Sunday, March 31, 2013

REVIEW: Scream For Me by Karen Rose

Title: Scream for Me (Daniel Vartanian #2)
Author: Karen Rose
Publisher: Grand Central
Publication Date: May, 2008
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Description: Special Agent Daniel Vartanian has sworn to find the perpetrator of multiple killings that mimic a 13-year-old murder linked to a collection of photographs that belonged to his brother, Simon, the ruthless serial killer who met his demise in DIE FOR ME. Daniel is certain that someone even more depraved than his brother committed these crimes, and he's determined to bring the current murderer to justice and solve the mysterious crime from years ago.

With only a handful of images as a lead, Daniel's search will lead him back through the dark past of his own family, and into the realm of a mind more sinister than he could ever imagine. But his quest will also draw him to Alex Fallon, a beautiful nurse whose troubled past reflects his own. As Daniel becomes attached to Alex, he discovers that she is also the object of the obsessed murderer. Soon, he will not only be racing to discover the identity of this macabre criminal, but also to save the life of the woman he has begun to love.

My Thoughts: If you are a fan of Karen Rose, then you already know all of her romantic suspense books are connected, character wise. I really enjoy this aspect of her books because I am one of those readers that like to feel a bond with the characters and having various past characters make an appearance in future books gives me a warm fuzzy. I first met Daniel Vartanian last year when I read Die For Me. As stated in that review, I didn’t feel much of a connection to him at that time but I also knew that would change when I started this book and I was not disappointed.

Scream For Me picks up fairly soon after the last book ends. Special Agent Daniel Vartanian has returned to Georgia and is trying to piece together the horror depicted in his brother Simon’s photographs and come to terms with the fact that his brother was a monster. Daniel receives a shock when he learns that one of the women in the photographs was murdered thirteen years ago and an even bigger shock when he meets her identical twin, Alex. Alex and Daniel begin to work together to find Alex’s step-sister, Bailey, a recovering drug addict who has gone missing and has left behind a young daughter. After an attempt is made on Alex’s life, they realize both cases are connected. Danger escalates as they race against the clock trying to figure out who was behind the crimes thirteen years ago and how they are connected to the murders happening now.

The villains are not easily identified in this story and between all of the bad guys and good guys, I had a hard time keeping everybody straight. In addition, there is a lot of back-story to comprehend. Alex’s entire past history plays front and center throughout the entire story and is quite detailed and sometimes complicated. My mistake with this book was choosing the audio book instead of another format. I had to keep backtracking to refresh my memory as to which characters were who and what their roles were. There are just too many details that need to be processed thoroughly. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of the audio format for this book.

I really liked Daniel and Alex. On the surface, they are both very strong people who have made something of their lives and are successful. You would never know from looking at them that they each carry a very heavy load of emotional baggage from their pasts. It’s logical that they would be drawn to one another so quickly and with such intense passion. I liked that in spite of the horrors of their painful past histories, they are able to open their hearts and care about others.

I am looking forward to reading the third book as it centers on Daniel’s sister, Susannah. I found her to be a very interesting character that I am extremely curious about. I expect it will pick up where this one ends and will pack quite a punch of its own, as well.

My final verdict: Scream For Me is a very good book that continues the story that began with Die For Me and will conclude with Kill For Me. I highly recommend this book if you like character driven books packed full of intense suspense, action, intrigue and passion that keep you in anticipation with each chapter. Don’t start here, however. Give yourself a better treat and read all of Karen Rose’s suspense novels, starting with Don’t Tell. You will be glad you did.

New Book Ratings

After some long and conflicted thought, I realized my numerical rating system of 1-10 is redundant and boring. Instead, I am going to go to a five point rating system as shown here:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

REVIEW: Awaken The Highland Warrior by Anita Clenney

Title: Awaken the Highland Warrior (Connor Clan #1)
Author: Anita Clenney
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: May, 2011
Genre: Time Travel Romance
Rating: 6/10

Description: A man from another time...

Faelan is from an ancient clan of Scottish Highland warriors, charged with shielding humanity from demonic forces. Betrayed and locked in a time vault, he has been sleeping for nearly two centuries when spunky historian Bree Kirkland inadvertently wakes him. She's more fearsome than the demon trying to kill him, and if he's not careful, she'll uncover the secrets his clan has bled and died to protect...

Could be the treasure she's been seeking all her life...

When Bree inherits an old treasure map, she discovers a warrior buried in her backyard. But the warrior isn't dead. Bree shocks Faelan with her modern dress and her boldness, and he infuriates Bree every time he tries to protect her.

With demons suddenly on the move, Bree discovers that Faelan's duty as protector is in his blood, and that her part in this fight was destined before she was born. But nothing is ever what it seems...

My Thoughts: In the romance genre, time travel and paranormal themes rate very high for me and I usually can't get enough of them. I liked this story but unfortunately it took way too long to read and too many distractions pulling me out of the story. When that happens, I give up on the story and move on. Since it took me a month to get this book read, I probably should have done that. Instead, I stuck with it and ended up enjoying the story for the most part.

I liked Bree and Faelan but didn't LOVE them. I actually liked Ronan more and wished he had made an appearance in the story sooner. Hopefully he will get his own story. I really liked Conall too.

There were several "I can't believe she did that" moments with Bree that put her safety at risk. I can certainly see why Faelan felt like she needed a protector because she had no difficulty putting herself in danger on her own! Personally, I felt that she needed a babysitter. I was quite surprised she didn't suffer more serious injury than the few bruises and scrapes she did.

There were too many of the "big misunderstandings" between Bree and Faelan for my liking. Bree assumes he doesn't want her and is sleeping with someone else so she misunderstands why Faelan wants her to leave and Faelan doesn't do a very good job of explaining why either. Faelan jumps to the mother of wrong conclusions when he sees what he assumes is Bree in bed with the demon he has been trying to destroy and assumes Bree is a half-ling (half demon and half human) and he's ready to plan her demise as well until he is reminded that demons don't deal in truth.

The nice thing about this book is the introduction of many of the other warriors in Faelan's clan that may have their own story later on in this series. So, while I wasn't completely in love with this book or the characters, I liked the story and am intrigued in this series and what happens next.


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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at Happy Reading! :o)