DNF : Couldn't really get on with the narrator, especially when she went into man mode. The voice she put on for the hero was really grating. Shame as DNF : Couldn't really get on with the narrator, especially when she went into man mode. The voice she put on for the hero was really grating. Shame as the actual story wasn't too bad. May read this one rather than listen....more
I read Shiloh Walker’s Wrecked a year or so ago and absolutely loved it. So when Deeper than Need dropped onto my doormat I stopped reading everything else to crack this baby open. I was really looking forward to reading another book by Walker, and as I’m a fan of romantic suspense I was really looking forward to getting into it. Although I did enjoy Deeper than Need, it didn't quite manage to live up to my high expectations.
The story starts with Trinity Ewing and her son having moved from New York into an old house. The house has a dark history, although nobody really talks about it. Trinity has hired Noah Benningfield as her contractor as there's a lot of work to do on the house. When they meet, their attraction for each other is pretty instantaneous and makes being around each other difficult, both reluctant to give in as neither really want to get into a relationship.
There is a lot of mystery surrounding the house and we're not given much at all for a lot of the novel. We get snippets of peoples' pasts through their memories, but nothing is really shown nor told and therefore what we get is rather ambiguous, which isn't my favourite to read as I get impatient and frustrated. But, as the story progresses, we do begin to learn of the darkness the house holds and the evil that happened there.
However, this part of the story does have lots of atmosphere and suspense and it does drive the novel forward, which is a good thing, as the romantic aspect doesn't really come into it until much later in the novel. Without the suspense plot there wouldn't really have been much story.
After Trinity meets Noah, all she thinks about is him. Constantly. Unfortunately, all we get from Trinity is how much she wants him, how she's so hot for him, lusts after him, and how he brings her to the most amazing climaxes in her dreams. Every time she sets her eyes on him these fill her every thought. I get it. She's hot for the guy, but after a while it became a bit repetitive. It was much the same for Noah. She was filling his thoughts, his dreams, he's constantly waking up with a hard on and has to relieve himself in the shower in the morning as he's just so rock hard at the thought at her...
We don't really get a lot of actual action with the two of them together. It was mostly dreams and thoughts and self-pleasuring. Eventually the time does come for a kiss though - woo hoo! But you really have to wait for it. For around 250 pages! Unfortunately, it's interrupted by so much dialogue that it just didn't work for me. I'd been waiting so patiently all those pages for these two characters to get it on, and all they do is talk.
I liked Noah. He has his own demons to conquer, with his alcoholism and his past womanising, but he is thoughtful and kind and very sexy. Trinity, on the other hand, I had difficulty in liking. There really wasn't much to her. She was rather dull, and I found her reactions to some of the incidents that happen slightly off, putting her in a weak light. We do get told that she left New York and her ex-husband behind, and we're given the impression that something wasn't quite right, but nothing else. Sadly, I just couldn't connect with her in any way. Her son wasn't that much better. I don't usually mind kids in novels, but I found him to be really quite annoying. His dialogue was irritating rather than endearing and I just wish he wasn't in the book at all.
The story is written from multiple view points, and there are a lot of other characters. I would have preferred if it was just from the hero and heroine's point of view as I think we would have got a better understanding of both characters. Most of the characters are male, and aren't really portrayed very well. As well as the hero being an alcoholic, every man we meet seems to have a dark, haunted past with secrets, and finds relief at the bottom of a bottle or between a woman's thighs, or both. There didn't seem to be one normal, healthy man among them.
I will say that the multiple viewpoints did make the book suspenseful and I did enjoy finding out fragments of the past, but it felt a bit of a mishmash. I didn't find it confusing as such, just a little bit jumbled up and not well structured, and therefore the book didn't flow very well. The multiple points of view from all of the characters would have worked better if Deeper than Need was just a suspense novel, but being a romantic suspense means that the romance should have formed a large proportion of the book, and therefore it would have been better alternating between just the hero and heroine. Also, there should have been more between them and a lot sooner!
As you can tell I had quite a few issues with this book, but I still enjoyed it to a point. I think I preferred the mystery aspect more than the romance. I'm disappointed it didn't rock my world though, especially after reading Wrecked and loving it so much (it was one of my favourite reads of 2013). However, I'm intrigued as to where the suspense and mystery aspect of the story is going, so I'm sure I will pick up the second book when it's released.
Rating: 3 Stars
Deeper than Need by Shiloh Walker (Secrets & Shadows #1) Romantic Suspense St Martin's Paperbacks (3 June 2014) Paperback: 400 pages
An ok end to the trilogy but wasn't great. Found some of it quite dull, but my love for Camden never wavered. He was my favourite character of them alAn ok end to the trilogy but wasn't great. Found some of it quite dull, but my love for Camden never wavered. He was my favourite character of them all. A few twists and turns kept me reading, and as I had invested emotion and time into this series, I really wanted to know how it all ended. I'm happy with the conclusion too....more
The third and final book in this trilogy, Run from Fear, jumps a couple of years on from Hide form Evil. This time we catch up with Talia and her sistThe third and final book in this trilogy, Run from Fear, jumps a couple of years on from Hide form Evil. This time we catch up with Talia and her sister Rosario, and of course sexy Jack. Since the take down of David Maxwell’s empire, Talia has been able to live out in the open, although she doesn’t broadcast who she is. She now works as a bar manager and her sister is at Stanford. Things are pretty good.
Unfortunately it all change for the worst as Talia stars to receive gifts from her past that bring a cold chill to her bones. It’s a past she’s tried hard to forget, but someone out there doesn’t want her to. Although there are two threads to the suspense plot, as we find out their are two unconnected baddies, for one of them we really don’t find out why they did the things they did, but we do get to know who both baddies are.
I can’t say I loved this book as much as I did the previous two, it was addictive reading as always, but I thought it was the weakest instalment plot wise, and there were a couple of irritating characters, namely Rosario, who just acted too dumb for an 18 year old, and Talia’s friend, Susie, who was too selfish for words. I did like both Talia and Jack as our hero and heroine though, and I believed in their relationship and budding romance. It did take a while for the romance aspect to get going, but I understand it had to be handled lightly due to Talia’s past and what happened to her.
I enjoyed how protective Jack was of Talia and her sister and how much he wanted to keep them safe. I also liked how he kept his feelings for Talia in check because of her history. He is thoughtful, caring and just an all round nice guy. But he also has a quick temper, and although it’s never aimed at the women in his life and never would be, any threat to them would be dealt with his fists and without remorse. Jack is a bad boy but with a soft center.
I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see any of the characters from the previous books as it would have been nice to see how they were doing. The conclusion to this instalment was a little rushed with respect to the suspenseful plot and the romance. I would have liked it to be drawn out for a few more chapters at the end but there was a definitive conclusion, and it was pretty cute....more
Hide from Evil basically begins where Beg for Mercy ends. The story arc of Nate, the Seattle Slasher, is still ongoing, even though it’s not about NatHide from Evil basically begins where Beg for Mercy ends. The story arc of Nate, the Seattle Slasher, is still ongoing, even though it’s not about Nate himself. We learn that the corruption sinks a lot deeper than anyone imagined. This time, however, we follow Sean, the sexy guy cleared of all murders, and Krista, the Deputy PA that had originally put him on death row.
I was really looking forward to this instalment. I liked Sean a lot from what I read of him in book one, and I couldn’t wait to get started. The fact that his love interest was Krista made the connection between the two even more interesting. How can Sean feel anything, let alone fall in love, with the woman who not only worked tirelessly to put him behind bars and on death row, but also believed, without a doubt, that he was the Seattle Slasher.
The action and suspense is here in spades as it was with the first instalment, however I felt this time it did get a bit bogged down with too much detail. Sometimes my mind wandered when the characters were sifting though endless files online and talking things out to try and get their heads around what was going on. I definitely appreciate that the author was trying to give a balance of intrigue and romance, but sometimes the detail went on for too many pages. The ending was great though, and I loved the tension that the climactic scene created.
The romance was brilliant. I loved Sean and Krista, even more than Megan and Cole, which is saying something. The dynamics between Sean and Krista were just so good from the start. Sean detested Krista for what she did to him, and watching his feelings evolve and the passion grow was just so delicious. Krista’s guilt was eating her up inside for getting it wrong, and trying to come to terms with it has been difficult for her. Plus, once she starts to get to know Sean while on their journey together to find out the truth, she realises that this man could never hurt a woman let alone brutalise, rape and murder them. Her guilt is palpable and I loved that about her. Both her and Sean were very realistic characters which made their romance even more enjoyable.
The time they had together was pretty brief in between so much going on plot wise, but when they were together it was steamy, sexy, basically everything you want from a romantic suspense. We also meet a few of the other characters we first came into contact with in Beg for Mercy. Namely Jack and Talia, who are also the hero/heroine for book three.
Because the romance knocked my socks off, I give this instalment 4 Stars. If the detailed suspense aspect was toned down a little I have no doubt my rating would have been higher....more
Beg for Mercy is the first book in Jami Alden’s Dead Wrong romantic suspense trilogy. I will start off by saying that I love this author’s vo3.5 Stars
Beg for Mercy is the first book in Jami Alden’s Dead Wrong romantic suspense trilogy. I will start off by saying that I love this author’s voice, the writing is so easy to read, and I just sink into the prose and let the story take me along for the ride. This, for me, is romantic suspense “crack” – although I really enjoyed it, I know there were some inconsistencies, a few plot holes, and the big one: the heroine not recognising the voice of the killer, even though she knew him.
Putting those few things aside – and funnily enough I can – this book was addictive reading. The first book I read by Alden, Guilty as Sin, was exactly the same, although I will say that I didn’t notice any glaring plot holes and inconsistencies with that one. Beg for Mercy is an exciting read with steamy, sexy romance.
Megan Flynn has spent the last three years trying to prove her brother, Sean, is innocent of the crime that has him on death row. The night she thought her relationship with her cop lover, Cole, was just about to get serious, Cole is called to a crime scene where Sean is arrested and charged with murder. Megan’s life is turned upside down, as the guy she cares deeply for believes her brother is the killer without doubt.
Three years on, Megan is still trying to find the one piece of evidence that will prove Sean’s innocence once and for all, and with only six days to find it, Megan goes into overdrive, putting her life, and others, at serious risk, especially when she becomes the prime focus of the killer.
I found the relationship dynamics between Megan and Cole to be great. Their sexual chemistry is off the charts, and the fact that they are trying to resist it just makes it that much more satisfying when they eventually give in. I liked both characters too. Megan is fiery and brave (albeit that sometimes turned into stupid) and Cole is strong, sexy, but at first a little too rigid with the rules. But as the story progresses we see both of them relinquish some of their rules. Cole becomes a little more flexible and Megan begins to rely on Cole for a certain amount of help. The sex scenes were ultra sexy, and I loved Megan and Cole together.
As well as Megan and Cole, we also get a few chapters from the view point of Sean, and we get to see where his head is as he sits and waits to die. I really felt for him and I was pleased to know that the next book in the series is his. It will be interesting to see where his story will take him.
As I’ve already mentioned, some of the plot was a little silly, but despite this the tension and suspense was pretty high. I knew, as I do 99% of the time, who the killer was, but it was fun to watch the author try and lure me off the scent by throwing out a few red herrings, but I’ve been around the block a few times to know a red herring when I see one :) However, overall I really enjoyed Beg for Mercy....more
Guilty as Sin was a lovely surprise. I haven't read anything by this author before so I didn't really have any expectations, but after reading the fabGuilty as Sin was a lovely surprise. I haven't read anything by this author before so I didn't really have any expectations, but after reading the fab Rescue Me by Christy Reece, (review coming soon) I have been looking around for a similar read. And Guilty as Sin was it.
It begins fourteen years in the past when our hero, Tommy, and heroine, Kate, are nineteen and sixteen respectively. They are in love, and one night, when Tommy sneaks over while her parents are out, Kate's world comes crashing down around her when her brother is kidnapped and murdered. She was meant to be looking after him, but instead was making out with Tommy on the beach just outside her house.
The book then moves to the present day, and Kate is now working for a foundation dealing with missing children. She's an expert in the field, so when a girl goes missing in the same town her brother died, and where she would holiday every year with her family, Kate is forced to face her past, and Tommy.
I loved this book. The suspense is built up brilliantly, and although the suspect is a bit predictable, I still thought the writing was really good and the tension wracked up nicely as Tommy, Kate and others try and find the missing fourteen girl, Tricia. Alden is also extremely proficient at writing steamy sex scenes, and I loved how the sexual tension was developed between Kate and Tommy.
It isn't easy for them to see each other again after what happened all those years ago. With so many misunderstandings and mistakes they both find it hard to be around each other. But as time moves along, they have to work together and so begins their healing.
The mystery aspect to the plot is pretty predictable. I knew right from the word go who the culprit would be, but it didn't really spoil my enjoyment too much. The subject matter is hard hitting in that young kids, mainly girls, are being kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and murdered. We do get a few chapters from the view point of the murderer and it is a little icky but it's meant to be so. We are definitely not meant to sympathise in any way with this evil person.
I thought Alden did a great job combining a suspenseful, hard hitting subject matter with a steamy romance. Before I started reading romantic suspense seriously, I didn't think these two genres would mesh well, but when written by an expert hand, it works really well. I've definitely found a new author to glom. (And just so you know, as I write this review I'm already reading another book by Alden called Beg for Mercy - really good so far).
As well as the mystery aspect of the book, the romantic element is sooooo good. I loved these two characters, they are so real and believable. Of course Tommy is sexy as hell, but I really liked Kate too. She is strong and vulnerable all rolled into one, what she does as a career is admirable after everything she has been through, and when Tommy finds out that their lives could have been so very different if it wasn't for Kate's father, his wall comes crashing down and his feelings take over.
The only aspects of the book that were the reason it didn't get 5 stars is because the suspect is quite predictable and the ending with Kate's family is just too over the top. I don't believe it would be that easy and it jarred against the believability the rest of the novel had, which is a bit disappointing. However, the ending is satisfying with regards to the romance, and as this is a stand alone novel, I did love how everything was wrapped up nicely.
Guilty as Sin is a great romantic suspense. The plot is exciting and drives the story forward with lots of tension. The sexual chemistry between the hero and heroine is sizzling, the sex is steamy and the characters are loveable. If you enjoy romantic suspense, then I'm sure you'll love this book. ...more
I’ll start off by saying I don’t read that much romantic suspense, but of those I have read, Rescue Me is by far the best. What a great read.4.5 Stars
I’ll start off by saying I don’t read that much romantic suspense, but of those I have read, Rescue Me is by far the best. What a great read. I read this in one day while sitting out in the garden and I just couldn’t put it down. I loved the writing, the characters and the ever evolving plot. The suspense was woven well with the romance and both complimenting each other well. I liked that the romance was a large focus of the novel as I did wonder if it would get lost amongst the suspense aspect of the plot.
This is a fantastic start to the series. I’m really looking forward to reading the next book, Return to Me, where we get to know Noah a little better....more
Identity Crisis is quite a short novel (136 pages), but so much is packed into it that it feels longer. TheReviewed by Cass for www.bookchickcity.com
Identity Crisis is quite a short novel (136 pages), but so much is packed into it that it feels longer. The story starts at the funeral of Olivia Doyle’s only relative, her father. After the funeral, Olivia is handed a letter that blows her world apart. She discovers that she was placed in the Federal Witness Security program with her father when she was 5 years old. Olivia’s father had been involved in an art forgery scam, and had testified against the mob. From the letter, she learns that she has family in the country.
Ethan Ryder is the US Marshal who managed Olivia’s father’s case, and when he learns of her father’s death, Ethan decides it’s time to check in and make sure that Olivia is okay. Olivia is initially hesitant to trust Ethan, but when he saves her from an intruder in her apartment, she realises that someone is after her, and that the only possible cause is whatever her Father was working on before he died. To keep Olivia safe, and to try to learn the truth about her father’s death, Ethan accompanies Olivia on a trip to visit the family she can’t remember.
I really liked Olivia; she’s a good, strong character, and copes pretty well with everything thrown at her. Ethan is strong and very alpha, which I enjoyed. The two are a great pairing, whilst not being too showy. What I really loved about the book is Olivia’s newfound family; you really get a sense of how much this lonely girl needs and appreciates their love, even though she doesn’t come out to them as family at first. They are so warm, inviting, and friendly that I wanted to know them myself.
This book reminded me a little of Sandra Brown or Nora Roberts, which is huge praise from me, as I love both authors. I really enjoy that small town feel, with plenty of interesting characters, whom you wish you could have a cup of tea with.
The romance between Olivia and Ethan slowly brewed throughout the book, with a few steamy moments, but no full on sex scenes. I like the fact that the author didn’t feel the need to fill pages with sex, when instead she could fill them with story.
The storyline, too, was well crafted. I liked the mystery aspects, and I didn’t guess the identity of Olivia’s attacker or the reason behind it, so I was kept guessing until the very end.
I’ll definitely keep my eye out for more of Eliza Daly’s books.
I was definitely pleasantly surprised by Identity Crisis. I read it in a day, but it was a fun day, and I’ll be looking out for Eliza Daly’s new releases. If you’re a fan of the romantic suspense genre, and like your characters to be charming and realistic, then you should enjoy this book....more
Simon Bonner, tomb raider extraordinaire, has left his house pretty quickly after an old acquaintance dies after giving him the news that Simon’s ex-wSimon Bonner, tomb raider extraordinaire, has left his house pretty quickly after an old acquaintance dies after giving him the news that Simon’s ex-wife, Celina, has been kidnapped. In return the kidnappers want the crystal lens and a woman named Jillian Talbot in order to find the Archives of Man.
Jillian Talbot is a museum curator and as she leaves the museum she is held at gunpoint, terrified she allows her kidnapper to escort her to their car, but as they begin to move, a guy comes along and saves her. At first she is extremely grateful, but soon realises he’s just kidnapped her from the kidnappers!
After a while she learns and understands Simon’s motives and together they have to navigate their way through a mystery they don’t fully understand with bad guys on their tail, all the while learning to trust each other and ignore their growing attraction.
Some time ago I read License to Steal by Samantha Graves and quite enjoyed it. However, I found that rather than a romantic adventure it was more down the route of just a romantic suspense. Looking at the cover of The Legend of the Crystal Lens, I was hoping for more adventure this time around. So, did I get it? Well, in some ways yes. There is a little more in the adventure department, but it only happens near the end of the novel when Simon and Jillian eventually enter the Mexican jungle to find the Archives of Man. Unfortunately, for most of the book we see Simon and Jillian run from one place to the next. This was more ‘suspense’ whereas searching through the jungle is more ‘adventure’.
However, I did enjoy the ride and the romance. But again I wanted more. The romantic aspect didn’t really start to kick in until well over the 100 page mark and even then, for any real action, I had to wait a lot longer than that.
There were a few inconsistencies with the writing that niggled. For instance:
If it wasn’t for the blue light on the horizon, it would be a perfect night.
You have a gift, Jillie.
Not quite, she thought sadly. The fact, right now she’d give up just about anything to get rid of it. A woman’s life was in her hands. Jillian knew exactly how Celina felt. Less than a year ago, Jillian had been kidnapped and terrorised by a man exacting revenge on her father. She couldn’t imagine what poor Celina was going though.
One sentence states she knew exactly how Celina was feeling, then she contradicted herself in the next by saying she couldn’t imagine what Celina was going through. This sort of inconsistency does bug me, especially as it was in the same paragraph!
I liked the fact that Jillian was not a walk over. At first I thought the same as Simon, that she was a little naive and way over her head. But we should have known better. Jillian comes from a family of art thieves and her sister, Raven (the heroine from License to Steal) is pretty badass, so when the following scene happened, it not only made me laugh but also reminded me that you shouldn’t think you know someone just because of the way they look:
“Dammit” he muttered and slammed the glass to the counter. Was she trying to get herself kidnapped again? Did she have any idea how dangerous it was for her to be out there alone in the middle of the fucking night? That was all he’d need – for her to disappear. Kiss Celina good-bye.
He slipped out the veranda doors that led to the beach, where she was standing looking up at the moon. A warm gulf breeze swept over him as he crouched through the low grass. Jillian stood a few inches into the surf, wearing a thin robe that wrapped around her thighs and fluttered in the breeze. No one around. No one to hear her scream if someone took her.
She never heard him come up behind her. He grabbed her around the waist and put his hand over her mouth. He was about to whisper, “This is how easy it would be to kidnap you” when she reacted
Her elbow knifed his belly, and her head snapped back to bash him in the nose. Stars and agony shot through his head as he grabbed for his face. His eyes were closed when she delivered the knee to his groin. He went down in a heap of pain.
For a moment, his brain disconnected from his body, and then Jillian dropped down next to him in the sand. “Simon! What in God’s name were you doing? I thought you were an attacker.”
He rolled to his side and squinted at her. “Trying to teach you a lesson.”
I enjoyed Jillian and Simon as a couple but they didn’t set the world on fire. It was good to see their growing trust and friendship and I liked how they put aside all their feelings, fears and past problems to get to the bottom of the mystery of the crystal lens.
I think I should mention that as the same with License to Steal, The Legend of the Crystal Lens does contain certain paranormal elements. Jillian has the ability to see things from the past when touching an object, which is the reason she is so valuable to the kidnappers. There are a few twists to the story that were somewhat predictable, about half way through the book I had already figured the main one out, which was a little disappointing.
The romance and mystery were wrapped up nicely at the end, and was fitting. The baddies got what they deserved and Jillian and Simon realised they loved each other and walked off into the Mexican sunset…
The Legend of the Crystal Lens is a fun book. It doesn’t quite deliver on the romance or the adventure aspect, as I would have liked more, but I did enjoy reading it and would read more from Graves. ...more
'Relentless' is the second book in Kaylea Cross's suspense series that I have read. Having picked up 'No TurningReviewed by Laura for Book Chick City.
'Relentless' is the second book in Kaylea Cross's suspense series that I have read. Having picked up 'No Turning Back', book number three in the series, earlier in the year. Each of the books reference the different characters in the other and our two leads for 'Relentless' are Rhys and Nev (Neveah), who were important characters in 'No Turning Back'. But I still think you could pick this up as a stand-alone novel in its own right, although perhaps having read the former would give you a slightly richer reading experience.
Nev is a doctor and in 'No Turning Back' was working to set up a hospital for the poor in Afghanistan, when she and her colleagues were kidnapped by Al Qaeda terrorists. Here she was tortured and suffered a horrendous ordeal until she was rescued by an elite armed forces team. Rhys was one of the soldiers that rescued her, but just as they were trying to escape his vehicle drove over a land mine, setting himself on fire and giving him severe neurological damage. As a doctor on the scene, Nev then saved her rescuer's life.
'Relentless' takes off as Rhys is finally released from hospital following on from his injuries. But almost as soon as he's released his his boss calls him to let him know that a terrorist cell has been activated in Vancouver, which also happens to be where Nev is due to give a speech at a medical conference and he knows that he must go to protect her, whether he's physically ready or not.
Both Rhys and Nev are great characters. They have both suffered both physical and psychological ordeals during their time in Afghanistan, but while this makes them vulnerable, they are both very tough and resilient at the same time.
Rhys has been a solider all of his life, and when he's not protecting civilians and his fellow soldiers, he is protecting his twin brother Ben. Additionally Cross's physical description of him, despite his scars, had my mouth watering on several occasions! Rhys believes himself not capable of love and his resolved himself to a single life:
He'd always known he'd spend his life alone. He wasn't cut out for relationships, let alone one that ended with happily-ever-after.
Which makes the romance all the more sweet, and the romance in this novel really is absolutely captivating, I so wanted Rhys and Nev to come together.
Nev is intelligence, tough and brave. Despite everything that has happened to her she is determined to get on with her life and not let the terrorists win and I couldn't help but admire her for that.
The plot is a perfect mix of suspense and sizzling romance as Nev and Rhys fall for one another and the terrorist plot unfolds around them. I was impressed with the couple of surprising elements Kaylea Cross managed to throw in that I genuinely didn't see coming at the end.
If you're a fan of romantic suspense, then I would definitely recommend you add Kaylea Cross books to your reading list. I enjoyed this book much more than 'No Turning Back' simply because I had some issues with the heroine's decision making in that book! But this really is a fab read....more
‘Ice’ by Linda Howard is not your typical suspense novel insomuch as for the most part of the novel the oReviewed by Rebecca for www.BookChickCity.com
‘Ice’ by Linda Howard is not your typical suspense novel insomuch as for the most part of the novel the opposition is not a human threat but the threat of nature. An ice storm creates most of the suspense in the novel, which says a lot for the calibre of antagonist created by the author.
Set in a quiet ‘nothing-ever-happens-here’ kind of town in Maine, ‘Ice’ starts off with the return of Gabriel McQueen to his hometown. McQueen is a macho alpha male, employee of the military who possesses a sensitive side of being a widower with a seven year old son. His returns to his hometown are the only chance he gets to see his child, although we are never actually told what his job in the military is or given much information about him. The author appears to have created a typical male love interest comprised of all the elements that women supposedly find attractive but, somehow, she gets it spectacularly wrong. I personally felt no interest in Gabriel at all, other than as the hero of the novel, feeling no emotional bond with him and no attraction.
Next we have Lorelei, or Lolly as she is nicknamed, your stereotypical victim, who has returned to the town to pack up the family house ready for it to be sold. The house is situated high up a mountain, far away from the rest of the townspeople, placing her in an isolated position and making her the perfect target. However, she is sufficiently likeable, proving to be strong when it is required of her and her independence means she doesn’t just give in to the will of men. She holds her own in this book, with the author succeeding in showing the reader her realistic fear.
Gabriel’s return to the town comes coupled with the announcement of a rare ice storm that is set to cause a wave of destruction, bringing down trees and power lines that will leave Lolly’s isolated house completely cut off, with the road too treacherous to navigate. Gabriel’s sheriff father asks him to make sure Lolly is safe, whilst meanwhile Lolly is in a whole host of trouble. Meth addicts, Niki and Darwin, follow her home from the grocery store, armed with a gun each, hoping to rob her to fund their addiction. They are disappointed when they find nothing in the house to steal, keeping her locked in her bedroom until they can escort her to the bank the following day. Lolly formulates an escape plan, aided by the appearance of Gabriel, but the ice storm leaves all four of them trapped on the mountain, and the ice takes no prisoners.
This plot could create a whole host of suspense, with the isolated setting providing a perfect (albeit typical) backdrop, and the ice storm adding an extra level of suspense by leaving the protagonists even more trapped. However, Darwin and Niki are not especially intimidating as villains. They carry guns but are ineffective at aiming, taking away the fear and suspense of the weapon, and Darwin may seem creepy when eying up Lolly but is firmly kept in his place by Niki. The only aspect of suspense created by these villains for me was their unpredictability, their meth addiction making them seemingly invulnerable to pain and their moods changing rapidly.
Gabriel and Lolly’s history fits neatly into the book, both having known each other at high school where there was a level of hostility between them. Quite predictably it is revealed that Lolly always had a crush upon Gabriel, setting up the romance plotline even more than necessary. Their romance is believable to a certain extent, but the implications at the end of the novel seem a little too sudden and rushed, ruining the desired effect of a happy ending. I was not especially satisfied with the plot of this book, and feel that the action scenes were too brief in places, as if the author simply wanted to get rid of Darwin and Niki as quickly as possible to focus on Gabriel and Lolly’s romance. Luckily this novel was only short, as it had more bad qualities than good.
I just wasn’t at all drawn in to the plot of this book, and wasn’t a fan of Howard’s style of writing. The characters weren’t especially exciting, with not a lot of background detail revealed about them to build up an emotional connection. I felt that this plotline could have been more interesting if written differently or if the antagonists had been different. The romantic ending redeemed the novel slightly despite being predictable. ...more