The first book in the Lodestone Trilogy series, published April 2011.
National bestselling author Cherry Adair introduces an edgy, sexy new suspense series with this exhilarating international tale of hide and seek.
A reckless adventure in a deadly paradise.
Thrill seekers Zakary and Gideon Stark travel the globe in search of extreme adventure, but a trip to Venezuela to jump off the world's highest falls catapults them into a perilous game of life or death - where they don't know the rules.
A one-night stand that will change his life forever.
Kidnapped with a woman Zak knows nothing about, the brothers are held prisoner deep in the jungle. A risky, deathdefying escape separates them and nearly claims Zak's life . . . until his recovery reveals a baffling new sixth sense.
An unexpected diversion with lethal consequences.
Now, to find his missing brother, Zak and the mysterious Acadia Gray will have to out-smart, out-gun, and out-manoeuvre not just the brutal kidnappers but also a new player who joins the adrenaline game: a ruthless opponent who wants the Stark brothers dead - at any cost.
Well, this book certainly was not what I expected.
Talk about a rude awakening. After a night of fantastic sex, Zak Stark awakes to the feeling of a naked woman in his arms, and a gun pressed against his temple. Zak and his brother Gideon have travelled to Venezuela to base jump off the Angel Falls, and he met this gorgeous woman in the cantina last night. Acadia is in Venezuela just to sightsee the Falls, with some girlfriends, before she is changing her life drastically. She spend the last 6 years taking care of her demented father, and now she will finally go to college, to study architecture. So one first and final adventure before her life starts over. And spending a one night stand with a dangerous looking man really fitted that target.
Six heavily armed guerrilla’s have invaded their room, and he is but-naked in bed, with a blonde in his arms. There is nothing he could do, even he was a hero. Which he is not, otherwise he would have been able to safe and protect his wife Jennifer.
Kidnapping is the national sport in Venezuela, the victims held for large ransoms, and no matter if the ransom is paid or not, most victims are never returned. So when Acadia, Zak and Gideon are taken deep into the jungle, there is almost no hope for them.
The leader and most men leave again, when they are shoved into their prisons, Zak and Acadia in one, and Gideon, who is severely wounded in his ribs, in the other one. When the guards start drinking heavily, they have to plan their escape, when the leader is back later that evening, they will have no other chance.
Luckily, Acadia is the sort who is always prepared for all the eventualities she can prepare for. Back home she works in a sports shop, so she brought with her clothes with 28 hidden compartments, and 18 pounds of gear stashed in it, just in case they get stranded somewhere. And boy, does she save their lifes with it! Aspirin, a small first aid kit, wet wipes, rations, and even a very new, small one person tent. When Gideon and Zak decide to split ways after they escape, Acadia gets stuck with Zak, who according to his brother, has a death wish. If Zak is responsible for getting Acadia out of this mess alive, he will have to stay alive as well.
But Zak is shot in his shoulder, and being wounded in the jungle is a dangerous thing. His wound gets infected fast, and the blood loss is making him dizzy. So when Zak collapses, it is up to Acadia to take care of the both of them. And thanks to all the things in her miracules pockets, she manages. But unlike Zak, she takes no pleasure in the situation. He is used to adrenaline kicks, and dangerous situations. Acadia wants to plan, know what she will be up to, and she is good at being prepared, but she does not enjoy their situation. And when Zak gets worse, she will have to get out on her own to find help.
But even after they get safely out of the jungle and back to civilization, which provides of few new adventures for Acadia, they are not out of danger. Their captors are still after them, and every time they think they find a safe place, they are found again. Someone is betraying them, but who, and why? And what happened to Gideon? Why hasn’t he arrived yet? Zak is sick with worry for his brother, as they have been very close since birth.
All in all, this is a very fast paced novel. I liked Acadia, she dealt with everything that happened to them without complaining or wining. Unlike Zak’s late wife, and does he feel disloyal thinking things like that. Acadia doesn’t like what is happening, but there is no other solution and whining doesn’t help, so she won’t do that. At first Zak kept calling her Barbie, but he gets respect for her fast enough to quit doing that. There is much more to Acadia than her newly died blond hair and great looks. Even half death Zak still is hot for her, and the feeling is certainly mutual. Acadia knows better than to fall in love with Zak, he loved his first wife Jennifer very much, and he will never be able to love her as much. But she is really wrong in that. Zak had come to the conclusion they didn’t fit long before she died.
What bugged me a bit, he keeps insisting on sex before a shower, and while I was screaming in my head: you are being betrayed by X, he kept trusting the man and contacting him again and again. Finally the nickel fell, and he asked someone else for help. But in the end, wow, who could ever have guessed that twist in the plot!
A lot of exciting things, and also some sad things happened. But being dead for a moment also gave Zak a new sixth sense, he is using well in tracking down his lost brother.
I thought, wow, what a nice thick book, but due to the lettertype and spacing and such, it was faster read than I though. And I did miss some of the excitement I am used to with the T-Flac novels. Just less suspenseful. Still a lot of passion though, hot love scenes. And for a shy person, Acadia did a lot of “first time” things.