The Poet
by Stephanie Harris

"She kept looking around the room, eyeing each of the other guests. She was searching for someone or something that might prove useful. Anything. Because she was completely aware that she would probably die tonight, it was just a question of how."

Rebecca Paige, dissatisfied with life and love, heads to a much-needed vacation out in a group of cabins in the middle of nowhere. Here she meets "Jack," a mysterious, intellectual man with a gun who immediately grips her attention by the throat, so to speak. Before she can get herself in too deep, Jack departs into the night and Rebecca is left to face a different kind of danger: A group of men takes the entire vacation resort hostage. Rebecca must use every bit of her psychiatric knowledge and strong personality to remain calm and protect herself—and all the other hostages. As things spiral out of control and the danger grows more and more real, Rebecca has only one last ace up her sleeve: Jack, the assassin known as The Poet. But is Jack friend or foe?

A certain amount of danger can be attractive, but how can you make a killer relatable? Harris does it with a wonderful intensity. Not a word is wasted and every moment receives the same attentive hand, from the sensual to the terrifying. Alongside the narrative we get a glimpse into Jack's past, exploring how a person might end up like him. He's relatable and real and the reader can't help but root for him, despite his obvious faults. The other personalities in The Poet are equally intriguing, especially the strong-willed and resilient Rebecca, who is a force to be reckoned with while being all too human. Although she has her own faults, she is never reduces to a typical damsel and never truly needs her male counterpart. Through her, Harris manages to create a realistic portrayal of a strong woman who still somehow finds herself attracted to a man who is, by all accounts, very dangerous. Strong characters and a thrilling scenario make this a very satisfying read.

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