Thursday, July 7, 2011

By: Kara Conrad

He lurks in the shadows, waiting and watching . . . And once he has you, all you can do is. . .


Megan Flynn thought she was falling in love. Cole Williams wasn't just handsome and passionate, he was one of the good guys. Or so she thought, until he arrested her brother-the only family she has left-for a murder she knows he couldn't have possibly committed. Now, with her heart broken and her brother's life hanging in the balance, Megan will risk everything to prove his innocence. Even if that means throwing herself into the path of a sadistic killer with a hauntingly familiar MO.

Seattle Detective Cole Williams had given up on making Megan see reason where her brother is concerned. But when she insinuates herself into the most shockingly brutal case Cole has ever worked, he can't stand idly by. Plunged into a secret world where the city's elite indulge their darkest desires, Cole will do whatever it takes to bring down a madman who has made Megan his most coveted prey.

I feel an overwhelming need to write an amazing write up of this book because the book itself is so incredible. Unfortunately, I am not an amazing writer, so just let me say: Read. This. Book. So many times, I read the back blurb of a book, and am so excited to read it because it sounds so great, only to find by the end of the book (and sometimes before then) that the book is merely 'ok'. THIS IS NOT THAT BOOK.

This is a book that contains all the elements so many of us find essential to an amazing book. First, there is the 'hot-ness' factor. Believe me when I say, this book has that.

"Megan was treated to a glimpse of a wide, defined chest and rippling six-pack dusted with fine dark hair before he settled himself on top of her. She let out an 'ooh' at the first brush of skin on skin, a little surprised not to see sparks flying from where their bodies touched." See? HOT. (I laughed when I reread my notes, as later in this scene, I noted, "Oops. Hotness interrupted.") LOL! Fortunately for all of us it's interrupted only temporarily.

Secondly, this book has strong, emotional scenes. In fact, I barely made it through the first several pages without tearing up. I'm not giving a quote here because one short scene cannot do justice to the emotional impact of the first chapter or so of this book. Those of you who have already read the book know I am talking about the initial scenes with Megan and her brother, Sean.

Next, this book has a villain that will keep you gasping. In fact, one of my notes simply says 'evil, evil, evil!'
"Open your eyes," he ordered. They snapped open at the first bite of the blade. She tried in vain to shrink away. "You watch," he said..."

This book has many suspenseful moments. For me, being a visual person, many, many scenes ran like a movie through my mind. In fact, at one point I found myself talking loudly to the characters (yes, I'm that person in the theater who sometimes forgets it's 'just a movie' and feels the need to help the characters out.)

Though I'd label this book as dark and emotional, there are also a few lighter moments as well. When Sean asks to speak to Cole alone, the guard is slow to allow it. Megan's response?

"He won't kill him." Then she turns to her brother and snaps, "You better not kill him." Again, I see that like a movie scene. Well, and then there's 'bigblackasses-dot-com' LOL!

Of course, there is plenty of romance. For instance, Cole describes himself as "The luckiest man on the planet, and don't you think for a second that I don't know it." I know, right? Makes you want to say 'Aaaaawwwww.'

Lastly this book is full of characters that are much more than the stereotypical cardboard cutouts we sometimes find in those merely 'eh' books. From the main characters to secondary but crucial players, Jami creates characters readers feel they know, but want to get to know better. And lucky, for us, Jami is giving us that very thing! The next book in this series is due out in October. I, for one, CANNOT. WAIT.

Jami has been great enough to offer up an ARC of the next book Hide from Evil. One commenter will get that! You'll still have to wait, but not as long as the rest of us. I'm jealous already!

You can find out more about all of Jami’s books at her website

A HUGE thank you to Jami, for the giveaway, and for agreeing to drop by today. We are, to say the least, thrilled.

Now for the recipes, a mainstay of this book club. Since you all know my favorite and most reliable recipe is a drive to Sonic, I’ve borrowed a recipe from Ronlyn. Ok. Not borrowed. Stole. I stole it. Didn’t even ask her first. I chose this one because it is a salmon dish, something Megan and Cole eat before all the action kicks in!

Maple Glazed Salmon
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about one inch thick)
Cooking spray

Preheat broiler
Combine first four ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk
Place salmon, skin side down, on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Brush with maple mixture. Broil 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, brushing with maple mixture after 5 minutes and again after 10 minutes.
*(A wise, cooking birdie advised to double the glaze.)*