On a rainy Southern night, Jade Sperry endured a young woman's worst nightmare at the hands of three local hell-raisers. Robbed of her youthful ideals and at the center of scandal and tragedy, Jade ran as far and as fast as she could. But she never forgot the sleepy "company town" where every man, woman, and child was dependent on one wealthy family. And she never forgot their spoiled son, who, with his two friends, changed her life forever. Someday, somehow, she'd return, exact a just revenge and free herself from fear, and the powerful family that could destroy her.
Jade Sperry's entire professonal life is dedicated to one purpose: revenge. As a pretty and intelligent high school senior she is raped by three classmates, an attack instigated by Neal Patchett, the son of the most powerful man in Palmetto, S.C. No one, not even her own mother, believes Jade's tale, and her boyfriend, led to think she cheated on him, commits suicide. Jade vows to destroy all three boys, especially Neal. She has become pregnant from the attack, but she wins a full scholarship to college and takes her baby son with her. Even after she achieves professional success, her violent past will not allow her to enjoy healthy relationships with men--until she meets Dillon Burke, whom she hires to build the construction project in Palmetto that will spell financial ruin to Neal Patchett and his father. A heroine with a one-track mind can be tedious, but Brown's ( Mirror Image ) portrayal of Dillon as a well-rounded character in his own right adds depth to a fast-paced drama. Doubleday Book Club selection. (July)