Viohlet's Reviews > Against the Storm

Against the Storm by Kat Martin
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Oct 08, 11

bookshelves: 14-netgalley-arc-etc, 3rd-person-pov, action-kickass-etc, anticlimatic-end, blame-it-on-the-past, career-detective-police-pi-etc, career-photography, danger-unprotected-sex, determind-to-not-get-married, estranged-or-long-lost-relatives, fire-detroys-everything, genre-romantic-suspense, get-over-it-already, hero-4-s-z, hero-can-be-scary, hero-cop-fbi-pi, hero-exmilitary, hero-has-bucket-loads-of-charm, hero-i-liked, hero-divorced, hero-been-cheated-on, hero-orphan, hero-protective-possessive, heroine-3-m-r, heroine-7-redhead, heroine-annoying-interferring-pain, heroine-annoyingly-proud-stubborn, heroine-criminal-past, heroine-fuckwit, heroine-guilt-ridden-tortured-etc, heroine-i-disliked, heroine-infuriating, heroine-manipulative, heroine-strongwilled-headstrong-etc, heroine-tstl, heroine-liar, hoshit-theres-a-killer-on-the-loose, love-with-charge-client-etc, my-life-has-been-turned-upside-down, murder-has-happened-is-relevant, mystery-suspense-etc, series, publisher-harlequin, read-3-liked, read-in-2011, secondary-romance, series-follows-family, set-in-texas, some-real-sick-people-out-there, someone-slap-the-heroine, stalker-sending-me-creepy-shit, stars-3-5, supporting-characters-awesome, unexpected-plot-twists, waiting-and-anticipating
Read from October 06 to 08, 2011

** spoiler alert ** I enjoyed this. I’ve only read one book by this author previously, and I didn’t like it at all, so I was quite wary of trying this, but it turned out to be a good decision.

There were a few issues I had with the writing of the novel. The author seemed to have this obsessive need to point out the brand of everything. Maggie wasn’t just driving an SUV, or a Hybrid; she was driving a Ford Escape. They didn’t buy from the ‘store’, they bought from Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc. I also jokingly thought at one stage, that the author must have been getting payment from Apple in return for product placement. Every piece of technology that was applicable was an iPhone, or an iMac or whatever. I just don’t feel that the brands of these everyday items are necessary to a novel unless for a very specific purpose. But in just this ‘everyday’ sense, it felt highly pretentious to me. I don’t care what make or model of car or camera she has. She’s got a hybrid car, and a camera with a telephoto lens. It does the job with none of the pretension.

At times, this was quite a slow read. It just sometimes felt very generic and that there was nothing that really set it apart from any of the other romantic suspense titles available today. That said, I still kept reading, because I was very curious about the identity of the stalker. I had my suspects and let me tell you – none of them were right. I wasn’t able to predict who the stalker was, or why they were stalking Maggie, and I liked that.

Speaking of Maggie; I didn’t like her, and in the beginning I felt very little sympathy for her plight, and believe me, I felt bad about that lack of sympathy for the heroine. She made a horrendous first impression with me when she took those photos at the café at the very beginning of the novel. Her stock only plummeted when it was revealed that she had a “criminal” past. Twelve years ago, when she was only sixteen, Maggie had sex with one of the Quarterbacks from her school. However, when she was sneaking back into her house, her dad caught her and rather than admit that she’d had sex with the Quarterback, she allowed her father to, mistakenly, assume that the Quarterback had raped her. Of course, her dad went to the police and life suddenly became a hell of a lot harder for this kid, who was having false rape charges brought against him.

Now, however, the police don’t believe Maggie when she said she has a stalker, and one of the reasons why is because one of the high ranking officers if the father of the boy who was falsely accused. While, I don’t condone the police doing absolutely nothing, I can understand where they were coming from. If she lied about being raped, then what reason do they have to believe she isn’t lying about the stalker as well?

My dislike of Maggie didn’t improve either, because she continued to lie the entire way through the novel. When Trace initially asked if there was someone as far back as high school who could still be holding a grudge, Maggie said no. Needless to say, Trace was incensed when he found out that Maggie had withheld this certain bit of information from him. Her “Great Shame” as she calls it.
I was kind of warming up to Maggie, when again, it was revealed that she’d withheld another important piece of information from Trace. The knowledge that after she broke up with the last man she was in a relationship with, he attempted to commit suicide. That’s a pretty big motive for stalking in my book, and from then on any small amount of sympathy I’d been feeling for Maggie was gone.

I didn’t trust in her character and was just waiting for her to lie again.

On top of all that, she was a TSTL heroine. When her sister showed up on her doorstep, she took her in, which was understandable. However she immediately went out with Trace on a lead about her stalker. Now, I don’t care if someone is blood. If they’re homeless, with a newborn, and I haven’t seen or spoken to them in six years, barely knew them apart from a passing acquaintance, and hadn’t even particularly gotten along whenever we had been together, there’s no way in hell I’m going to just leave them alone in my home while I go out. Family who are tight knit and lived with their families their entire lives steal from their family members with a lot less reason than being homeless.

She was also reckless. She was one of these heroines who just have to be involved every step of the way even if they’re deliberately putting themselves in harm’s way, and instead of focusing on finding the stalker or a killer, the hero has to constantly rescue the heroine – from herself.

I liked Trace, but I felt that he was stupid about the women in his life. If he finds he hasn’t met a redhead who hasn’t caused him a shitload of trouble, why does he keep dating them? I highly doubt he’s going to find every other woman on the planet unattractive simply because she doesn’t have red hair. I also really disliked the situation with his ex-wife. He was too passive. She was a slut, and they’d been divorced for FOUR YEARS. He doesn’t need to give flying-fuck about her situation and whether she’s happy or not. He should have told her to piss off, or he’d be taking legal action. I wouldn’t have stood for the way she was behaving if she were my ex.

I really liked the secondary romance with Jason and Ashley, Maggie’s sister (yes, the one with the baby whom I was initially mistrusting of). I thought they were both sweet, and I loved that Jason was secretly buying or giving Ashley new furniture for her place because she needed it and he didn’t want her to turn it down simply because he paid for it. For a while I was more interested in their love story than the one between Trace and Maggie.

There weren’t many other big characters, but I have to make mention of the fact that I thought Jason’s sister Emily, was just pathetic. She really did make me sick she was so stupid.

So far, I haven’t particularly liked a lot of the character element but it was the plot that kept the book going and stopped it from falling apart. Everything fit together. The past case of Trace’s that he was following up, the stalker, a seemly random and completely unrelated murder and then the torching of Maggie’s studio. Right up until it was revealed, I had no idea of the motivation of destroying Maggie’s prints; only that she’d unintentionally snapped an incriminating photo.

I will say however, that I thought the final confrontation was a bit of overkill. They’d already solved four crimes, and I didn’t feel that another life or death situation was necessary for Trace and Maggie to confess their love for each other. I also felt that the confession from Trace was corny and ruined the mood. To me, their chemistry was strained at best, so that whole moment being ruined was pretty anti-climatic for me.

Overall however, it was an enjoyable novel. Like I said, it did have its dips where I felt like it was almost a mission to continue and the story was dragging a little too long, but it wasn’t predictable at all. I liked being kept on the edge waiting to see who did what and why.

I would read more from this author; however I will only read her contemporary titles. I wouldn’t touch her historical titles as the title I disliked was of this genre. I would recommend this for any romantic suspense fan, or fan of the author. 3.5/5

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Reading Progress

10/05/2011 page 1
0.0% "Sat open all day yesterday and didn't get around to reading any. Finally starting now."
10/06/2011 page 1
0.0% "Finally starting lmfao"
10/06/2011 page 13
3.0% "Barely into chapter one and the heroine has already made a really bad first impression on me. Not a good sign."
10/06/2011 page 25
6.0% "The heroine's stock suddenly plummets. Definitely not looking good."
10/06/2011 page 65
16.0% "I'm still finding it hard to muster some sympathy for the heroine; and I feel bad about that."
10/06/2011 page 86
22.0% "Did I mention I have no sympathy for the heroine?"
10/07/2011 page 149
37.0% "This is getting better. Quite curious."
10/07/2011 page 278
70.0% "I can't believe how much of a liar the heroine is!"

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