Series: Mediterranean Nights
Author: Ingrid Weaver
Read copy: eBook
Published: June 1, 2007
Successful fashion designer Marina Artamova is determined to reunite her small family. Her orphaned nephew has vanished into the Russian welfare system, and her mission is his rescue.
After months of searching, Marina locates Stefan—but not before he's adopted by David Anderson, an American teacher. She books passage on Alexandra's Dream, the cruise ship David has chosen as a treat for the uncharacteristically reserved boy before taking him to the U.S. Marina is single-minded in her quest to gain custody of Stefan, despite the romantic ambience of the cruise ship and her undeniable attraction to David.
Marina and David have no idea that the boy's silence hides a secret about his parents' deaths...and that the man responsible will stop at nothing to keep him quiet.
A Russian beauty boards the cruise ship Alexandra’s Dream in order to rescue her nephew from the clutches of an American kidnapper. David Anderson has legally adopted Stefan Gorsky after the boy’s parents died in a car crash, but impulsive and emotional Marina doesn’t see that. Stefan is the only family she has left and she would do anything to keep him.
This was a rather sweet story. The setting (Mediterranean cruise ship) slightly "mellowed" the impact of the premise – adoption and family, and the suspense subplot, but it was the heroine that really bombed this story. For someone who had a child’s best interests in mind, she never thought about the impact her actions might have on her nephew, she selfishly wanted to have her own way. Lucky for her, Stefan, and the readers, David – a sexy schoolteacher with a childhood filled with abuse – represented the clear head of this duo, providing a steady figure in Stefan’s (new) life and a buffer for Marina.
The suspense subplot seemed to be there merely as an afterthought – to bring everything nicely together, but it was IMHO the best part of this story, with the villain having more depth than the heroine, displaying a strange "integrity" for a mobster.