The sixth story in the Tall, Dark and Dangerous series, Hawken's Heart was originally called It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. When the book was reissued in 2005 Brockmann requested that the book be renamed to her originally intentioned title. I have to say that Hawken's Heart is a much better title.
We met William 'Crash' Hawken during his stint with Alpha Team Ten's training op with the FinCOM agents in Harvard's Education. He was the mysterious, quiet fellow that swept in and out of places silently. He was Cowboy Jones' swim buddy but they got assigned to separate teams when Cowboy replaced Frisco in Alpha Ten's squad.
The book is broken up in two stories, the present and the future. We have to know what happened in the past to understand Crash's relationships in the future. The previous Christmas, Crash lost the one woman that meant everything to him. His cousin, Daisy and Admiral Jake Robinson, raised Crash and he finds out she is dying of a malignant brain tumor. When they request he spend this last Christmas with them, he can't refuse even if it means getting close to Nell Burns, the personal assistant to Daisy whom attracts Crash like no one has.
It's during that time that Nell falls in love with Billy (Crash's family nickname), but he remains detached and after a night together, he pushes her away.
A year later she sees him on TV, accused of killing Jake, who was like a father to him. She knows that it's impossible and rushes to his side but Crash is determined to keep her away from the conspiracies that are surrounding him. The same conspiracies that have him framed for the murder of the Admiral.
This was the BEST of all the TDD series that I have read. It had suspense and romance and heart wrenching heroes. Crash was more emotionally damaged than Frisco but really, without a cause. He had been neglected as a child but he just closed himself off from the world while Frisco embraced life until his accident.
Nell was a determined little bugger and smart too. I think Brockmann wanted to paint her as a frightened little girl but she didn't turn out that way at all. She chipped and chipped until she broke down Crash's defenses and wiggled her way into his heart.