Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-07-05
- Reviewer: Staff
Barton (Dead by Midnight) delivers a solid mix of romance and terror in her latest thriller. When the bodies of kidnapped women are discovered with long-dead babies in their arms, J.D. Cass of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation gets called in. Therapist Audrey Sherrod, a counselor for families of the victims, has dark secrets in her own family's past. The two despise each other at first, but are slowly brought together when Audrey befriends J.D.'s rebellious teenage daughter, Zoe. Barton paces the romance nicely, intertwining it with the mystery and an ever-growing list of suspects. Occasional sloppy prose hurts the flow of the book, but readers willing to overlook this will enjoy the action sequences and the leads' antagonistic attraction as well as the assorted twists in the murder case. (Sept.)
Heat of the moment
With summer winding down and the school year gearing up, change is in the air—so check out what’s new in the world of romance.
Susan Andersen sets the pages steaming in her contemporary romance, Burning Up. Macy O’James left Sugarville, Washington, with little more than a bad-girl reputation, but returns a decade later for just a few weeks. Back in the family boardinghouse, Macy must confront some rude townspeople as well as her unwanted attraction to fire chief Gabriel Donovan. Macy’s usual method of handling the attention—dressing in sexy costumes sure to garner her even more notice—isn’t working because Gabe wants her out of her clothes . . . and he’s getting under her skin. There, he discovers the vulnerable heart she’s desperate to protect. Gabe was only looking for a good time with the bad girl, but the good times are great, and the only way in which Macy is “bad” is how badly he’s going to miss her when she leaves for L.A. Can these two face down their doubts about lasting love? Likable characters, plenty of sizzle and a charming secondary romance about an unlikely pair falling in love all come together in a winning story.
A complex plot and creepy crime scenes make Beverly Barton’s Don’t Cry a shivery read. Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agent J.D. Cass is called when a woman who went missing days before is found murdered—and holding the much-older skeleton of a toddler. Could the child be one of those kidnapped during the “Baby Blue” spree of abductions 25 years before? When another woman goes missing, J.D.’s problems only intensify and his personal life gets more complicated. The daughter he just learned he fathered recently moved in with him, and the rebellious teen has taken a liking to a beautiful family counselor, Audrey Sherrod, whose half-brother is one of the toddlers presumed to have been kidnapped decades ago. As Audrey and the girl get closer, J.D. also gets closer to Audrey—and to learning the identity of the murderer who may have close ties to her. As reluctant as the counselor and the investigator are to start something with each other, there is no ignoring the attraction, even as a killer comes closer. Tight twists and hairpin turns will keep readers racing through the pages.
J.K. Beck builds a dark, compelling world in When Blood Calls, the first in a paranormal trilogy. Prosecutor Sara Constantine celebrates a courtroom win by bringing home a handsome stranger. The next morning she realizes she might be in danger of falling in love with the man—and then she discovers he’s no man at all. When Sara is promoted to a new division, she learns there is a Shadow world of beings that must abide by another set of rules. Luke is one of those beings—a vampire—and her first task is to try him for murder. Luke feels the same intense attraction to Sara, but knows that even beyond his upcoming trial there is trouble ahead: She’s human, he’s not; she believes in the rule of law and he hunts down evil on his own; they’re both in danger of killers from their pasts. Sexy, thrilling and teeming with weird creatures and unexpected alliances, this story will have readers eager for the next installment.