jenjn79's Reviews > Love You to Death

Love You to Death by Shannon K. Butcher
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Oct 17, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2009, info-full, published-2009, reviewed, genre-romance-suspense, stars-4-5
Recommended to jenjn79 by: Auntee
Read in November, 2009 , read count: 1

Rating: 4.5 / 5

Man, what a gruesome tale this story tales. It's so twisted and sick and enough to give you the creeps for days. The author did a great job with this romantic suspense, telling a full-bodied suspense story and managing to include a solid romance that didn't get shoved aside for the plot. This book was like a more romantic Karen Rose story and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Elise McBride and her sister Ashley grew up with an overprotective mother who didn't let them do much. Elise wanted to travel and be an investigative reporter and hoped to go to college for her. Her flighty, artist sister rebelled by getting involved with numerous men and diving into her art. When their mother dies, they both decide to embrace their freedom. Ashley moves into a small house and pursues her art...and men. And Elise dives into her investigative reporting overseas.

Then Ashley goes missing and Elise goes to Haven, Illinois to try and find her. As she tries to break into Ashley's house, Ashley's neighbor, Trent Brady, catches her in the act. When Elise shares her fear over her sister, Trent becomes concerned as well. Everything in him wants to help, but the former cop is wary of getting involved because of a past tragedy while on the job. But he can't resist Elise and can't resist helping her look for Ashley.

It soon becomes apparent that something terrible happened to Ashley and even though she herself is now in danger, Elise keeps looking for answers. Trent tries to distance himself, but he can't stay out of it. So instead, he'll do everything he can to protect her. Unfortunately, the madman who wants her will stop at nothing to get her. She's perfect for his little project of making the perfect woman. Elise and Trent will have to put their trust in each other if they hope to survive.

I've read some pretty diabolical romantic suspense books over my years of reading the genre and I have to say that this serial killer plot ranks up there with some of the creepiest and most disturbing. The whack job in this book was freaky. His calmness and enjoyment of it all makes you shiver. Kudos to Butcher for telling such a vibrant - and thoroughly disturbing - story that sucked me in right from the beginning.

There's not really a whodunit aspect to the story. You know who the bad guy is and why he's doing what he's doing. The suspense revolves around how it will all play out. And Butcher keeps readers on their toes with the tension and twists the story takes.

Often these types of romantic suspense book don't have a very good balance between the romance and the suspense. Some are more suspenses with some romance thrown in, and others are more romances with a suspense plot. But this one was a nice 50/50 balance, which I really enjoyed. The suspense was solid and the romance satisfying.

Maybe it is a little weird to believe that two people could meet and fall in love during such a tragic, frantic time, but I thought the author did a good job with that part of the story. It didn't feel out of place or anything. There was great chemistry between Elise and Trent. Add in some steamy sex scenes and you've got a book that appeals on a lot of levels.

Both main characters were rather likable, as well. Elise is strong and determined...okay, maybe she didn't always make the best choices, but it was kind of understandable in her desperate need to find her sister. And Trent, poor guy. He's already been through so much and a few times I just wanted to give him a big hug...and other times I wanted to give him a smack on the head and tell him it was time to move on from what happened.

There were maybe two small criticism I have of the book. One was that I would have liked a little more solid wrap-up on all the details about the killer. A little more delving into his history. I thought the wrap-up relied too much on the bits and pieces revealed throughout the book and I just would have liked an ending that brought it all together in one big, cohesive explanation.

Also, the epilogue left me wondering too much about Ashley and her recovery and the sudden constant presence of Sam in her life. I was just left with this feeling that that part of the story wasn't yet complete. And I'm left wondering if Butcher has any plans to write another book featuring Ashley. There's nothing about that in the author's notes at the end, or on her website, that I could find. I really hope she does do a book for Ashley...I would definitely read it!

So Auntee, thanks so much for recommending this book! It was a great read and well worth the full price I had to pay at B&N to get it. For those of you who are fans of true blue romantic suspense, this is definitely one worth checking out!
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Dina (new) - added it

Dina Great review, Isis! A 5-star rating isn't something I can ignore. :)

Auntee Yay! Glad you liked it! Great review Isis! I'm sure any fan of Karen Rose who would like to see a little more romance would like it. Wasn't that guy soooo creepy?:D

message 3: by Rane (new)

Rane Great Review Isis!

jenjn79 Thanks!

Auntee - yeah, all those who wish Rose had more romance would probably love this book. Have you read her RS trilogy? If it's good as well, I'll have to add them to my wishlist.

Auntee I have it sitting out on the bookshelf so I won't forget to read it. I'm working my way to it slooowly.:)

jenjn79 LOL...if I ever see them used maybe I'll pick them up, but right now I don't have a desperate urge to buy the new. Maybe I'll get them at PBS at some point...I've got like 18 credits at the moment to play with.

Auntee That's how I picked them up--used.:)

Kathrynn Glad you enjoyed it, Isis. :-) I, too, was bummed to buy it at B&N and then saw it at Walmart--discounted--the next week. :-( Walmart needs to get their books out soon! :-)

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