Shana George has just flown from Sydney to London to begin a new assignment working for Scotland Yard when she is informed that she’s being loaned out for a special operation back in the States – Martha’s Vineyard to be exact. She’s going undercover, playing the role of a beach bunny heiress who plans to enter a surfing competition being held on the island. Her objective is to find missing heiress, Susan Whittier, who had entered the competition but then withdrew and mysteriously disappeared. Shana’s team leader is special ops legend, Dane Blaise, a man quite a few years her senior, not only in age, but in experience. The chemistry between the two gets off to a rocky start, to say the least. Dane seems driven to antagonize Shana, calling her condescending names like “girlie” to which she naturally responds negatively. However, underlying this antagonism is an almost overwhelming sexual attraction, one which they each try to deny.
Thus sets the scene for this first volume in The Beachcombers Investigation Series by author, Stephanie Queen. Most of the action revolves around Shana and Dane as they try to find the missing heiress and uncover the real purpose behind the sketchy surfing competition. A charming con man, Jean Luc, is the figurehead in charge of the event, but he has a co-worker, Ned, who is anything but charming and who, in the end, may prove deadly to Shana.
The tension builds we get into both Dane’s and Shana’s heads and intensifies as we move toward the heart-pounding conclusion. The pace is swift as author, Queen, leads the reader on a merry chase, trying to find the heiress and put the bad guys away.
This was a fun detective read with lots of sexual tension. Not only is there a case to solve, but also the question about a possible future for Shana and Dane looms large in the reader’s mind. I found The Beachcombers to be a delightful read and can highly recommend it for lovers of mystery/romance and romantic suspense featuring kick-ass women sleuths.