“Pearls and Peril” is the sequel to Lynn Gardner’s debut novel, “Emeralds and Espionage.” When we last saw Allison Alexander, she had just been married to her childhood sweetheart Bart after having her home overtaken by a cartel, held captive, told that her mother was really a famous actress in her youth, and is now an agent for Anastasia, a division of Interpol created to fight terrorism. That’s a lot to take in on one day. Add to that the fact that Bart is one of Anastasia’s top agents, and you pretty much have the makings for a nervous breakdown. Allison is bewildered, but does her best to take it all in stride.
As “Pearls and Peril” begins, we find Bart and Allison on their honeymoon. Somehow Nate, the one surviving member of the cartel, has followed them to Hawaii. Their room has been ransacked and bugged, and they keep encountering Nate wherever they go. In an attempt to lose him, they arrange to trade residences with a couple of students from BYU-Hawaii, but that doesn’t work either. Nate is too smart, and they don’t know how they are going to shake their tail. It’s obvious he wants revenge, and he also wants something Allison has, from the way her things were riffled.
Meanwhile, Bart wants to talk to Allison about the LDS church. He learned the teachings while being held in a prison camp, talking for long hours with his cell mate. He believes the things he was taught and wants to tell Allison about it, but they’ve been a little busy since he got back, what with terrorists, getting married, and all. Now that they are interacting with students from BYU-Hawaii, it seems a perfect time to talk about it, if it weren’t for those pesky bugs in the room, getting beaten up on the beach, and almost getting kidnapped. Not to mention the mudslide.
This book is exciting and humorous. I do find Allison’s husband and father both to be a little indulgent in how they treat her, but who wouldn’t want to be loved so unconditionally? I also think that Lynn’s writing is improving as she moves through the series, as is common with authors. If you’re looking for a suspenseful romance, you will want to give Lynn Gardner a try.
(This book was published in 1996 by Covenant Communications.)