Dear Ms. Rose:
Geez, I must have my head in the sand/dirt/whatever to have only just now started reading you. Apparently you won the 2005 RITA Award for Best Romantic Suspense. Having read this book, I can see why. This is a taut, on the edge of your seat kind of suspense with a really well done romance that never seemed to be overtaken by the suspense.
Kristen Mayhew is Assistant State Attorney who prosecutes alot of sexual crimes. She’s got a high winning percentage and like most lawyers not named Gerry Spence, she loses them too. A kind person has taken it upon himself to avenge her losses by killing the criminals who have gotten off on technicalities. He sends her evidence of his crime and addresses letters to her that sympathize with her losses.
Complicating the matter is an overzealous and unscrupulous reporter and the gang members of some victims and the mob-like father of a victim both of whom believe that Kristen must know the killer. All three endanger Kristen’s life in one way or another.
Abe Reagan is a man who suffered the loss of his wife and baby when a disgruntled criminal shot his wife. He went deep undercover to participate in a drug sting operation and when they closed in on the ring, his cover was blown. He’s transferred to homicide to deal with a prickly new partner. He then meets a prosecutor who stirs emotions inside him that were long dead.
Kristen is shown as strong, but emotionally vulnerable who recognizes that Abe might be just the person that her life has needed for so long. She doesn’t fight the attraction but is scared that her past will make it impossible to be a fulfilling partner. Abe sees that Kristen has been hurt in the past and allows her to set the pace. Abe manages to come off strong and capable without being overbearing; sensitive without being a wimp.
The only reason I give this book a B+ is because I didn’t want to read it again when I closed the book but I also couldn’t put it down. I felt that the “message” was very one sided. I.e., all those who are thought of as criminals are guilty. All the defense attorneys were bad, etc. It could have been a much more thought provoking book if it addressed the downside of vigilantism, i.e., that the vigilante could make a mistake and punish an innocent.
For the reader, excerpt here. I would say that lovers of Sandra Brown and Mariah Stewart would like these books. The romance thread is stronger and the bedroom door is more open. Bookseller Jolie informed me that these books have also been re-released with a $4.99 price tag.