Friday, January 20, 2012

Alone by Lisa Gardner

Synopsis: Alone ... Massachusetts State Trooper Bobby Dodge watches a tense hostage standoff unfold through the scope of his sniper rifle. Just across the street, in wealthy Back Bay, Boston, an armed man has barricaded himself with his wife and child. The man's finger tightens on the trigger and Dodge has only a split second to react ... and forever pay the consequences.

Alone ... that's where the nightmare began for cool, beautiful, and dangerously sexy Catherine Rose Gagnon. Twenty-five years ago, she was buried underground during a month-long nightmare of abduction and abuse. Now her husband has just been killed. Her father-in-law, the powerful Judge Gagnon, blames Catherine for his son's death ... and for the series of unexplained illnesses that have sent her own young son repeatedly to the hospital.

Alone ... a madman survived solitary confinement in a maximum-security prison where he'd done hard time for the most sadistic of crimes. Now he walks the streets a free man, invisible, anonymous ... and filled with an unquenchable rage for vengeance. What brings them together is a moment of violence -- but what connects them is a passion far deeper and much more dangerous. For a killer is loose who's woven such an intricate web of evil that no one is above suspicion, no one is beyond harm, and no one will see death coming until it has them cornered, helpless, and alone.

My Thoughts: Alone was quite good but honestly none of the characters were that likable. I could see how a fan of Gardner's would say that this series is not their favorite. Setting aside the fact that DD Warren was barely a secondary character even though her name is on the cover one would have to go on their thoughts about Bobby Dodge. He is kind of a cowboy who bucks the rules...more like thumbs his nose at them....and has things about himself he would rather not discuss so he lies about them. It was hard to warm up to him and don't even get me started on my thoughts of Catherine. All together this book is filled with broken characters making due with what life has handed them and not necessarily in a way that takes them along the high road. I could sympathize with the characters but not empathize. 

Despite the list of unlikable characters I found myself needing to get back to the book so I could read what the outcome would be, mostly to see if M√ľnchausen syndrome by proxy was why Catherine's child was so ill. I was quite satisfied with the way the book ended and will continue to read this series.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Edge of Sight by Roxanne St.. Claire

The killer she can't escape . . . — The heartbreak she can't forget . . . — The one man who can stop them both. —
When Samantha Fairchild witnesses a murder in the wine cellar of the restaurant where she works, the Harvard-bound law student becomes the next target of a professional assassin. Desperate for protection the authorities won't provide, Sam seeks help from Vivi Angelino, an investigative reporter who recruits her brother, Zach, to protect Samantha. A Special Forces vet with the scars to prove he's equally fearless and flawed, Zach takes the job, despite the fact that he and Sam once shared a lusty interlude that ended when he left for war and disappeared from her life. Now, as they crack a conspiracy that leads to Boston's darkest corners, Sam and Zach must face their fears, desires, and doubts, before a hired killer gets a second shot...

My Thoughts:
About picking this book up to begin with:

I was a bit hesitant to start this book for a couple different reasons. First the series is called The Guardian Angelinos which I thought was just silly. The second was because St. Claire is a new to me author. Her Bullet Catchers series has been recommended to me but this was the only book I could get my hands on by her at the time. Overall I'm glad I went ahead with it. The name is still silly but I'm comforted to know that as this is the name of the new PI/Security company started by the Angelino/Rossi family and even the men in the family think the name is silly.

The Characters:
Zach: A scarred hero with a pocket full of regrets turned out to be a pretty decent hero. Not super human and full of doubts about his abilities as a bodyguard at the beginning of the book he reluctantly agreed to play bodyguard for an ex-flame. His inner struggles with his placement within his family smacked of a pity party and his logic behind ending his 3 week sex-athon with Samantha seemed twisted at best. He exhibited some tender moments that I truly adored though. Zaccaria is certainly not in the Suzanne Brockmann hero category but he isn't a bad one for sure.

Samantha: A witness in a murder who can't rely on her memory to ID the killer ends up on the killer's hit list despite the inability to ID him. She doesn't come across as a great heroine. She is plagued with self doubt and has spent a lot of years pining away for the man who left her after she said she loved him. I'm talking years and years by the way. She fell in love with him after spending 3 weeks of having hot monkey sex with him, said I love You and was surprised when he went away and never called her again. For some reason I am more annoyed with her about this whole thing. It's just as much Zach's fault but I expect more from my heroines. She does end up proving to me she isn't a whiner but overall I'm pretty "meh" about her.

The Rossi family: I found them to be very interesting and actually looking forward to eventually reading their books. What's not to like about a large Italian family right?

The Storyline:
A reunited storyline is not my favorite plot devise but overall it wasn't a bad one in this case. The two had baggage they had to deal with but with everything else going on it was ok. There is a good whodunit within the book and the pace of the book was decent. There were car chases, close calls, near drownings, bullets flying and wolves in sheep's clothing. The book did feel a bit too long even though it wasn't even 400 pages. There were a few things that I think could have been left out that wouldn't have altered the story at all. One sex scene in particular felt a bit gratuitous and weird considering the action that happened before it.

Overall: A decent romantic suspense. The negatives are minimal and the positives totally out weigh them. I look forward to reading more by this author even in this series despite the silly name.