Fifth book in Harlequin Intrigue's "Kenner Country Crime Unit" mult-author series. And probably the only reason I decided I was going to read this ser...moreFifth book in Harlequin Intrigue's "Kenner Country Crime Unit" mult-author series. And probably the only reason I decided I was going to read this series. Rita Herron is one of my favorite Intrigue authors and I saw that she had a new put coming up but that it was part of this series. So since I didn't want to miss a book of hers I decided to read the series as a whole. This book was fairly good, but not of favorite of mine among Herron's work.
This book continues the investigation into the death of FBI agent Julie Grainger, but focuses on a missing woman, Aspen Meadows. Aspen disappeared five weeks earlier when her car was found abandoned with her infant son inside. At first it was believed to just be a random disappearance, but clues have arisen leading authorities to believe that Aspen being missing may be related to Julie's murder.
FBI Agent Dylan Acevedo has more reason to want to find Julie than anyone knows. The two had a hot affair less than a year ago and he's never been able to forget her. So he'll do anything to find her. But when she finally does reappear, he's shocked to learn that she is suffering from amnesia and remembers nothing about him or her life. That doesn't stop someone from wanting to kill her, though. So Dylan must protect her while hoping that she'll remember the passion and feelings between them...and why exactly someone wants her dead.
Kind of a predictable book for someone who reads a lot of romance. I pretty much knew the way the story was going to go, but at the same time, that didn't really make the book boring. Just not as intriguing. I liked the way Herron wrote Aspen and Dylan and the situation they found themselves in. The romance had a certain sweetness that I enjoyed. And the storyline was pretty well done. It was a nice little twist for the overall story arc.
There were a few inconsistencies with the other books in this series (a running problem between these books). Most were in small details that I'd read and think 'no, that's not quite right' and move on. There was only one bigger one that stood out somewhat. Which was that in the previous books where this situation was set up, Aspen's car was found abandoned in a ditch, but in this book, it said her car had been crashed into a tree. Not really a big deal detail wise, but still noticeable.
I also thought it was odd that in this book Dylan was concerned the moment Aspen went missing and was worried and wanting to find her. But yet in the last book, featuring his twin brother, you got no impression that Dylan even knew Aspen and even felt like at times he didn't care that there was mission woman. There was an odd sort of disconnect there.
All in all, a good installment for the series and one I enjoyed reading. Herron knows how to tell a solid story for the Intrigue line.(less)
I usually really enjoy Rita Herron's Harlequin Intrigue books. They tend to be very solid with a good storyline and a good romance, but this one has a...moreI usually really enjoy Rita Herron's Harlequin Intrigue books. They tend to be very solid with a good storyline and a good romance, but this one has a few too many holes for me.
The story is based on a young woman, Leah, who returns to her hometown to care for her little sister after their mother dies. Leah is hiding some big secrets about her past. Then her little sister is kidnapped. Ex-cop, and one time high school crush of Leah's, Gage McDermont offers to help find Ruby when the cops don't seem to be getting anywhere. Gage knows Leah is hiding stuff from him, and in order to find out the truth of what happened to Ruby, Leah is going to have to tell him. And they'll have to confront the feelings that never went anywhere back in high school.
I expected to really enjoy this book, as I enjoy most of Herron's books, but there was something missing in this one. I got tired of all Leah and her hiding a "big secret" and all the talk about it. It got kinda old after the first few mentions.
Mostly, though, the book suffered on the procedural aspect. Gage quits his cop job and just decides to be a private investigator. A week after quitting, he's working as a P.I. From what I understand, you just can't decide to be a P.I....you have to be licensed and sometimes go through training. So for Gage to be a cop one week and a P.I. the next just didn't work.
Gage also does things that would in real life compromise evidence and be an easy out for the perpetrator. And timeline wise in the book, there were things that didn't particularly make sense. You'd read a seen with a bunch of characters, knowing that one of them had to be the bad guy, being in one place and then immediately after would be a direct scene focusing on the bad guy but it would take place somewhere else with no sense of time passing between the two scenes. So you ended up thinking it couldn't be any of the characters used in the previous scene. Poorly done misdirection, I guess.
Overall, the book wasn't horrible. It lacked some zing that I usually find in Herron's books, and there was some sloppiness in details. So it was just an average read. I'll still pick up future books in this mini-series, though. (less)
I had to order this one from PBS after I finished the previous book in the Nighthawk Island series by Herron because there's a direct character connec...moreI had to order this one from PBS after I finished the previous book in the Nighthawk Island series by Herron because there's a direct character connection between the two. The hero in this book, Parker, was gravely injured in Up In Flames and this book picks up with him recovering in the hospital. So I was definitely interested in reading this one too see what happened with Parker. And I wasn't disappointed. Herron always tells such interesting romantic suspense tales. I enjoyed all aspects of the book. I had one or two quibbles on details that didn't quite work right and there was one side-detail that I wanted to know that wasn't told. But other than that, a solid book.(less)
Zipped right through this one...yet another great HQ Intrigue from Rita Herron. The book has a small connection to the previous Nighthawk Island insta...moreZipped right through this one...yet another great HQ Intrigue from Rita Herron. The book has a small connection to the previous Nighthawk Island installment...this story focuses on Detective Raul Cortez who is trying to find a serial killer who strangles women and in the last book, Under His Skin, the first victim was killed and there is a mention that Cortez was the lead Detective on that case. So this book follows up with that storyline. I enjoyed it all around...great characters and romance, solid storyline. I had one somewhat major annoyance after I finished which dealt with the side storyline of the heroine's mother. Herron never gave us the full details of what happened to her and kinda ticked me off not to know. But otherwise, a great book.(less)
Good book, but at the same time there was one issue that irritated and distracted me more than just a little at time. Still a good romantic suspense b...moreGood book, but at the same time there was one issue that irritated and distracted me more than just a little at time. Still a good romantic suspense book, though. Herron knows how to tell a story that's got a solid suspense aspect without neglecting the romance. I've been a fan of hers since I started reading her Harlequin Intrigue books.
In A Breath Away, Violet Baker has been haunted for years by the murder of her best friend when they were children. She and Darlene had had a special connection and Violet had lived her friend's terror with her. Then her father sent her away with her grandmother and Violet thought it was because he felt she was evil with her weird connection to Darlene. She never spoke or saw her father again and she's lived with what happened since that day.
Now the visions and voices are starting again, but this time, young women are dying. Then comes a call saying her father had committed suicide and left a note saying he'd killed young Darlene. Violet doesn't believe it so she finally returns to her hometown...where Darlene's brother is now Sheriff. Grady has spent his life trying to find his sister's killer. Now he finally may know...only the facts aren't adding up. And women are dying in a way that appears to connect them to his sister. He and Violet must team up to find the truth. A task made all that much harder by the attraction that simmers between them.
This book had an interesting storyline, but it was kinda hard to get into. For the simple fact that the basic premise is almost exactly the same as Nora Roberts' Carolina Moon. They have pretty much the exact same setup...two opposite side of the tracks girlhood friends, one having psychic visions of the others violent death then leaving town after, returning years later to face what happened and maybe find the truth, and getting involved with her dead friend's older brother. Except for some minor variances, that's the way both books are setup (Roberts book was written 5 years before this one). And I found it extremely distracting when trying to get into this book. I just kept thinking about how similar they were. It was annoying. But at least the way the plot plays out and the reason behind things was very different.
Despite the irritating similarity issue, Herron does weave a complicated, engaging suspense and a fairly good romance. She keeps you on your toes trying to figure out who is doing what and why. There's no one obvious suspect and the way the clues are laid out, everyone seems guilty. Which makes it interesting in trying to piece together what is going on. And towards the end, I just wanted to keep reading to see how it was all going to play out.
I did wish there were maybe a few less characters. I read this over maybe 3 days and I didn't always remember who was who and their connections and whatnot. It made the story a little over-busy to a certain extent. If I'd read it in a less amount of time, it probably wouldn't have bothered me. But reading in bits in pieces, it was hard to keep everyone straight.
As for the romance...it was about moderately. I liked both the characters and there was good chemistry between them. But it was a little slow in building for me and got side-lined some for the suspense aspect. It was still a pretty sweet romance, though, with a nice HEA.
All in all, this was a solid romantic suspense. If I hadn't read Roberts "Carolina Moon" previously, I probably would have enjoyed this one more cover to cover. But if you like a good romantic suspense, then I'd definitely recommend this book or any other by Herron. She tells a solid, engaging story.(less)
I've always enjoyed the Harlequin Intrigue books of Herron's that I've read...especially the 3 Falcon brother books (which are fantastic). I've read t...moreI've always enjoyed the Harlequin Intrigue books of Herron's that I've read...especially the 3 Falcon brother books (which are fantastic). I've read two of her full-length releases now - and liked both.
Herron has a knack for telling interesting stories with lots of twists and just enough darkness to give you the creeps.
"Last Kiss Goodbye" is no different. It's a very convoluted story with a lot going on, which only makes it more readable. I have to admit there were one or two things I was surprised about at the end when all the various truths were revealed. There was one particular plot twist that snuck up on me. But it made perfect sense. For the most part, I thought Herron did a good job playing it all out, but there were a couple points that could possibly have been explained better.
I loved Ivy and Matt together. They were a great couple and I felt a vested interest in them as I was reading. I do wish she hadn't shoved them back together so easily at the end; the resolution of Ivy's conflicted feelings seemed a little too simple, but it was overlook-able.
Other than a few quibbles on details, if there was one thing I was disappointed about in this book was that Matt's internal conflicts over his time in prison and what happened there weren't outwardly dealt with. Herron gives you a sense that he's decided to push past them and move on with his life, but I really thought they needed to be explored, especially in relation to Ivy and her knowing. She has a pretty good idea of what happened to him, but I think him getting it out in the open with her and her accepting it and him would have really solidified the bond between them.
Overall though, a good read - which I was happy about since I really needed a good book to read after having a really bad day. I'll have to go looking for Herron's other full-length releases that I haven't yet read.(less)
Another great book from Rita Herron. I always enjoy the stuff she writes. And unlike some Intrigue books with their abrupt endings that leave you feel...moreAnother great book from Rita Herron. I always enjoy the stuff she writes. And unlike some Intrigue books with their abrupt endings that leave you feeling a little unfulfilled (especially on the romance angle), this one has a solid HEA ending that romance lovers will enjoy.(less)