a woman he has never met - both key to locating an important archeological site - to the kidnappers.

Jillian Talbot hates criminals of all types. Raised in a family of thieves, she spent most of her life trying to make up for their bad behavior. As a museum curator specializing in artifacts from ancient civilizations, she has a particular dislike of tomb raiders. One night a man with a gun attempts to kidnap her, but before he can take her very far, Simon comes to her rescue. At first, Simon tells Jillian he's with the police. She soon begins to suspect that's not true and that he may be even more dangerous to her than the kidnapper.

Jillian is intelligent, and there's more to her than the straight-laced image Simon first sees. She's a psychic with a rare gift she can see into the history of objects. It's this talent, connected with the ancient crystal, that the criminals hope to use.

I like just this type of romantic suspense. For the most part, it takes place in Mexico and offers interesting and contrasting glimpses of that country from both Jillian's and Simon's perspectives. The book doesn't feature terrorists, but instead offers tomb raiders as villains. While there are a number of said villains, the majority of the action focuses on Jillian and Simon and there is a nice build-up of attraction and sexual tension between them. They didn't hop into bed within hours of meeting which, given the dangers they were facing, made complete sense.

I was a bit confused with some of the action that takes place late in the book, and could have done without some of the paranormal aspects of the story, but overall I found the book to be a good read.

This is the first book I've read by Samantha Graves. Jillian's sister Raven - a thief - was mentioned several times in the book, but never actually appeared. She is apparently the heroine in a previous book and, based on my reading of this one, I will definitely be picking up Sight Unseen.

-- LinnieGayl Kimmel

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