Victoria Kensington is jogging in Central Park one morning, when her sister, the sister who's supposed to be in Italy, collapses at her feet, wearingVictoria Kensington is jogging in Central Park one morning, when her sister, the sister who's supposed to be in Italy, collapses at her feet, wearing a yellow hospital gown, stammering a phone number, and warning her of danger. When Victoria returns to the site after summoning help (no one carried cell phones everywhere in the nineties), there is no trace of her sister anywhere.
Stubbornly determined to find Audrey, despite the obstacles in her path, one of them being her father, adamantly claiming her sisters is still in Italy, Victoria starts digging...But little does she know her investigation will put her life, and that of her sister, in peril, and put her back in the orbit of the only man she's ever loved.
I read a few of Ms Kane's historicals, and I was curious as to see how she manages in the romantic suspense department. She does a pretty good job. So good, in fact, I decided to re-read some of her RS I read a few years back, and dig into the others I haven't.
This book wasn't one of those in-your-face romantic suspenses you can find everywhere these days. It was very understated, both in the romance and suspense elements. Subtle, yet precise and very, very effective.
At first glance, it could appear wordy, every conversation seemed prolonged, the descriptions lentghy, and yes, wordy. I guess this is Ms Kane's narrative style, and while, in the hands of another author, the wordy-ness would kill the plot and the pacing, with this particular author, her style, and her voice, it worked perfectly, enhancing the subtleness of it all.
Unfortunately, I cannot think of another word by subtle to describe this book. Everything was so utterly elegant, everything seemed to move in a slow motion, the pacing being much slower than one would expect from a suspense book. But despite the leisurely pace, nothing seemed dull or boring. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The characters were nicely fleshed-out, the plot well-developed, the pacing spot-on throughout the entire book (slowly picking up pace the closer we got to the big finale). The romance was believable and hot with the two leads actually communicating; talking things through, never dwelling on a problem long enough for it to create unnecessary conflict or miscommunication, and they were actually equals. And the suspense was nicely layered, deceptively light at the beginning, but maintaining constant tension, with the intensity building and building the more layers of truth were revealed.
The main villain was a huge surprise (I guess I forgot a lot about this story since I first read it), and the resolution to the story, both investigation- and romance-wise very satisfactory.
Mark and Faith have been friends since childhood, using their own special way of communicating—telepathy. But they refused to cross the boundaries ofMark and Faith have been friends since childhood, using their own special way of communicating—telepathy. But they refused to cross the boundaries of their friendship and Mark went off to protect the country...Then one day Faith receives his distress message...
DNF @ 20%
I simply couldn't go on. The premise with the wounded soldier held in captivity in the middle of the Peruvian jungle, only able to communicate with one person in the outside world, was interesting. Unfortunately, the execution was severely lacking.
Instead of following a linear narrative, the story kept jumping, alternating between the present (Mark being captive, sending SOS messages to Faith), flashbacks (their childhood and how they slowly fell in love), and fantasies. While the flashbacks worked in establishing the connection between the two main characters, the flashbacks were nothing but sex, sex, and more sex, contributing nothing to the story, but titillation...And yes, serving to slow the already slow pacing even more.
I didn't really connect with either of the protagonists, maybe because in the 20% of the book I read, there were three sex scenes without much character introduction or, God forbid, development. What also bothered me was the fact the heroine, a writer, was determined to find a SpecOps soldier all on her own (yeah, right), and the fact said SpecOps soldier was capable of transmitting all kinds of messages, but his own location. I didn't really find the suspense that suspenseful, once more because the fantasies trampled all the intensity the suspense could've generated. And finally, I didn't really like the voice and narrative style. It sounded rather juvenile and slightly amateurish, especially when it came to the heroine-centric scenes....more