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Jarrett McCullough heads an independent consulting company that works with the government to deliver sensitive information into the most dangerous areas of the world. His latest case has gone drastically wrong and he finds himself wounded on the doorstep of the last person he wants to see. Two years ago Rae Gannon’s last job for Jarrett ended badly and she retreated to a remote mountain cabin. Finding her ex-boss on her doorstep brings back horrible memories of that time, as well as a new awareness of him as a man and the danger of the past she thought she’d left behind.

Surrender the Dark is an emotionally charged books about two people coming terms with the decisions they’ve made and the people they’ve become. The secret, life-and-death nature of their jobs have left Jarrett and Rae emotionally distant, suspicious and wary. Kauffman does an excellent job of providing details into their thoughts and feelings, creating believable characters with moving issues that readers will understand. Their growth throughout the story is well-developed and touching, mixed with intimate scenes that are hot enough to sizzle the page.

Jarrett’s case is an underlying theme, creating conflict between them, but the related action does not make an appearance until the last couple of chapters. You’ll be disappointed if you go into it expecting a lot of intrigue, but it is a story centered on the people, not the case, and in this it definitely delivers.

This is the first in Donna Kauffman’s The Three Musketeers series and one of Loveswept’s Classic Romances. Almost all of the story includes only the two so there isn’t really a secondary cast, although Jarrett’s friends (the other two musketeers) make an appearance toward the end and have their own follow-up books. Originally published in the mid-90s, the story holds up exceptionally well with only a minor instance with technology showing its age. The anchor is the personal side of Jarrett and Rae, an emotional journey that is not dictated by when the book was written.