This book gets points for breaking new ground, as most of the book takes place over a period of several hours during a hostage situation. The book begins with all the major players doing their thing the night before. SWAT paramedic Anna Carson comes to Courage Bay to begin her new job, assailed by her memories of a love affair gone wrong. Five years ago, she had left Courage Bay and her engagement to Flint Mauro behind to attend SWAT training in Washington, DC. Anna loved Flint, but he wanted her to pursue a safer career if they married, and refused to see that he was squashing Anna's ambitions. Now, Flint is SWAT commander in Courage Bay, still missing Anna, and unaware she's back. We also meet city council clerk Lorna Sinke, sure she's about to be fired by an antagonistic council member, for whom she has plans. Kenny Reese is a thug who lures a sad old man, Lee Harper, into a plan he figures will have him set for life.
Flint and Anna realize they'll be working together the following morning in a meeting with the police chief. No sooner has the dust settled when they get a call. Kenny and Lee have taken Lorna Sinke, her poison cookies, and the city council hostage, along with a prestigious judge. Shots are fired, and Lorna Sinke takes one in the chest. Kenny gets shot in the arm and demands a doctor be sent in. Flint and Anna pose as a doctor and nurse and get inside. What follows are several tense hours of Flint and Anna trying to stabilize the injured, stop Kenny from shooting anyone, and keep Lee from detonating the bomb taped to his chest. During this time, Flint and Anna examine their feelings for one another, and when things get hairy, they really begin to realize what's important in life. They work out their problems and achieve a compromise, and then ride off into the sunset.