Friday, June 18, 2010

Review: Tall, Dark and Deadly by Lorie O'Clare

First in a brand-new series from award-winning author Lorie O’Clare—a sexy, thrilling novel about a female cop, an FBI agent, and a whole world of trouble in-between… 

Grace Jordan is leaving her dark past behind. Having traded in her big-city badge for life in the slow lane in Rockville, South Dakota, Grace and her daughter were hoping to make a fresh, clean start. But crime is at-large in small towns, too…and young women keep turning up brutally murdered. Before she knows it, Grace has got a serial murder case on her hands—and the infuriatingly seductive FBI agent Justin Reece by her side.

Grace did not come to Rockville looking for romance. But she can’t deny the chemistry between her and Justin—no matter how much she might want to. Meanwhile, things keep heating up as more women turn up dead, and a disturbing new pattern points to a killer who seems to be sending a message for Grace alone. But how could he know such secret, scandalous details about her life? Unless he happens to be someone from the past she would kill to forget…

I'd seem the cover for the final book in this series in an advertisement -- you should know by now that covers pull me in.  And since I have to begin a series with ... the first book ... I decided I'd give Ms. O'Clare a try.

Romantic suspense is a genre (subgenre?) I don't read much of.  I'm not sure why exactly; it's just not an area I gravitate toward.  So I'm not "qualified" to say whether a romantic suspense is good or not.  I thought this one had potential, until Grace's thoughts about Justin, whom she's practically just been introduced to, go way past professional.

The sex between Grace and Justin was hot -- Ms. O'Clare also writes for Ellora's Cave and Kensington, so I assumed it would be.  What bothered me was Grace's use of her tortured past to keep an emotional distance from Justin (not even allowing herself to consider she might really, really, really like this guy), but it is okay for her bang his brains out without taking said past into consideration, given their highly intense first sexual encounter.  Of course, Justin doesn't know about Grace's past at this point, so he can't be blamed for the things he does to her.

There were some other issues, mostly dealing with Grace's past and the fact that the murders she's investigating are clearly rattling her, which she keeps to herself.  I understand the need for privacy, especially where her past is concerned but, damn it, woman, tell someone what's going on!  You're supposed to be a very good cop!  There was also a question of a missing girl who seemingly remained missing.  Ms. O'Clare posted the missing paragraphs on her blog to explain what happened.

All in all, Tall, Dark and Deadly was a good book.  I'm sure to pick up the second to give Ms. O'Clare another chance.

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