More Suspense than Romance


Next of Kin – Sharon Sala

3 stars



I’m generally a big Sharon Sala fan but this one was just okay for me. I think the main reason is that it was mostly a suspense story. I know this will be sold in the romance section but the romance here was pretty lame. The set up was great, young lovers separated by her parents when she was 17 and he was 25.  Eight years is not that big of a deal when the younger member is not a teenager, but that age difference is a little squiky when the girl is so young.   At first you think that they have been separated because her parents found out they were sleeping together and that would have been a valid reason. But come to find out it wasn’t about that at all but rather something her mother did that they were moving away from. So her parents destroying all their attempts to keep in touch was a bit weird.  They each think the other didn’t want to stay together. So they have ten years of anger at each other that they barely address when they get back together. They basically just fall into each others arms and everything is wonderful. I think they needed to talk more about stuff. For example I myself wondered if either of them had had a relationship in the intervening years. Surely they did too? They didn’t talk about anything like this. So the romance just wasn’t believable or particularly gripping.

There was a much better development to the suspense side of the story. We spent a lot of time in the POV of both the villain and the villain’s son. I was very curious to see more of the villain’s son and would in fact like to see him turned around and maybe become the hero of a further book. The suspense element was pretty well done although I did wonder at  the ease with which the heroine’s cousins, whom she hadn’t seen in 10 years, were willing to kill the attackers instead of merely disabling them and tying them up etc. After all, this is basically murder. How did they know that all of the guys were evil? I mean sure, the reader did, but the characters didn’t. The lead attacker might have just told them they were going up the mountain to scare someone for example. The cousins didn’t know whether or not they were merely some Joe off the street hired to provide muscle and not knowing what was going on. And then there didn’t seem to be any repercussions. And we all know that the police don’t just let you kill people because you think they’re evil and might be attacking you.

I’ll keep reading Sharon Sala but I wish she would go back to putting more thought into the romance portion of her books.

I received this as an arc from NetGalley.


Missed the Mark for Me

White Dawn by Susan Edwards

1 Star

I wanted to like this better. The story idea was interesting but the writing was very flat and repetitive. The characters spent pages and pages and pages in introspection going over and over the same things especially towards the end. The sex scenes dragged on and were pages too long. There were too many of them also. They really added nothing to the story. They weren’t integral to the plot. On the whole the writing felt as if the author was trying too hard.

In addition to the pedestrian writing the plot was barely there and wandered aimlessly around and what there was did not at all feel true to the social mores of the times. I really couldn’t tell the book was taking place in 1810. The heroine spent a lot of time sleeping with a couple of guys at the drop of a hat. Then when she got knocked up she didn’t want to marry the guy that asked her. Granted she had a reason but it would have been more realistic at the time to be petrified of being an unwed mother to a half breed baby. Women knew that they could not survive alone very well if at all without a man, especially at that time and on the frontier. She would more likely have married the man without question and dealt with whatever situation resulted within the marriage. I think many people tend to forget just how recently that attitude has changed. And how recently it’s been realistically viable that an unmarried woman could make it on her own especially an unwed mother. When I read historical fiction it isn’t enough to say he’s a mountain man and that she’s handsewing a dress to make it realistically historical.

Then there was the whole bit of the plot with the hero’s cousin who was such a loser and wanted everything handed to him on a silver platter and was determined to have the heroine. This was a BIG deal for a large portion of the book. The hero and heroine came up with this convoluted plot to sneak away from him and the bad guy set out in hot pursuit and was never seen from again until the epilogue where it was stated that they were getting along better with him.  That was just totally dropping the ball on the part of the author.

I wish I could have rated this higher but I just didn’t enjoy it.

This book was provided for me free for review from NetGalley.

Nicely Done Holiday Romance

One Perfect Night by Rachael Johns

3 Stars


Peppa works for Cameron as a voice talent. She reads audio books which I thought was an interesting choice. When she fills in as children’s entertainment at the office party, Cameron notices her unaware that she works for him while Peppa thinks he knows who she is. As repayment for denting his Lamborghini he takes her to his family’s holiday party while she is still in her elf costume. Cameron wants someone to go with him so he’ll appear to be moving on from his wife’s death and so his family will stop fussing with him over it. They end up in the sack but Cameron is not ready to move on and tries to stop seeing her once he figures out that she works for him.

Nice story about a widower learning to love again. The heroine is a bit ditsy which I like. Nicely written and the whole thing makes sense.


I received this free from NetGalley for review.