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Vulnerable by Mary Burton

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Contemporary Romance/ Mystery/Crime/ Netgalley/ Reviews/ Romantic Suspense 11th February 2016
Vulnerable by Mary BurtonVulnerable (Morgans of Nashville, #4) by Mary Burton
Series: Morgans of Nashville #4
Published by Pinnacle on March 29th 2016
Pages: 384
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two-stars

The Smallest Mistake
Three went in; one came out. For five years, no trace has been found of two high-school friends who went hiking in the woods near Nashville. The third teen, Amber Ryder, was discovered at the bottom of a ravine with a broken arm, head trauma--and zero memory of the horror that put her there.
Will Put You
What started as a cold case has become a fresh hell for forensic technician Georgia Morgan. Another woman's body is found in the woods, and it leads to the missing teens' remains. But while Georgia works with Amber to try and reawaken her memories, her gut tells her the worst is yet to come.
At A Killer's Mercy
Homicide Detective Jake Bishop can't be sure whether Amber is an expert manipulator or the killer's next target. Either way, he's determined to protect Georgia. Because the deeper she digs into the past, the deadlier the secrets that emerge, and a nightmare years in the making is about to come to a bloody, terrifying end…

A puzzling cold case is reopened when a woman’s body is found in the woods along with the remains of two teenagers who disappeared five years ago, forcing forensic technician Georgia Morgan to work with homicide detective Jake Bishop.

For everything plot related, Mary Burton runs a tight ship and plays the details of the case with ease. But while ‘Vulnerable’ is an excellent example of a police procedural, I would be cautious in labelling this book as romantic suspense when it’s more a crime novel with some (not entirely believable) romantic elements.

I wasn’t entirely convinced that Jake and Georgia was a credible pairing; there is a goodly amount of UST and banter, but given Jake’s unapologetic man-whore reputation and Georgia’s caution when it comes to men like him, their sudden fall into bed together (and apparently straight into a committed relationship from there) towards the 75% mark of the book seems like an obligatory scene rather than an inspired one. Much less the declaration of love by the end of the book which I absolutely couldn’t buy, especially when the leading couple in question spent as much time together as the other criminal suspect-couples did.

My personal dissatisfaction simply stems from what might be called mislabelling of this particular genre; the lack of development and depth for Jake and Georgia tanked my rating of the book only because I was on the lookout for a more solid gasp of a pairing that didn’t quite materialise convincingly. This story would however, be right on point for those who prefer a ‘purer form’ of the crime novel – where pairings and relationships take a backseat to plot-development.

two-stars

I’ll Never Let You Go by Mary Burton

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Contemporary Romance/ Mystery/Crime/ Netgalley/ Reviews/ Romantic Suspense 19th October 2015
I’ll Never Let You Go by Mary BurtonI'll Never Let You Go by Mary Burton
Series: Morgans of Nashville #3
Published by Zebra on October 27th 2015
Pages: 416
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two-stars

LOVE HURTS
He promised to kill her. One night four years ago, Leah Carson’s husband almost succeeded. Philip stabbed her twenty-three times before fleeing. The police are sure he’s dead. But fear won’t let Leah believe it.  AND SOMETIMES
It starts with little things. Missing keys. A flat tire. Mysterious flowers. All easily explained away if the pattern wasn’t so terrifyingly familiar. Leah has a new veterinary practice and a new life with no ties to her nightmare. But Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent Alex Morgan suspects something. And when another woman’s body is found, stabbed twenty-three times, Leah knows her past has found her.  IT KILLS
As Leah and Alex untangle the horrifying truth, he watches her, ready for the perfect moment. Until death—that was the vow they made. And a killer always keeps his word…

Leah Carson still runs, figuratively and physically from the scars that her husband has violently given her four years ago. But when she’d thought him dead, a similar stabbing that has happened to a good friend makes her rethink the stability of her new life she’s managed to dredge up after that dark period. Involved in this case is TBI agent Alex Morgan, whose blunt honesty and icy demeanour somehow cracks the protective walls that she has formed but together, they need to find the connection between the crime committed against her and the recent stabbing…before the killer returns for her.

I thought the story unnecessarily repetitive and inflated, the build-up slow and without much chemistry at all…at least not enough for this to be called romantic suspense, but rather a crime thriller with some romantic elements, if all that it takes to make the romantic suspense category is a sex scene and very little else in between. All I’ve learnt about Alex Morgan is his emotionless efficiency and about Leah’s defensiveness, but together, I never felt that they’d grown as a couple due to the glaring lack of interaction they have in the story. In all, ‘I’ll never let you go’ functions better as a true crime story without the romantic entanglements that seem to hinder rather than help the plot.

two-stars
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