-- an international organization fighting such dastardly villains -- had given her a kit to help, as well as Harrison Wiles -- a dangerously sexy man who knew how to watch a woman's back.
The stars reminded her of chilly nights with her father, stumbling out onto the lawn in bathrobes and jackets to look for meteors or the fuzzy blob of a comet.
"Yes, please, the usual." The amusement in Rajendra's eyes and the bare hint of a smile at the corners of his mouth told her what he thought: that Beti had brought this man as a prospective husband for Rachel. "Before I begin, may I have your promise to keep what is about to be said in confidence? "Of course." She hoped she wasn't about to hear about something illegal. " She turned her gaze to Wiles, who appeared as serious as Beti. " The man must be some species of rich idiot, fancying himself a real-life Indiana Jones, chasing after fairy tales. Rachel looked back at Beti, disbelief and confusion muddling her brain. A chauvinist's paradise, I should say." She glared at Wiles. Shouldn't he be smirking about what a wonderful world that would be? " "Then I should think that it was a very good thing that the city was lost," Rachel said. Those who like James Bond but admire his gutsy female counterparts even more will savor this smart, humorous send-up from Cash (George & the Virgin, etc.). The situation gets stickier, however, when Rachel learns that the dastardly doc is her first lover, gawky Alan Archer.
Rachel widened her eyes at Rajendra, and shook her head. And for God's sake, he should button his shirt to the top. It would explain his faintly detectable disappointment upon seeing her, though. "Thank you." Beti pushed her glasses up her nose and fixed her gaze on Rachel. We need you to lead a trek into the Himalaya, to search for the legendary city of Yonam." Rachel's lips parted as her eyes widened. "Paradise for the men, but likely a hell for the women," he said. "I certainly would not go searching for it." "Someone has already begun the search. Not many romance heroines have pink hair and a nose ring, but sassy Nepal tour guide Rachel Calais does, and her individuality and wry wit are what make this such a delight. As Rachel and Harrison plot to bring down Alan, the chemistry between them hits feverish heights, but will it be enough to keep them together once the adventure is over?
What she didn't know was that playing spy could make her pay the ultimate price: her heart.
With a stun gun, infrared goggles, and other less conventional forms of nighttime protection, Rachel was a regular Jane Bond, ready to face danger wherever it lurked.
Curiosity, whims, and fancies were her only commanders. Rachel stood for a moment, listening to the distant sounds of motorcycles and cars, and the barking of a dog.
Her attention was caught by a waiter down below, pointing up at her group. There was never silence in Kathmandu, and one learned to appreciate different degrees of relative quiet in this city that was struggling to find its place between the medieval and the modern world. " "I think your friend has plans for you." "What sort of plans? "Very nice ones." "Everyone is being very mysterious tonight," Rachel muttered.
He winked at her, a big, slow wink that he had learned from his foreign customers, and that was as obvious as a drunk elephant sitting on the table singing Madonna tunes. "Please, sit down," Wiles said, genial and at ease, and gestured to the cushion across from where he had been sitting. Men like him shouldn't leave that hollow at the base of the throat exposed. Rachel glanced at Beti, looking for clues to what this was all about, but the Nepalese woman was looking even more nervous than before, refusing to meet Rachel's gaze and playing with the edge of her glass of mineral water. She sat down with a conscious effort at grace, folding her legs neatly to the side, and arranging the long skirt of her silk tunic in a smooth drape over her legs. "Beti tells me you had to abandon your tour group to do so." "They'll manage to get toasted just fine without me," she said, with a quick smile. I doubt that more than two or three of the most drunken ones will sleep on the streets tonight." "Are you sure it is safe to leave them alone? And he not only knows that the drug is real, but he has the knowledge and resources to synthesize it, and bring it to the world marketplace. " "It's an acronym for an international secret service organization comprised almost entirely of women," Wiles explained, without cracking a smile. When dashing Harrison Wiles asks Rachel to lead an expedition into the Himalayas to help stamp out a doctor determined to find a lost city and manufacture a drug that will make women submit to his will, Rachel scoffs at the offer. Cach paints both the vibrant beauty and blemishes of Nepal with a fine hand, but the exotic locale never outshines her charismatic characters.
He went around to take his own place again, failing to look silly without his shoes on. This past year she had taken to wearing shalwar kameez, the long tunic and loose trouser outfit that was as popular in Nepal as the sari. You've probably heard of Rohypnol and GHB, the date-rape drugs? "Victims of Rohypnol have no memory of what has happened to them. How much worse, do you think, to be fully conscious, lucid, and an active participant in one's own abuse? Uneven pacing makes the novel feel jumpy at times, but there's enough humor and suspense here to keep readers from dwelling on these minor flaws.
" Rachel lowered her gaze from the heavens and forced a smile, just as she forced away thoughts of her father and mother. "Here's to a great group, with remarkable powers of endurance," Rachel said, raising her own glass and feeling a fleeting fondness for the lot of them.