"Desperado" is the sweeping adventure of tempestuous love between a rugged hero and vulnerable heroine who go undercover to crack an international slave labor ring.
Lovely Maggie Barton and hardbitten Cord Romero share a tangled and complicated past. While still a young girl, Maggie fell deeply in love with Cord, but he's become a hard, cynical man who no longer believes in the emotion. When Cord is nearly killed in an assassination attempt, Maggie returns to Texas to care for him, but he spurns her offer of help. It isn't long, however, before their lives are once again inextricably bound as they join forces to bring down a crime cartel that exploits young children. Maggie is a woman with deep secrets, and Cord is a man with a badly scarred heart. Is there any hope that these two wounded people will find a way to heal each other? Perhaps, but first they must survive the threat to their lives as they race across Tangiers and through Amsterdam in a desperate gamble to bring justice to an evil crime lord.
Readers will be delighted to find that Desperado features a hero and heroine first introduced in Palmer's Lord of the Desert. The settings of Texas ranch, Moroccan desert, and Amsterdam canals are well rendered, the suspense plot has some interesting, hair-raising chases, and the romantic interludes carry Palmer's trademark steam heat. --Lois Faye Dyer
From Publishers Weekly
A gripping story is sabotaged by leaden writing in this hardcover debut from bestselling author Palmer (The Texas Ranger; Lord of the Desert). Mercenary Cord Romero returns to his Texas ranch after barely avoiding being blown up by a bomb planted by his arch-enemy, Raoul Gruber, only to find his beautiful and long-estranged foster sister, Maggie Barton, at his door. Disturbed by his desire for Maggie, Cord lashes out at her. Heartbroken by Cord's hostility, and jobless she left the perfect job in Morocco to rush to Cord's side Maggie takes a job in Houston doing the books at a detective agency. She quickly finds herself tangled up in a mission to bring down Gruber and his international ring of child labor exploitation baddies and when Gruber discovers her connection to Cord, she becomes his next target. Maggie and Cord flee overseas to catch Gruber, traveling from Houston to Spain and Morocco and back again to lure him into their trap. Believable sexual tension sizzles between Maggie and Cord as they struggle with their haunted pasts and crippling secrets in order to find the strength to trust each other. Unfortunately, their cookie-cutter personalities make the romance fall flat, and Cord's me-Tarzan-you-Jane high-handed treatment of Maggie is far from sexy. Palmer's compelling suspense and beautiful visuals keep the reader interested, but repetitive and hackneyed writing ("her shell-like ear") bog down an otherwise fast-paced romantic thriller.