Note: we received an e-copy of this book directly from the author for review purposes.
I’m a huge fan of romantic suspense novels with a bit of a paranormal aspect thrown into the mix. I love when one of the leads has a psychic touch of some sort and I think that’s something that always makes the book more interesting. So when I saw that this book’s heroine had a very dark psychic ability I wanted to read it immediately.
Samantha Blair’s life has been very difficult. She is a powerful psychic capable of connecting with people on the deepest level. She can see when someone might be in danger, feel emotions and overall sense what others are feeling. She has been an outcast her whole life unable to establish enough confidence and trust to be herself around other people. Now her ability has taken a turn for the worse, she creates a sort of connection with a murder victim that allows her to experience in painful detail what that person is feeling, the link is so intense that she even sustains the same injuries and bleeds and feels the pain.
During the latest vision she sees some details about the murderer that might help catch him so she decides that enough is enough and goes to the police. She doesn’t get a warm welcome but on her way out she meets detective Brandt Sutherland. When Brandt, who is familiar with psychics and quite open-minded about it, hears about Samantha, he decides to give her a chance to prove herself. And thus between them begins a working relationship that soon develops into something more.
In almost every single book I have read where the heroine has some sort of gift or paranormal ability, the hero always starts skeptical and takes a long time to come to terms with his feelings and to accept the heroine. In this case it was the complete opposite. Brandt was fully open to the possibility that Sam might be telling the truth and decides to protect her from his not-so-open coworkers. Because he was just transferred to the city he was also a bit of an outsider and since he had previous experience working with psychics he was able to see this as a useful tool to solve the murders. He was such a likeable character, not quite an alpha male because he wasn’t possessive and overprotective, but very strong and confident, the type of guy you would want taking care of you.
I had more problems liking Sam. During the first half of the book I was annoyed by her constant self-pity and defeated attitude. She had such a painful past, not to mention that the visions were pure torture so I couldn’t blame her for feeling that way, but to me she came across as weak. I like my heroines to be strong no matter what, and one thing is to indulge in the occasional pity-party but at one point I was ready to get in there and put her out of her misery myself. Then the second part of the book happens and she decides to take charge of her psychic ability instead of letting it take charge of her. So by the end of the book she was in a total different place than where she started and I was grateful for that.
The story was interesting, it wasn’t suspenseful in the sense of finding who was the bad guy, instead, it was more about who would be next and would Sam be able to deal with her visions? Obviously the ending was predictable but these books always are, so I’m not complaining about that. One thing that bothered me was that we get several points of view that made no sense whatsoever. One of the cops gets a couple of scenes told from his POV and at first I thought he might be the bad guy or maybe he was being set up to be the sequel’s lead, but it was none of that and I couldn’t see how having his POV added to the plot or moved the story forward. There’s another cop’s POV that did have influence over the plot but it could have done without (just mentioning what he did, and why would have been enough, in my opinion), and then we get Brandt’s mother’s POV as well, and though cute, I also thought it was a bit of a filler used more as comedic relief than anything else.
I enjoyed the book. I found the story interesting, the characters likeable and the romance sweet. As much as I love the paranormal aspect I do think that it was a bit over the top, particularly when they visit the psychic that Brandt had previously worked with. That part lessened my enjoyment of the book a bit. But overall it was a fun read and I think that fans of romantic suspense will enjoy it. This is the first book of a series and I’m curious about the next installment since we get just a tiny snippet that left me wanting to know more.
Review by Brie
What she doesn’t want...is exactly what he needs.
Shunned and ridiculed all her life for something she can’t control, Samantha Blair hides her psychic abilities and lives on the fringes of society. Against her will, however, she’s tapped into a killer—or rather, his victims. Each woman’s murder, blow-by-blow, ravages her mind until their death releases her back to her body. Sam knows she must go to the authorities, but will the rugged, no-nonsense detective in charge of tracking down the killer believe her?
Detective Brandt Sutherland only trusts hard evidence, yet Sam’s visions offer clues he needs to catch a killer. The more he learns about her incredible abilities, however, the clearer it becomes that Sam’s visions have put her in the killer’s line of fire. Now Brandt must save her from something he cannot see or understand…and risk losing his heart in the process.
As danger and desire collide, passion raises the stakes in a game Sam and Brandt don’t dare lose.
Valley Publishing. June 16, 2011.