Title: Sleep With the Lights On
Author: Maggie Shayne
Series: #1 in the Brown/de Luca series
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Harlequin Mira (October 1, 2013)
Synopsis: Through the Eyes of a Killer...
Rachel de Luca has found incredible success writing self-help books. But her own blindness and the fact that her troubled brother has gone missing have convinced her that positive thinking is nothing but bull.
Her cynicism wavers when a cornea transplant restores her sight. The new eyes seem to give her new life, until they prove too good to be true and she starts seeing terrifying visions of brutal murders - crimes she soon learns are all too real.
Detective Mason Brown's own brother recently died, leaving behind a horrific secret. In atonement, Mason donated his brother's organs, though he's kept the fact quiet. Now he wants to help Rachel find her brother, but when he discovers the shocking connection between her visions and his own brother, he suddenly has to do everything in his power to save her from a predator who is somehow still hunting from beyond the grave.
My Thoughts: Despite some rather unlikely elements within the book (unlikely even for a paranormal-ish book) this was a solid and entertaining thriller.
What I liked: The Characters. Sure that is pretty broad but I really did enjoy them all. I liked Rachel's snarkiness and the fact that she was a self help guru made it all even better. I appreciated Det. Brown's moral and ethical dilemma between his job and protecting his family. It made him real and very human. And let's not forget Myrtle. Rachel's rescue dog. Poor, blind, ugly Myrt. I loved her. She added a bit of lightheartedness to the book that really balanced it out.
I also enjoyed the creepy serial killer being tied to organ transplants. The way Shayne used this idea, which in itself is not a new concept, was a nice twist and added a touch of paranormal to the story. The added changing POVs was used well to keep the creepiness going. There is nothing like reading the inner thoughts of a murderer. Love it!
What I Didn't Like: The romance. It was very underdeveloped and as this was a romantic suspense novel I was expecting the romance to be in balance with the suspense. As a matter of fact the relationship between Rachel and Mason in it's entirety was a little off to me. I was able to just go with it because there are several more books in the series and a novella for their relationship to grow and I'm looking forward to their journey. However, Mason was pivotal in several parts of Rachel's new life. Her new sighted life and her new life without her brother, Tommy to be exact. The ease that Rachel accepted these things felt, well, off. I'm not sure I would have been able to start a relationship with a man who did the things Mason did. Mason is not a bad guy but you know the saying "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."
Quickly, just a couple more things that didn't work for me....The changing POVs. Granted, I used them as a plus which they were but in my eARC the changing POVs weren't clearly marked so it made me extremely confused when they abruptly changed. It took me a good paragraph to figure out whose thoughts I was reading throughout the book. Also the idea of the transplants, although good, seemed a little fictional. Well, duh, Christina. This is fiction after all! But seriously, a patient getting to see their donor's family was played out as being fairly easy in this book. Not so much in real life.
In a Nutshell: Even though there were some rather off putting things they really didn't diminish my enjoyment of this book. I've been in a horrible reading slump for 4 months and not only was I able to finish this book, I did it in a matter of a few days. Lately my reading has been so bad I've started dozens of book this year and have only finished 3. Yikes!