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As many of you who have read my previous reviews know I am a fan of novels that contain romance, not just straight romance story's but ones that actually have a plot. For this reason I love the romantic suspense genre. It gives you the romance but with lots of action. So when I found a book by Sandra Brown, an author who is supposed to be an excellent romantic suspense author, in a discount book shop I bought it with great expectations.
The back of the book made me believe that the story would be about a widow who is trying to prove her late husbands innocence when he is accused of a crime after his death. She then falls in love with the district attorney who is responsible for convicting her husband and you then have your usual star crossed lovers, predictable happy ending. I would have been happy with that. That would have been the reason why I read romantic suspense...a good plot, full of suspense and action with a happy ending.
So what did I get instead? Well, without giving away too much of the plot (and I use that word in the loosest way possible) the book is about a woman called Kari. She's a journalist and the widow of a man who was high up in city hall. When he dies she falls apart but then discovers she pregnant, which gives her some motivation to pull herself together.
Enter Hunter. Hunter is an ambitious district attorney who has uncovered some dirt on some of the people who are high up in the council, including Kari's dead husband. Things become complicated when he develops an attraction to Kari and then falls in love with her the first time they meet. To complicate things further she then has a miscarriage shortly before she has to go to court and ends up fainting in court.
Kari blames Hunter for everything that has gone wrong in her life and starts a media campaign against him that results in her being suspended and going away for a while to think about things and get herself back together. Hunter tracks her down but is Kari able to admit that she loves him? Even if she does can they make a life together?
The lack of plot was a big disappointment to me. There is a tiny bit of action at the end of the book that has no link at all to anything earlier in the book but does further the romantic storyline. I'm not criticising the action because if the whole book had been that action packed I probably would have enjoyed it a bit more but it seems like it was too little too late.
The main problem I think is the marketing of the book. If the book is going to be straight romance, no plot then make that clear on the synopsis and don't write anything on the cover about the author being one of the best writers of romantic suspense! There are probably people out there who love this book but I bet they didn't pick it up expecting a romantic suspense book.
I didn't even enjoy the romantic side of the plot. Hunter falls in love with Kari within minutes of meeting her and while I'm sure this was meant to be a romantic love at first sight thing to me it came accross as shallow and insincere. Throughout the book the contact between the two of them is actually quite minimal and I felt that there was no proper build up to the relationship and it was all very rushed.
The writing in the book really bored me at points. She just seems to go on and on and on about everything and still fails to bring anything to life. I got no feeling for the locations in this book even though she explained them in great depth and detail. I think it's possibly because she described them in such a detailed way, I ended up being bored and found it difficult to keep concentrating on her descriptions. There were points in this book where I would drift off into a daydream and then go back to reading and found it made no difference where on the page I started reading again because it all said the same thing.
I found it quite difficult to like the characters. I tried to make allowances for the fact that this book was set in the eighties and gender roles were different and more fixed back then but I found the hero in the book to be a complete male chauvinist. He left his first wife because she didn't want to leave a good job so that he could have a promotion. She sounds completely reasonable to me, why should she leave her job to further her husbands career at the expense of her own? But in the book you would think from the way it is written that what she did was as bad as cheating on him.
Kari isn't much better. At first you think, here's a strong, successful woman with a good career. Then you find out that she is only in her career because her husband allowed her to keep working until it was time for them to start a family.
In this way the pair are a good match. They're just not the sort of couple that I want to read about.
Again, there are some people who will enjoy this. This isn't necessarily a bad part of the book, it just isn't to my personal taste.
There was a secondary storyline involving two of Kari's colleagues but Brown only dedicates about five pages to it so you never get any kind of feel for those characters or any emotional attachment to their storyline. It just seems so pointless. My review is probably longer than their story!
This book was boring. There was no action, too much description and I didn't like the characters.