Romantic Suspense is often not my first choice in romance because the suspense tends to take over the romance more times than not –well Shiloh Walker...moreRomantic Suspense is often not my first choice in romance because the suspense tends to take over the romance more times than not –well Shiloh Walker did an excellent job in not letting that happen. The book is go-go-go and suddenly it’s finished which is saying quite a bit for a trade size meaty read.
Quinn Rafferty is introduced in Walker’s first Rafferty book Fragile. He’s a bit on the psycho side there for a slew of reasons but in his book he’s much less volatile which makes him a better character I think. You don’t need to read the first book to follow this story however there are a few references to Quinn’s brother Luke from book one and I for one like to know background stories if I can. So the novel starts out as if the reader is walking on eggshells and this is kept up nearly to the end. You learn only bits and pieces of these people’s lives while their current relationship slowly unfolds which is what keeps you reading.
The heroine, Sara, ends up meeting Quinn because he lives in the same house where she’s thinking of renting a room. The woman who rents out the rooms to her house is hardly present in the story but she’s a brilliant character who brought a tear or two to my eye without being syrupy and lovey dovey. Sara and Quinn are reticent towards each other to say the very least but the sparks fly big time whenever they “just happen” to be together. As the tension builds (and build it does!) and they become hesitant friends, the suspense aspect of the story is slowly revealed. There’s less suspense than in the first book and it’s not as creepy-freaky either. When Sara and Quinn finally decide to give each other a shot it’s a smokin’ hot ride the reader gets ;-) The sex scenes are very well done from start to finish (apart from the anal scene that I didn’t really think fit but it wasn’t like an eye-sore as those scenes can sometimes be) because the emotions are developed right alongside and you really feel for the two when Sara has to make some tough decisions.
I couldn’t give the book a 5 because towards the end the trust issue got a bit annoying. They both had their reasons for their secrets but I thought that Sara went a little overboard with not revealing her secret completely to Quinn just to make life easier and she stayed away from him for too long. It wasn’t like a “big misunderstanding” but it could’ve been done differently I thought not to annoy the reader. I also didn’t really like her transformation at the end. Seemed like she regressed into an adolescent when it came to fashion. Then when he went into bounty hunter mode he sort of got on my nerves the way he held her hostage. That aside though, it was an excellent read, vivid writing, great characters on the whole, a protector kind of hero and a spunky heroine that came across as real. I liked it better than the first book. Definitely one of the better romantic suspense books out there. 4 1/2 stars easy. (less)
Amy Fetzer writes very well. She has a different way of putting words to paper that make it fresh and smart --it’s too bad though that she can’t put t...moreAmy Fetzer writes very well. She has a different way of putting words to paper that make it fresh and smart --it’s too bad though that she can’t put the actual story together without confusing the hell out of the reader :-/ From the first few pages you’re bombarded with 267 characters who are referred to by their first name, last name and/or code name. Then you’re hopping all over the globe from one locale to another never really sure where these people are nor what the h/h are doing nor if they really are the leads in the story. So if you can handle the mind chaos then maybe you’ll love this book.
The story starts off well and grabs your attention from the start. Safia, the spy, finds herself in some jungle prison cell with all sorts of atrocities inflicted on her. It’s quite frightening and you can nearly see what’s happening. As her story unfolds you discover that she’s a US spy. Skip ahead a few years and she meets the very sexy Irishman Riley –and you can really believe he’s Irish because the accent is well written. Then you skip back and forth in time (sort of reminded me of that tv show “Lost” where you’re in the future and then the past and then the present and then hit repeat and then press rewind –or in this case turn back a few pages—because you forgot what time period you’re in 8-) see how they meet, what they’ve been doing in between and what everyone else who doesn’t really have any tenable connection with anyone is doing and you’re wondering where in god’s name this story is going. Suddenly Riley’s sister the scientist is thrown into the melee and you realize she’s on a research boat near Palau and you keep going “…and” all the while getting more and more frustrated but there are no answers so you start to wonder if she’s just filler and if you should skip her parts. The chapters are often short so you get some steady action in Serbia and Singapore, then back in the States at military HQ where the big guns are telling the field teams what to do, we later make a little trip to France and Denmark (or maybe it was Norway) also the Philippines –globe hopping basically and it’s really hard to keep it all straight in your head until the end when you see how everyone connects. I thought it could’ve used some editing.
So the main story is the spy story where Riley and Safia, who work for different organizations (Dragon One and The Company respectively), are trying to retrieve a stolen bio weapon. It took me a while to figure that out. Then there’s the secondary story of the loon who wants the bio weapon and why. There’s a sub-story that will have you thinking you’re reading that tv show “Lost” again instead of watching it all the while wondering if you didn’t really pick up a copy of HG Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau. Creepiness abounds. And it all would have been really good if it was easier to follow. I’m all for mystery, puzzles, suspense but there are chunks of the story missing as if the author knew what was going on and assumed that the reader did too even though it’s not down on paper. There are also way too many typos and grammar mistakes that could’ve been avoided had the editor done their job properly.
Though this is labeled as romantic suspense there are probably only 10-20 pages devoted to the romance and the rest is all suspense. The romance was very good. She certainly knows how to build the fires and fan the flames but there isn’t anywhere near enough of it and that’s too bad. The ending is disturbing and gruesome but hey maybe this kind of stuff actually exists.
Fetzer pens a more interesting and less typical kind of romantic suspense but unless she can make it clearer (maybe shorter) the reader will have a heck of a time trying to keep track of everything which makes for not the most enjoyable of reads. (less)
When you decide to read this book you really have to be in the right frame of mind for something dark and serious –it’s no light and fluffy the-world-...moreWhen you decide to read this book you really have to be in the right frame of mind for something dark and serious –it’s no light and fluffy the-world-is-a-beautiful-place romance novel, but it’s very good and will take you to hell and back on that emotional roller coaster ride. Some of the subject matter (child abuse, rape, drug addiction) may not be for everyone as it’s downright horrifying at times, but the author presented it very well all the while saying that if someone loves you enough and you love them back, life can be damn good and you can find that happiness again.
The story is told like a movie for a while and changes direction every few years so that you get snippets of the characters’ lives at different points. This was very well-done. It centers around Devon and Luke. Devon doesn’t know if she loves Luke because her life has been one nightmare after another. Luke has strong feelings for Devon from the get-go and is set on showing her that what they have can work and little by little he gets her to see that. This was one of the interesting parts of the book because usually it’s the hero who’s denying his feelings and acting like the cock of the walk, well not so here. I really felt for the guy. When she ends up rejecting him at one point my heart broke into little pieces and I said to myself “Devon stop being a freakin’ idiot already!” but then you start to understand her side of the coin too and can see why she does some of the things she does so you can’t really hate her. Walker did a very good job here making the reader feel torn and lost like her characters.
The hero in this story is a cut above. Luke, ex-Army Ranger, is on my **sigh sigh** shelf ;) He’s an alpha without being boorish or hot to trot or even full of himself, but he’s in no way a beta guy either which was what made me love him so much. The fact that he’s an ex-Army Ranger barely figures in the story which was odd because usually these guys are poster boys for He-Man and his ilk. He wants to be with Devon and he’s so sweet to her you just keep getting choked up going "geeze" right through. He’s a guy who knows what he wants and will wait patiently until he gets it. As for the heroine, it’s a wonder she’s still standing at the end of the day what with the things that happen to her but Luke helps her come into her own. She’s no waif or pushover that’s for sure but she’s been hurt so deeply that only a truly unconditional love can help her love herself. You really feel the connection between the two throughout the novel. Um, oh ya, and then there's the sex (!!) Mighty hot here ;)
The sub-story with Luke’s twin brother Quinn was very well-done also. Usually those secondary stories bug me but this one really added to Luke’s characterization. Quinn is one creepy guy but there’s something about him that just makes you wonder if the author is going to write his story soon.
The frightening parts in the story will certainly throw you for a loop and set your skin to crawling that’s for sure what with the sicker than sick stalkers.
So 4 ½ stars for me. Not quite a 5 because too many horrible things happened to the heroine and I find it a little hard to believe that anyone could survive all that intact and just go on merrily with their life, I’d have also liked to have seen a bit more at the end between the two –maybe an few years later wrap up or something. If you’re looking for a good protector romance this should do it. (less)
Normally I don’t like stories about princes and kings from fake countries –they tend to bug me especially with a contemporary setting because they com...moreNormally I don’t like stories about princes and kings from fake countries –they tend to bug me especially with a contemporary setting because they come off as dumb but this book thankfully didn’t focus on that too much. For the most part it was a light romance with a dollop of suspense and some heartfelt moments scattered around.
Joe Catalanotto is a navy SEAL whose job is to impersonate the prince of Ustanzia who has had an assassination attempt on his life during an official tour to the US. Veronica St Jean is hired to teach Joe how to look and act like the prince and it’s no mean feat considering that he comes from the wrong side of the tracks. To Veronica’s surprise Joe is a quick study. As for their relationship, Joe pretty much wanted to jump her from the get-go and she found him attractive if boorish which of course he only did to get on her nerves. Slowly they both feel the pull, end up doing the horizontal and then start second guessing each other which brings the blossoming relationship to a virtual standstill for a few too many pages for my liking.
I loved Joe :) He’s this tough as nails alpha who has a believable soft side. I’m not a fan of the teary-eyed heroes but my heart just broke in pieces for poor Joe for how much he loved Veronica and wanted to be with her. He sort of reminded me of some of Lisa Marie Rice’s heroes from her Midnight series. He’s a great kisser and a champion whisperer. What I didn’t like about his character was that at times he saw himself a lowly second class working stiff compared to Veronica’s uppity high class character. Not only was the guy a navy SEAL but he was an expert in explosives, an engineer, a linguist and an officer. It didn’t make sense that he’d have feelings of being lower class given all he accomplished.
Veronia is a fairly decent heroine. She’s one of those prim and proper gals who just happens to fall for the guy that lets her know she can let it all hang out with him and she certainly does. Sometimes she over-thought her relationship with him which got irritating after a while but it did add to the emotional high points of the novel so I could over look that.
The book does get too formulaic at times and you think it’s going to veer towards the dumb but Brockmann catches herself in time to put it back on track. It’s not a brilliant story but it’s pretty good for the most part. Thankfully there isn’t an insane amount of focus on the suspense side and the bad guys and their story is kept to a minimum so it doesn’t feel like it’s taking too much time away from the love story.
It’s a pretty good, quickie romantic suspense story with some spicy steam and good characters.
Overall “Glory in Death” is a good mystery/suspense story but if you’re looking for an equal balance of romance, seeing as it’s listed as « romantic s...moreOverall “Glory in Death” is a good mystery/suspense story but if you’re looking for an equal balance of romance, seeing as it’s listed as « romantic suspense », you won’t get that here. The story is relatively quick paced and you have a good futuristic feel, but I kept wanting to read more about the growing intimacy between Roarke and Eve. The book is more borderline fiction than romance I thought because Robb tends to gloss over the steam a little too often and focus more on the rest of the story than the couple.
Book two in the In Death series has Eve on the hunt for a serial killer who could have some connection to Mr Hot to Trot Roarke. Roarke is trying to get Eve to trust him more and you get a few more tidbits about her horrific childhood throughout the story. Eve is fighting a losing battle with herself about whether or not to fall more for Roarke or continue along Independent Road all by her lonesome. In a way she almost feels like he’s suffocating her but she doesn’t really know why because she does like being with him. Roarke starts to get very PO’d at Eve because she’s spending more time working and less time with him. She’s a bit too abrasive sometimes for my taste but it seems to work with Roarke and you can excuse it because you know there’s a likely reason for her behavior that’s no doubt connected to what little you know of her nightmarish childhood.
Of course the murder is solved at the end and Eve and Roarke are at another point in their relationship all the while leaving the reader to wonder what steps she plans to take to solidify things more. After finishing the book I thought I’d be done with the series but I am interested in what happens next and how Roarke and Eve’s relationship develops. (less)
*Sigh sigh* and we’re talking the good kind here ;) Douglas Kowalski –not a name I’d associate with OMG-short intake of breath-followed by another-OMG...more*Sigh sigh* and we’re talking the good kind here ;) Douglas Kowalski –not a name I’d associate with OMG-short intake of breath-followed by another-OMG with some tears pooling in your eyes. What a great character :) He will melt your heart. He’s a do not mess with kind of guy who just turns into a loveable teddy bear around Allegra. Rice has the beauty and the beast theme down pat here without getting too sticky sweet. There’s some very hot tamale steam going on too(!). She did do a very good (and frightening) job of describing the horror of suddenly being blind. You could feel the walls closing in on you at times.
My only complaint is the excess of everything which was why I couldn’t give it a 5 star rating. The hero is 5 stars hands down but the writing isn’t. There are too many extremes one right after another throughout the book: so incredibly beautiful, horribly ugly, incredibly complete, exhilarating joy etc etc –superlative city :-/ There’s something about Rice’s writing that lacks the extra polish to be a really good writer IMO. She’s good but it could be so much better maybe with better editing. Some of the emotion during the steam scenes were a bit ruined for me with words like “cunt” and “fuck” because they seemed to be thrown in as if the author remembered it was erotica so you just need to use a “rawer” kind of language. I don’t think you need a euphemism but it was how those words suddenly appeared that didn’t really match the moment.
The story is a quick read and quite the page turner at times. I didn't really buy the I love you so soon but I tried not to think about it so much being that how it all turned out was very satisfying.
Overall though the hero is amazing and the ending chokes you up somewhat. This book that weighs a ton was well worth the wrist strain at 2am ;)(less)
**spoiler alert** I didn't like this story for a lot of reasons: the hero was a bit too beta for my tastes, he had the unsexiest name imaginable (Howa...more**spoiler alert** I didn't like this story for a lot of reasons: the hero was a bit too beta for my tastes, he had the unsexiest name imaginable (Howard!?), Davis' dialog is too often written with extremes or with silly expressions that go from formal to casual to gag me with the syrupy talk and just didn't work for me. The sex was hot but the whole relationship happened way too fast though you did get the feeling that they cared for each other when all was said and done. Kat’s artificial “independence” was annoying. She wanted to be with Howard all the time but had to make it look like she was this Ms Independent as if there was something wrong with him wanting to be there for her.
I thought that the villain was well-written and the author did a good job with his dialog. The horror he suffered as a child was very vivid and frightening. Oh, and the steam was steamy too ;)
The worst though was when he proposed to her at his apartment, ringless and after having attended his mother's funeral (where he broke down in a gut-wrenching emotional moment) --that’s just bad stuff --talk about a weird memory.
So not quite what I expected from a story about a sexy fire fighter :-/
FYI: There are some horrific scenes of child abuse in this novel that may disturb some readers (less)