© 2007, Karen Wiesner
Reviews For INCOGNITO SERIES 5: UNDER THE SPELL by Karen Wiesner
4 Cups! "I loved this story. The action and the suspense had me guessing with every page. The clues are all there for the reader to easily see but yet it is not easy to figure out the ending. The agency that Justine/Gina works for is interesting and you never get the feeling you know exactly what they are all about. Ms. Wiesner has a flair for action and she proves it with this wonderful story. I look forward to reading the first books of this series and can only hope for more to come." ~Liadan for Coffee Time Romance
"If you’ve been following Karen Wiesner’s Incognito series, you are now well versed in its baseline motto; once you join The Network, whoever or whatever you are is dead – to yourself and anyone you will leave behind. There is no going back – ever. After reading this review you might be wondering many things. Who really is the bad guy in this story? Why didn’t I talk more about the suspense and action? Mostly because I really fell for the romance of Justine and Alex and that made a bigger impact on me. As for the future of their relationship you might ask, “Can there be a compromise? What does the author come up with this time that satisfies the romantic in all of us? Can Justine possibly hoodwink The Network?" I can tell you that what ends up happening makes me believe in the impossible. Another thing I can say, Karen Wiesner has me Under the Spell, and loving it!!" - Rating: 5 Books! Reveiwed by Xeranthemum, Long And Short Reviews
"The Incognito Series has been consistently one of the best thriller sagas on the market today. The fifth book will place newcomers UNDER THE SPELL of author Karen Wiesner (fans already are ensorcelled by this writer). The lead couple makes for a fast-paced plot as each realizes they still love the other, but neither trusts one another or their own heart. The espionage elements are cleverly designed to keep the audience and Gina struggling with the fact that Alex is certainly the traitor. As fans know, set aside the hours--this is a one-sitting espionage romantic thriller." -Harriet Klausner
"UNDER THE SPELL is Ms. Weisner’s fifth book in The Incognito Series. The agents in The Network are forced to give up so much -- children, family, and friends -- but in spite of their superiors, The Network’s hard nose rules, and their own self-restraint, they cannot help but long for a sense of normalcy. It is an intriguing premise that keeps going strong through each book, and UNDER THE SPELL is no exception. An example of how The Network works: because one female agent had an affair with a fellow agent and got pregnant years ago, now all female agents are sterilized… With plenty of chemistry between its hero and heroine, nice dialogue and suspense, I recommend UNDER THE SPELL. Love may not triumph over all, but can it find a small place in the lives of those who are most deserving?" – Reviewed by Nickole Yarbrough, Romance Reviews Today
Sample Chapter For INCOGNITO SERIES 5: UNDER THE SPELL by Karen Wiesner
“I always intended Gina to have everything I own,” Alex heard his employer—and the man he’d considered a father for long years—murmur. “I don’t believe she’ll be comin’ back this way. But it’s all hers. Always has been. Always will be.”
He glanced up from sweeping the horse barn after the morning muck of the stalls. Reggie Calhoun stood near his beloved saddle, which was displayed front and center on an inner wall. With one gloved hand, he lovingly touched the fanatically maintained, custom-tooled leather. He traced the spade patch on the side of it, then patted it protectively. The saddles on either side of Reggie’s also had the Triple Aces Ranch logo on a patch.
Considerable time had passed since it’d been the Triple Aces’—Reggie, Alex’s father Avery, and Dennis Omrinski—riding pasture. More often than not of late, Reggie seemed to have his mind on his old pals. Old pals and the daughter who’d selfishly run away and brought ruin to her own father. Alex could guess what the man was thinking:
Ruined a helluva lot more’n that. Not that I’m gonna dwell on it for even one more second than I have all these years.
Reggie lifted haunted eyes. “I still have a safe box in Gina’s name. I want ya to have the key, Alex.”
The older man held it out to him. Alex wanted to refuse it, but the look in Reggie’s eyes prevented him. Alex took the key and stuffed it into his pocket without looking at it. Later, he’d put that key somewhere he wouldn’t ever have to think about it again.
“But if she don’t come back…if she’s really died…you’re the son I never had, Alex. All this—everything I got—is yours, just like I always intended.”
How long had it been since Reggie started acting so strange? Alex couldn’t say for sure. All the skittish, fearful looks back over his shoulder. Insisting little Gavin and the women shouldn’t be outside so close to dark. Paranoia about being followed, claiming he’d seen someone—or the ghost of someone—he’d once trusted. Today, if possible, the old man seemed even farther from reach.
“I’m gonna run into Lubbock for supplies,” Alex said, ignoring the awareness that Reggie wanted to talk. They’d been over the past so many times. They’d both lost. They’d lost nearly everything that mattered to them. Only this ranch remained. And that was one thing Alex had no intention of ever losing. One way or another, he’d keep what rightfully belonged to him. Or would one day, with Reggie’s own blessing.
Alex cast another reluctant gaze over his shoulder at Reggie. “I might be a little late,” he offered, replacing feed tubs and buckets in each stall. He swallowed the internal reminder that rose inside him. Supplies weren’t all he had to do in Lubbock. But Reggie didn’t need to know that. Alex shoved away the guilt. “Anything you need?”
Reggie didn’t answer. He’d taken out his wallet and stood staring down at it. Alex didn’t have to see it to know he was looking at the picture of his late wife and daughter.
“I feel lost, confused. Used to be I’d look at these faces, and I’d know what mattered. Everything came back into perspective. Now...”
Even while Alex wondered what on God’s green earth the man was talking about, a part of him understood. When he felt lost and confused, he returned to the place where his father had been taken from him. At those times nothing made sense, but going there always put what mattered back into perspective.
“You need to stop talkin’ like this, Reggie.”
“Like what?” Reggie murmured, his gaze fixed on the picture in his wallet.
“Like you’re gonna die. Like you got nothin’ left to hold on to. This ranch…well, hell, it belongs to you. To me. To the boys.”
Reggie glanced up, and Alex knew what he wanted to hear. Reluctantly, he added, “It belongs to Gina, if she ever comes back.”
When the old man nodded in fierce satisfaction, Alex saw a glitter in his eyes. “I’m not sure how long I can hold it together, Alex. That’s the thing. I fired Carianne…she betrayed me. Everyone I once thought of as a friend’s betrayed me. This ranch only brings me pain now. I’ve lost nearly everyone I love here. My trust’s been shattered. I’m heartsick, Alex. I’ll give ya whatever you need to buy your own spread, but…Triple Aces—”
Alex tensed. He didn’t know why Reggie had fired his old friend Dennis’ wife from her position as cook and housekeeper. He didn’t know why, but he had no doubt what Reggie would say next. This time, he refused to hear it.
“Don’t talk about sellin’ Triple Aces again, Reggie,” Alex said, his tone hard and unyielding as stone. “You and I both know that ain’t the way.”
No way I’d allow it. It’d be over my dead body, old man. Or yours.
Reggie looked at him helplessly. Not responding, Alex turned on his heel and stalked out to his pickup. Almost without thinking about it, he drove to the west pasture, where he’d set up a memorial in the exact place his father’s torn, bloody shirt had been found seven years ago. The thought of losing this ranch made him nearly insane. He wouldn’t allow it. No one, not even spoiled little Gina—if she ever returned—could take it away from him.
Sharp pain suddenly penetrated the red heat in his brain. He glanced down to see that he’d cut his hand on the rock at the top of the memorial. Making his silent vow to protect what he had to, any way he had to, he spread his blood over the stone.