Carson Brooks, brilliant CEO of Ruisseau, a perfume company, is shot in his own Office, and has only his surrogate son, and company lawyer, Dylan NewpCarson Brooks, brilliant CEO of Ruisseau, a perfume company, is shot in his own Office, and has only his surrogate son, and company lawyer, Dylan Newport to thank for still being alive, since the two are the only ones in the building. But the bullet has done a lot more damage, and Carson's kidneys are failing. One of the options, and probably the only one, if his kidneys don't start working properly on their own, is a transplant, which could prove difficult.
Before getting shot, Carson has put Dylan on a secret mission, one that becomes a prerogative as the man awaits his fate. Twenty-eight years ago, Carson was paid twenty thousand dollars for his sperm, money that he put into creating his company. Lately, after hitting fifty, he's started to wonder whether there was a fruit his seed helped create, and wants to know the truth. Especially now, that his days may be numbered. Dylan, on the other hand, wants to know if Carson is a dad out of purely selfish reasons—an offspring could be a perfect donor.
Enter Sabrina Radcliffe. The intelligent, brilliant young woman knows how she came to be, but now, suddenly, she has a name and face to put in the place of the question mark as to who the sperm donor was. But as she decides to get to know her father, and become involved in his life and company, and as love suddenly and unexpectedly blossoms, there is someone determined to finish what was started with that shot at Ruisseau...No matter what it takes.
This one was even better than six years ago when I first read it. And yes, once again, it has left me speechless.
I loved every single word of it, the plot, the story, the characters, the tension, the mystery, the intrigue, the drama, the romance...Everything.
This wasn't as suspense-oriented as Andrea Kane's previous books, since mostly all the action happened in the first chapter, with Carson being shot. That was also the most quickly paced part of the book; the shot, the race to the hospital, the race to stabilize Carson and find the possible kidney donor... The pacing quickly slowed after it, only picking up sporadically, when danger rose to the fore once again.
Yet, as it always happens in Andrea Kane's romantic suspense novels, the slower pace didn't deter from the overall enjoyment of the story. And it certainly didn't dull it down. In fact, it helped immensely with the world-building, and the character- and story development. Because the focus wasn't on the suspense and/or mystery, the reader could enjoy the characters, the relationship and interactions between them.
The romance was a bit more prominent in this one, and although it could've been categorized as rushed (everything happening in the matter of two weeks), I'm going with Sabrina's explanation; everything happened so suddenly, and so quickly, the emotions were so heightened, it seemed a lot more time has passed. The romance and its plausibility, was also helped by the two amazing characters involved in it. Sabrina and Dylan were rather perfect for each other, equals, mature, self-confident, and secure with who, what and where they were. And they had a wonderful matchmaker to back them up if something backfired. ;) Carson Brooks was the star of this book, no doubt about it. He stole every scene he was in, even if the characters merely discussed him. I loved the guy to bits; his stubbornness, his bluntness, his humor, his love of life and his two children, his matchmaking skills, and his utter determination nothing would stand in his way, not even his defective kidneys.
This was an intense, emotional, and gripping story with a wonderful cast of characters, a well-developed plot with a subtle suspense element serving as the driving force of the entire story (it's what brought the three leads together), the mystery was intriguing, the investigation lead by two bullheaded detectives intense with multiple plausible suspects and loads of contradictory clues, the final motive for the shooting was a huge surprise, but also plausible (although I felt it was rather easily solved), the romantic tension was thick, the hotness factor high...
Julia Talbot has noticed the sudden change in one of her pupil's behavior. Little Brian Stratford is completely different from the whirlwind boy she kJulia Talbot has noticed the sudden change in one of her pupil's behavior. Little Brian Stratford is completely different from the whirlwind boy she knows and loves. He's withdrawn, quiet, and yes, a little depressed, and Julia knows it has something to do with his home life. Especially now, that his father, the mayor, is running for state senator.
Julia is right, but even she doesn't know the extent of trouble, that's plaguing the Stratford family. And Brian's uncle, venture capitalist, Connor Stratford, is willing to do pretty much anything to stop her from snooping any further. Yet, he never counted with the chemistry between them, or the fact, she is the only one outside the immediate family, he'd be willing to tell the whole truth, and trust her with keeping the family's secrets.
This book is a perfect example of time making the heart grow fonder, because I appreciated this book much, much more than six years ago when I first read it. I have no idea why I thought the heroine annoying back then, or why I thought the initial premise of the little boy and his behavioral changes dragged on too long, slowing down the pace. What was the matter with me in 2011?
This was a great story. True, the pacing was slow at first, but it was a deceptive slowness, really. It was more like a train leaving the station...First, it goes slow, but it keeps building speed and momentum, until it's hurtling through the countryside. This story was just like that. Slow to begin, but the tension and intensity slowly, yet inexorably, built, the pace picking up speed, until the plot, the action, and the suspense hurtled toward the finishing line at a breakneck speed.
The suspense was great, with the mystery deepening, the different, somewhat contrasting clues, keeping the true villain and his motives a secret until almost the very end. The suspects were many and varied, and the tension and suspense top-notch. The romance was nicely blended into the story, creating a lovely contrast to the suspense element, and at the same time providing additional clues, and even the final resolution. Still, I feel the romance could've been expanded a little more, making it a little more believable. With everything else going on taking center stage, I felt the romance was a bit rushed, and didn't progress in an organic way.
The story was also a good little insight into the life in the public eye and the pressures parents, and such a life, put on the children—and the result of that pressure on children not strong enough to handle it. Most of the conflict in this book could've been solved with an honest talk, yet everybody kept a tight lid on the truth, creating rather unnecessary tension and friction among characters.
So, it could've been better, yet it still was leagues ahead of most romantic suspense novels out there....more
Victoria Kensington is jogging in Central Park one morning, when her sister, the sister who's supposed to be in Italy, collapses at her feet, wearingVictoria Kensington is jogging in Central Park one morning, when her sister, the sister who's supposed to be in Italy, collapses at her feet, wearing a yellow hospital gown, stammering a phone number, and warning her of danger. When Victoria returns to the site after summoning help (no one carried cell phones everywhere in the nineties), there is no trace of her sister anywhere.
Stubbornly determined to find Audrey, despite the obstacles in her path, one of them being her father, adamantly claiming her sisters is still in Italy, Victoria starts digging...But little does she know her investigation will put her life, and that of her sister, in peril, and put her back in the orbit of the only man she's ever loved.
I read a few of Ms Kane's historicals, and I was curious as to see how she manages in the romantic suspense department. She does a pretty good job. So good, in fact, I decided to re-read some of her RS I read a few years back, and dig into the others I haven't.
This book wasn't one of those in-your-face romantic suspenses you can find everywhere these days. It was very understated, both in the romance and suspense elements. Subtle, yet precise and very, very effective.
At first glance, it could appear wordy, every conversation seemed prolonged, the descriptions lentghy, and yes, wordy. I guess this is Ms Kane's narrative style, and while, in the hands of another author, the wordy-ness would kill the plot and the pacing, with this particular author, her style, and her voice, it worked perfectly, enhancing the subtleness of it all.
Unfortunately, I cannot think of another word by subtle to describe this book. Everything was so utterly elegant, everything seemed to move in a slow motion, the pacing being much slower than one would expect from a suspense book. But despite the leisurely pace, nothing seemed dull or boring. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The characters were nicely fleshed-out, the plot well-developed, the pacing spot-on throughout the entire book (slowly picking up pace the closer we got to the big finale). The romance was believable and hot with the two leads actually communicating; talking things through, never dwelling on a problem long enough for it to create unnecessary conflict or miscommunication, and they were actually equals. And the suspense was nicely layered, deceptively light at the beginning, but maintaining constant tension, with the intensity building and building the more layers of truth were revealed.
The main villain was a huge surprise (I guess I forgot a lot about this story since I first read it), and the resolution to the story, both investigation- and romance-wise very satisfactory.
Mark and Faith have been friends since childhood, using their own special way of communicating—telepathy. But they refused to cross the boundaries ofMark and Faith have been friends since childhood, using their own special way of communicating—telepathy. But they refused to cross the boundaries of their friendship and Mark went off to protect the country...Then one day Faith receives his distress message...
DNF @ 20%
I simply couldn't go on. The premise with the wounded soldier held in captivity in the middle of the Peruvian jungle, only able to communicate with one person in the outside world, was interesting. Unfortunately, the execution was severely lacking.
Instead of following a linear narrative, the story kept jumping, alternating between the present (Mark being captive, sending SOS messages to Faith), flashbacks (their childhood and how they slowly fell in love), and fantasies. While the flashbacks worked in establishing the connection between the two main characters, the flashbacks were nothing but sex, sex, and more sex, contributing nothing to the story, but titillation...And yes, serving to slow the already slow pacing even more.
I didn't really connect with either of the protagonists, maybe because in the 20% of the book I read, there were three sex scenes without much character introduction or, God forbid, development. What also bothered me was the fact the heroine, a writer, was determined to find a SpecOps soldier all on her own (yeah, right), and the fact said SpecOps soldier was capable of transmitting all kinds of messages, but his own location. I didn't really find the suspense that suspenseful, once more because the fantasies trampled all the intensity the suspense could've generated. And finally, I didn't really like the voice and narrative style. It sounded rather juvenile and slightly amateurish, especially when it came to the heroine-centric scenes....more