Tag Archives: suspense

Review: Kansas City Cowboy by Julie Miller

5 Aug

Kansas City Cowboy by Julie Miller
Harlequin/Intrigue (Aug. 7, 2012)
Mass Market: $5.25; ebook: $4.99 (I saw it listed at B&N for $3.82 on 8/5/12)
ISBN: 9780373696345

Favorite Lines: “He knew he’d surprised her, knew he was taking liberties with a woman he barely knew. But he needed human contact right now. He needed the reassurance of a beating heart. he needed something strong to hold on to, something soft to absorb the pain and the rage and the grief rolling inside him that threatened to drag him down to his knees and bring him to tears.” (p. 31, e-galley)

For small-town sheriff Boone Harrison, the investigation into a serial rapist turned killer is painfully personal. Boone’s priority is to find the coward who murdered his sister. But to accomplish that, he’ll have to work with Dr. Kate Kilpatrick, a secretive woman whose striking beauty and kind heart just may be the lawman’s undoing….

Forensic psychologist Kate Kilpatrick was wrong about Sheriff Harrison. He’s smarter and more resourceful than she’d given him credit for—and entirely too attractive. In their combined grief, Kate finds something she didn’t even know she needed: protection. Because when the Rose Red Rapist sets his sights on Kate, she’ll need more than the power of the badge to save her. She’ll need her very own cowboy.

Does it get much sexier than a smart cowboy? Well, I figured I find out by reading Julie Miller’s Kansas City Cowboy.

If you’re unfamiliar with Harlequin’s Intrigue line all you need to know is that it is the line that promotes romantic suspense stories. One of the good things about it is at the beginning of each novel the reader is given a list of characters. The cast list includes the hero, heroine, important secondary characters and the villain. It’s a great way to know exactly what is going on before turning the first page of the book. So, let’s get back to Kansas City Cowboy.

Heroine: Dr. Kate Kilpatrick is intelligent woman who was betrayed by her husband and best friend. She copes with it by not allowing people to get close to her. Until Sheriff Boone Harrison appears and pulls her into a bear hug. She doesn’t have time to strictly focus on him though. An escalating rapist has her in his sights and with all the risks she takes, she just might end up dead.

Hero: Sheriff Boone Harrison’s sister was raped and murdered. As her oldest sibling, Boone plans to find his sister’s killer and leaves his jurisdiction for that of Kansas City. Once there he meets Dr. Kate and feels a spark of attraction. He isn’t ready to follow-up on it though. He needs to bury his sister and see her killer brought to justice.

Villain: The Rose Red Rapist has been taking what he wants and leaving women behind. The reader is given glimpses of him, but never gets to really see him. Eventually it becomes clear that there may be more than one bad guy making the rounds in Kansas City Cowboy. Unfortunately, we find out many things SPOILER but never the identity of the rapist. END SPOILER

Suspense, Romance and Sex: The suspense builds as Dr. Kate is stalked. Classic stalker techniques are used: text messages, break ins and the sound of footsteps. At the same time Boone and Kate are spending more time together with a slow burning attraction. There is sex, but not only does it relieve the tension, but it also leads the heroine to feelings of self-empowerment.

End Thoughts: I was bored with Kansas City Cowboy. The conflict didn’t feel like it was between the rapist and the main characters. I felt more internal battles fought inside Kate’s mind with herself and her former best friend, than I felt between the rapist/stalker and the police. The mystery aspect of the story was alright, but it never sucked me in. I felt semi-cheated when I finished reading the book. (Read the spoiler.) There were moments when I wanted to shake the heroine for being TSTL. I guess it just wasn’t the book for me. Maybe you’ll feel different. Did you read it? What are your thoughts?

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Review: Kade by Delores Fossen

23 Jun

Kade by Delores Fossen
Harlequin (July 1, 2012)
Mass Market: $5.25; ebook: $4.99
ISBN: 9780373696277

Favorite Lines: “But Kade hadn’t thought he was ready to be a father until he had seen Leah’s face. Just the sight of her had caused something to switch in his head, and in that moment Leah became the most important person in his life. He would die to protect his little girl.” (p. 66, e-galley)

One look at the baby girl, and there was no question Kade Ryland was the father. For three months, Kade had posed as Bree Winston’s husband at the Fulbright Fertility Clinic, while the two FBI agents investigated a trail of illegal adoptions and surrogates. Nine months later, a baby was dropped at his feet—and Bree was nowhere to be found. Now Kade had to reopen a case that had gotten way too personal and find Bree—fast. But if the two of them had never been a real couple, were they ready to be parents? Whatever the answer, Kade now had more than one reason to close this case once and for all.

Mini Rant: First of all I’ve got to say that while I like the cover it ruins the story. Reading the e-galley, I didn’t have a cover to look at. That means when certain events took place I was surprised. Now looking at the cover, knowing the story, I can’t help but feel like someone in the marketing department spoiled this book for other would-be readers.

Kade surprised me. I thought I’d like it; duh, why else would I read it? It started off with a bang and just kept moving. The suspense was steady. Every time I thought I knew who the villains were, someone would say or do something to make me change my mind. We’re told up front who the suspects are and Delores Fossen does a good job keeping us bouncing  with suspicion.

The romance was slightly different from what I thought it would be. The Kade and Bree never had sex, but they are the biological parents of the same child. They worked together and were attracted to one another while working undercover. The story starts almost a year later with Kade being told he has a baby and it had been abandoned. The beginning reeled me in and I had to know more.

Kade is a fast paced book that shows us two people investigating Bree’s unexplained disappearance while she adjusts to the news that she is a mother. Bree doesn’t remember her pregnancy or the first moments holding her child. When you put that with her previous determination to never be a mother, you understand how confused and upset she is.

Unfortunately I never really felt her distress at not remembering those memories that many women cherish. I got her shock at being a mother and her quick acceptance and love for her child, but not the emotional loss of those mother/baby only memories. There wasn’t the dissatisfaction with all she missed while pregnant. Maybe she felt like those memories would return gradually as her other memories did.

The book is straight down the line solid. It’s a satisfying read that left me with the happy feeling that I expect to have when finishing a romance. It wasn’t an over the top happy, but a I’m feeling just right type of feeling.

New TV Shows: The Mob Doctor

22 Jun

I’m sitting on the fence about this new one. What do you thing?

New TV Shows: The Following

20 Jun

I think this one is going to scare the crap out of me, but I’ll probably still watch it.

What book are you feining for and a question

16 Jun

Me? I want the new Michelle Sagara book Cast in Peril. It’s book eight in a series and if you haven’t read the previous books, it’s not the book to start with. Anyway it’s supposed to take place in the Marches with the Barrani. I haven’t found cover art for it, but here’s the blurb.

USUALLY DISASTER DIDN’T STRIKE QUITE SO CLOSE TO HOME…

It has been a busy few weeks for Private Kaylin Neva. In between angling for a promotion, sharing her room with the last living female Dragon and dealing with more refugees than anyone knew what to do with, the unusual egg she’d been given was ready to hatch. Actually, that turned out to be lucky, because it absorbed the energy from the bomb that went off in her quarters….

So now might be the perfect time to leave Elantra and journey to the West March with the Barrani. If not for the disappearances of citizens in the fief of Tiamaris-disappearances traced to the very Barrani Kaylin will be traveling with…

This all leads me to a very important question. What author would you suggest I read since the new Sagara book doesn’t come out until September 2012? I’m looking for women authors that I may have overlooked. I want to be sucked into a new fantasy world and would love it if a touch of romance was included in the story.

New TV Shows: Red Widow

13 Jun

What would you do?

Review: Shades of Desire by Virna DePaul

29 May

Shades of Desire by Virna DePaul
Harlequin (May 29, 2012)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9780373776351

Favorite Lines: “With no warning, she felt pain explode behind her eyes. She saw an intense flash of light before her remaining vision tunneled. Her hands, which had been lightly gripping her camera, jerked violently, snapping the strap around her neck.” (p. 16, e-galley)

Natalie Jones is the lucky survivor of an elusive killer who preys on young women and then disappears from view. And since her harrowing ordeal, the once gutsy photojournalist has remained isolated in her home, paralyzed by fear and her failing vision.

Special Agent Liam “Mac” McKenzie has scars of his own. But despite his efforts to ignore the attraction that simmers between him and Natalie, he needs her help to catch a predator. Soon, they will forge a tentative alliance—charged with desire. Through a soft-focus lens, Natalie dares to envision a future with Mac beyond the investigation…never guessing that the clues hidden within her photographs are drawing them into an explosive confrontation with a madman.

Shades of Desire is a romantic suspense that pairs an attack survivor with a special agent of California’s Department of Justice Special Investigations Group. Both the hero and heroine are emotionally damaged, but they have even more to overcome as the heroine has recently become blind due to a genetic disease.

On the whole I enjoyed Shades of Desire. As a romance, not so much. I didn’t feel the instant attraction between Natalie and Mac. It felt abrupt and forced, especially the sex scene. I didn’t even want Mac and Natalie together.

Mac is a good investigator and a better asshole. He’s a recovering alcoholic and a permanent workaholic. He’s also divorced. This has left him a jaded individual which is immediately shown when an officer asks him if he misses his ex-wife.

Mac hesitated before answering, but it was a hesitation born out of guilt rather than indecision. His instinctive response seemed unfair to the woman he’d once loved enough to marry, but he answered truthfully anyway. “I miss someone being there when I get home sometimes, but I don’t miss her.”–p. 20

He’s all about moving from case to case and avoiding any emotional entanglements. This means when he meets the heroine Natalie, he doesn’t know how to deal with his attraction for her other than to bury it. He reacts in a surly, often jealous manner. He was snippy to Natalie and I really didn’t get her attraction for him.

Natalie was no easy heroine though. She was abused as a child and had known since she was 17 that she might go blind. She threw up walls to keep people out and tried to enforce those walls by being cold.

A well-known photographer, Natalie isn’t dealing with her loss of sight very well. That is believable. But what bothered me about her is that she is a pushover. She calls herself staying alone to protect herself since one can only count on oneself. But she let a ditzy assistant in and let the woman stay her friend even though the flaky lady enabled the killer to get his hands on Natalie. She became friends with a lady officer during the short time the woman was on guard duty. And she fell even quicker for Mac. I think when faced with an eternity alone Natalie took the first guy to show interest.

The suspense plot line was average. For me the best parts of it involved Natalie being attacked. Since she’s blind she can’t see it coming, but I could. Otherwise it was no big thing. I don’t want to give it away, but it slowly unravels as the couple’s relationship builds.

Shades of Desire is book one in DePaul’s Special Investigations Groups Series. It introduces the reader to the group and hints at a possible future relationship between two secondary character. The book was okay. I won’t be recommending it to anyone, I wasn’t awed by it and won’t be re-reading it. Consider borrowing it from the library if you plan to read it.