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Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Monday, April 28, 2014
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Another winning visit to Conard County. At the end of Killer's Prey some cows were found that had been killed by a deadly toxin. The challenge now is to find out if it was an isolated incident or if there is more of it out there, and also to see how much contamination there is. Allison is a local chemistry professor with some hazmat training. She has been asked by the state to collect soil and water samples for testing and to see if she finds any more dead animals. Her new neighbor, Jerrod, is concerned for her safety and appoints himself her protector. As a former special forces soldier, he has the skills to keep her safe and his instincts tell him that there is something going on out there in the woods. Allison isn't so sure she's in danger out there, but she can feel a whole different threat to her peace - her attraction to Jerrod.
Both the romance and the suspense were great. Allison's first encounter with Jerrod wasn't the most pleasant. She said hello to him when he arrived next door and he pretty much ignored her until she slipped on the ice. He came to check on her, helped her up, then walked away. Jerrod is ex-special forces, medically retired, and is having a rough time adapting to civilian life. Most of his adult life is classified so it's hard for him to talk to people because he can't tell them much about himself. He feels bad about the way he treated Allison, so he goes over to apologize. When he finds out that she's headed to the woods alone, he offers to go along to help. It's while they are out there that he feels someone watching them and gets concerned for Allison's safety, a concern that seems warranted when her car is vandalized. He worries that the person who poisoned the cows could hurt Allison to keep from being discovered.
Jerrod difficulties adjusting to civilian life have brought him to Conard County, a place he had heard about from a fellow soldier. The wide open spaces and peace sound like just what he needs to try to get a handle on what he wants to do with his future. He struggles with trying to talk to Allison because he is so unaccustomed to talking about himself, but there's something about her that makes him want to try. He is also very sensitive to Allison's moods. I loved the way he talked to her about her former boyfriend's shortcomings and the way he showed her how wonderful she really is.
There are so many differences between Allison and Jerrod that at first it's hard to see how they'll ever get together. I loved seeing them get to know each other. Allison feels like she should be more cautious around him, but her instincts tell her that she can trust him. Her attraction to him is getting stronger but she has some real confidence issues when it comes to intimacy thanks to her former boyfriend. I loved seeing the way that Jerrod handles her fears. I also enjoyed the realism of the way that they occasionally said something that doesn't go over well, not because they're trying to hurt the other person but because their worlds are so different.
As the mystery intensified I really liked seeing characters from previous books, such as Jake and Gage, and how they all worked together to answer the questions. There was a very interesting twist to the identity of the person behind the attacks. I had begun to suspect the truth, though I ended up being slightly off on my conclusion. It definitely increased the tension as the story built to the climax. There was also tension between Jerrod and Allison as their two worlds collided. Allison made a couple decisions that could have ended badly but worked out well in the end.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Friday, April 25, 2014
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
I liked Lily. She's independent, resourceful, yet also has a soft heart once she opens it up. Her trip through the maze also showed a somewhat reckless side to her personality. Her instincts were telling her not to go into it, but she ignored them. When she came out in 1654 she was very disoriented and was pretty much out of it when Ewen picked her up. When she regained consciousness at the castle she was sure that she had fallen in with a bunch of crackpot reenactors, even after the truth was explained to her. She tried running off to find her way back to civilization and ended up captured by some English soldiers. By the time Ewen rescued her again, she accepted that the impossible had happened and that she was stuck there for the time being. Since she needs to earn her keep, Ewen puts her to work teaching his ten year old son who is quite a handful. It takes some work, but she soon has the boy behaving fairly well and interested in learning what she has to teach. She's pretty adaptable and is soon handling things pretty well. The arrival of a woman who is determined to marry Ewen by fair means or foul creates some real problems for Lily. By this time she has realized that she is falling in love with Ewen. She senses that Rowena is trouble and is kept on her toes trying to protect herself and Ewen's son. The final showdown is pretty intense with Lily needing to protect Ewen's son, and then also protect herself when she's attacked by a rival clansman. While that turned out well overall, there was also some sadness that came along with it.
Ewen is young to be laird of his clan, but he was well trained for it. The Cromwellian army has been wiping out groups of highlanders and Ewen is trying to find a way to keep his clan at peace. Accepting a bribe from General Monk and swearing allegiance to England is not the way he plans to do it. I loved seeing him stand up to the general, who did not measure up well compared to Ewen. It is on the way home from that meeting that he finds Lily. There's something about her that appeals to him from the moment he met her. She is very different from any woman he has ever met, and he finds himself really liking those differences. He's attracted to her but has no intention of ever marrying again. His wife had been a real stinker, not faithful, and with a nasty personality. She died in childbirth. Ewen has his son and feels no need for other children. He's not overly surprised at her story of time travel, as his foster brother had also come from another time. He does know that he needs to keep that particular information from others who would not understand. I loved the way that Lily tests his self control. It shows that his heart is getting involved even though he didn't want it to. It was great fun to see those feelings develop and his various ways of trying to fight it. He did seem a bit oblivious to Rowena's machinations, at least until she put his son in danger. I liked his growing appreciation for Lily's abilities and the trust he put in her when he left for the battle. I loved the ending and the way he gave Lily the choice of whether to stay or go, though he made sure to let her know that he wanted her to stay. I liked the epilogue, with just enough information to see they're on their way to their happy ever after.
Though the book can't really compare to Gabaldon (nobody can), Kurland, Moning or Chapman, I found it a very enjoyable book to read.