A Desperate Longing
by Brenda Williamson, contemporary (2007)
Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 1-59998-203-X

If this book is going to go into print in the near future, someone should point out to the folks at Samhain Publishing that the women's nipples are visible through her see-through bra on the cover. We don't want the Wal-Mart crowd to suffer seizures of horror when they see the book peering at them from the aisles now, do we?

A Desperate Longing is a very readable romantic suspense story, although the romance component isn't the strongest due to the fact that the reader is not given any glimpse into the hero's head for a very long time. He's very much a component of the plot as much as he is the hero because the heroine will have to decide whether she can trust him.

Our heroine Kacy Carwell was this close to being the victim of a serial kidnapper-cum-rapist about two years ago and ever since that moment she gets terrified, often irrationally so, of any man that comes too close to her. When the new guy Gulliver Knight moves in next door, he triggers all kinds of emotions in poor Kacy. There is attraction, and then there is fear. When it seems as if the villain from the past is back to finish what he had started with Kacy, our poor heroine doesn't know whether she is going mad or not.

It is pretty obvious that Gulliver is not the bad guy but the story remains nonetheless most intriguing for the most part as poor Kacy starts running around as if she is determined to win an Emmy for the best actress in some woman-triumphant TV movie of the week. Ms Williamson has me quite worried for Kacy and that's how she reels me into her story.

I am not sure about the fact that Kacy is running around with even once consulting at least a shrink who can do something for her. She's just running around trying to stay sane and I'm not sure if she should do this without getting some professional help. I also find it hard to believe that she can let Gulliver into her bed when she's supposed to be terrified of getting too close to any man. While I appreciate that Kacy tries to be strong and to an extent she succeeds without being too stupid. I find it hard to believe some of her actions regarding Gulliver in this story.

Nonetheless, this is a most readable story. I appreciate how Kacy tries not to let herself be a victim in this story and how she tries to remain strong. While Gulliver is a question mark - although it's obvious that he's a good guy - he is also someone who tries to do the right thing. These two characters are fine in their own right and A Desperate Longing is a pretty fine story as well.

Rating: 84

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