- File Size: 2919 KB
- Print Length: 433 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 15, 2017)
- Publication Date: August 15, 2017
- Sold by: Hachette Book Group
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01NCI8NS1
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,129 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Hachette Book Group
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About the Author
"Brown's story mixes thrills with mystery and a spicy sex scene or two. She has a talent for making the reader think that too much information has been revealed early in the story, eliminating any possibility for suspense, but the conspiracy is so multilayered, the reveal is a tiny part of the overall picture. Strong characters and an emotional narrative make this one of Brown's best books in years."―Associated Press
"When it comes to telling stories that are suspenseful, complex and romantic, no one does it better than Brown...Looking for excitement, thrills and passion? Then this is just the book for you!"―Romantic Times (4 1/2 stars, Top Pick)
"Brown ticks off the boxes that elevate her books to the bestseller lists in this sexy romantic thriller set in Texas...murder, intrigue, betrayal, and a series of dark revelations...witty, pitch-perfect dialogue and fluid writing. A master of her genre, Brown knows how to please her most ardent readers."―Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
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That being said, and get ready to boo me, this was not one of her best books. And of course that's subjective. Brown's storytelling is, as always, remarkable. I could see the characters and feel their emotions. But I wasn't invested in the story as I normally would be.
Some of the word choices felt dated and/or strange for the specific characters. For instance, every single character referred to the bathroom as the "powder room". Maybe it's a regional thing, but I've never heard anyone under 70 use that term. It seemed particularly odd coming from cops and a rugged man in his thirties. Also, criminals who broke into a certain place were referred to as "intruders". Again, maybe it's a regional thing, but no one I know would tell me they had "intruders" in their home.
Another problem area for me came with the lack of romance and abundance of sex. Quite a bit of and quite graphic sex, in fact. I missed the softness of the relationship. The characters' actions and dialogue felt more like edgy erotica than romance.
The pace is steady, and the plot takes us to some interesting places with a couple interesting twists. But the reasoning behind it all, for me, felt weak. I can't explain why without giving spoilers.
Despite my complaining, the story held my interest and I enjoyed spending time with the characters. And, as I said, my complaints are specific to me. If you're in the mood for steamy suspense, give this one a try.
*I was provided with an advance ebook copy by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.*
Twenty-five years ago, the nation was rocked by the tragic bombing of a prominent Dallas hotel. The culprit confessed and the case was quickly closed, but for John Trapper, the repercussions had only begun. As one of the few survivors of that event, his father, Major Franklin Trapper, had had his life transformed by fame. As a hero, The Major used his influence for the good of the people, but as John’s father, it was as if he had ceased to exist. The destruction of the Pegasus Hotel plagued John’s adult life, poisoning every ounce of happiness he managed to gain. Finally, tension and resentment built to a crescendo, resulting in the estrangement of father and son.
Now, new information about that fateful day has come to light in the form of Kerra Bailey. A journalist, she’s determined to interview the reclusive Major, and when all other avenues are exhausted, she asks John to provide her with an opportunity. When he denies her, she plays her trump card—and he decides he simply cannot resist watching his father’s face when she introduces herself. They expect the media to go into a frenzy at the revelation…but they don’t expect to make someone nervous enough to want them dead. Soon they're dodging bullets and realize they have to work together to find the real mastermind behind the bombing…before he silences his loose ends forever.
Sorry if that synopsis is crappy, I’m trying really hard not to spoil anything.
I’m always in awe of Sandra Brown’s talent when I read her work. She writes with an unwavering bluntness, with no euphemisms to soften reality and protect the genteel, while not going so far as to alienate the reader with discomposure and unease. She writes at once dark violence and tender romance. Simple sentences with layers of depth. It’s a difficult balance, but she masters it—as well as those chapter-ending cliff hangers she’s so good at.
This was a great book! I have a few minor issues with it, but overall I very much enjoyed it. Brown’s mysteries are always an intriguing maze; I try to find the correct path but come up against false leads that make me look closer. Even when I thought I had it figured out, I wasn’t quite one hundred percent sure until the veil dropped, and Brown continued to surprise me. Honestly, it doesn’t disappoint me that it was so easy to guess the culprit, because he really didn’t seem to matter all that much. Dealing with him was kind of just a matter of wrapping up the plot.
I really sympathized with the main characters. I cared about them, and I was glad things worked out for them—mostly—but I can’t say I’d want to be friends with them. I don’t care how sexy John Trapper was, or that deep—very deep—down he was a good man and capable of great, unconditional love. He was an epic jerk, and didn’t seem to care that he was (which, by definition, is accurate). Sure, he was motivated by love, but he was ashamed of it. And I wouldn’t call him honorable. He made for a fantastic bad-boy hero and had a complete arc, but at times I was hard-pressed to tolerate his short fuse and kiss-my-butt attitude. His personality was absolutely consistent, though, so kudos to Brown. Kerra… I liked Kerra, she was a good, strong heroine, but I don’t feel that we got much insight into her thoughts. We skimmed the surface, but this was primarily John’s story, and I don’t think I got to know Kerra well enough.
One thing that disappointed me was the lack of action. There were exciting scenes, but nothing that jump-started my adrenaline. This is going to sound weird, but I love when either the hero or heroine gets shot or otherwise grievously injured, because I’m sick in the head and love the heart-wrenching drama. I waited and waited for something like that to happen, but it never did, and I was bummed. Relative, another issue I had was with all the dialogue, especially toward the end. There was a lot of talk and not enough action. Usually I space out through long paragraphs of description or exposition, but this time I spaced out during the long conversations.
As much as I want to avoid spoilers, I feel compelled to call horse doo-doo on the child’s identity remaining secret for a quarter century. If that event/photograph was as big a deal as Brown made it out to be, there would have been people who wouldn’t stop investigating until they ferreted out the truth, most likely wanting to claim fifteen minutes of fame. And I just have a hard time buying that it would have been difficult to figure out. Wouldn’t it be a process of elimination to figure out who the child could be, and a matter of fact-checking to make an educated guess? A simple name change and sealed adoption records aren’t huge hurdles, if they were hurdles at all. But whatevs, it made for great fiction.
Overall, I might not be rereading this novel like I do others of Brown’s (ones where there are dramatic grievous injuries, mostly), but I did enjoy it and will recommend it to friends.
Top international reviews
Anita Pincas, UK.
I have read all of her books and every one has kept me unable to put it down. I used to look foward to going to Florida on holiday just to get her next book.