Monday, April 19, 2010

Shattered Lives and Family Secrets

Since this was my read-n-ride challenge book last week that I didn’t finish in time, final totals are:
Pages 388; Time 4hr 50min; Cal 1940; Distance Peddled 99.93mi

♥♥♥ 1/2

From Goodreads:

The past is never over. It just gets dusty.
Lisa Grant was a rising star in a prestigious law firm in Lexington, Kentucky; that is, until the firm went bankrupt and she lost her job. With an ailing mother to care for, Lisa takes the first position she can find: research assistant to District Attorney Scott Buchanan. Scott is as disagreeable as he is sexy, and Lisa suspects the only reason she got the job is because of her privileged upbringing as the daughter of a wealthy federal judge.

While reviewing cold cases in the Fayette County courthouse, a particularly thick manila envelope draws Lisa's attention. The details of the case are engrossing: An entire family-father, mother, and two children-disappeared more than twenty-eight years ago. Except that's not all: The mother in the photo could have been Lisa's twin, and the toddler in the picture bears an uncanny resemblance to Lisa herself. Before Lisa can learn more about her past, a series of catastrophes strike close to home. Lisa confides in Scott, and their relationship develops into something completely different. Together Lisa and Scott unravel a terrifying web of criminal connections that could destroy the very fabric of Lisa's life-if she lives long enough, that is.

For My Thoughts

I’ve been reading Karen Robards for at least 20 years and she’s always been an auto-buy author for me. You can count on her to deliver a great romantic suspense read.

Shattered delivered on both counts, but not without a few issues.

One issue I have to mention right up front (doesn’t really have anything to do with the storyline). Both the author’s website and Goodreads list the heroine’s name as Lisa Shewmaker when in fact her name in the book is Lisa Grant. How does that happen?

First comes romance:

Scott and Lisa have history in spades. Lisa has been in love with Scott ever since she was a teenager, a spoiled, rich little heiress, prancing around in her tight clothes and skimpy bathing suits trying to attract the attention of the cute, slightly older, hired help. Scott knows trouble (and jailbait) when he sees it and manages to keep his teenage hormones in check and resist the little princess.

Fast forward ten years and a reversal of fortune has brought a jobless Lisa back to the home she grew up in to care for her ailing mother. And right back into Scott’s life. Now he’s the Boss, a respected District Attorney and she’s come to him begging for a job.

You can sense right from page 3 of the 1st chapter that there is going to be some serious fireworks between these two when Scott threatens to fire Lisa for being late for work one day. It doesn’t help that Scott just happens to witness Lisa being dropped off by her boyfriend or the extended lip lock in the parking lot before “loverboy” drives away. Jealous much?

The sexual tension and chemistry between them is hot, unfortunately Scott has a strict policy against dating co-workers, but you know what they say about rules being made to be broken? Hey he did hold out for over half the book, which by the way was just too long in my opinion, but it kept me reading waiting for the payoff.

Then comes suspense:

The beginning flashback chapter set the stage for the action that was to come. It doesn’t take long to figure out where the story is headed and the title Shattered is a dead giveaway. Lisa was like a cat with nine lives as more than one attempt was made on her life as she tried to solve a decades old cold case. Even though I was sure about the ending, Robards did throw a few wrinkles in before reaching the final conclusion that I didn’t see coming so the ending was not as obvious as I thought it was going to be.

Speaking of the ending, it was way, way, way to rushed. It was almost as if the author realized she’d reached her word count and wanted to tie everything up in a nice neat little bow in the last 10 pages. All the questions got answered, but I really felt cheated.

Overall it was a good, solid read.

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