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.


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