Series: Blue-Link

Dusk by Maureen A. Miller

Dusk by Maureen A. MillerDusk by Maureen A. Miller
Series: Blue-Link #3
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on June 14th 2016
Pages: 202
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four-stars

As a young girl, Amanda Newton witnessed the brutal murder of her parents. As an adult she is targeted by their murderer. Beautiful. Reserved. Mysterious. Amanda Newton, the CEO of BLUE-LINK, epitomizes control with her adept handling of the global company. But that control is threatened with a series of attacks against her. Ray Gordon, a former Navy SEAL is looking to open his own security firm. One more contracting job with BLUE-LINK would complete the funding. When he is hired to protect Amanda Newton, the Ice Queen herself, he never bargained on falling for her. Amanda has something her attacker wants. He has waited over twenty years to claim it, and he will destroy anyone close to her to get it. ...but he's met his match in Ray Gordon

‘Dusk’ peels back the multiple layers of a solitary, lonely woman at the top of a corporate empire with no one to turn to when an old threat resurfaces in her life. Ray Bradbury shoulders his way into Amanda Newton’s regimented non-life only when her corporation’s partners take matters into their own hands about her safety and tilts the safe world as she knows it on its axis.

For so long, I’ve only thought of Amanda as an enigmatic mystery. In Maureen A. Miller’s first two books of the series, she has always been the omniscient and omnipresent presence of Blue-Link: controlling but distant, all-knowing but unknown by her employees. I would have remained rather happy for things to stay that way but ‘Dusk’ changed my mind about her as Miller skilfully unveils a character made out of flesh and bone, vulnerable in ways I couldn’t have imagined before this book.

Miller has always been an automatic-read for me and ‘Dusk’ simply confirms this opinion. Apart from the odd parallel universe I thought I landed in when some very oblique yet blatant references were made to Disney’s ‘Frozen’, this rather short story is everything I hail about romantic suspense and why I dig it so much: the setup, the pacing, the characters, the tension, the climax. It’s all done superbly (again, minus the weird Disney-ish comparison), polished with the sheen of Miller’s incredibly sophisticated writing that makes every story of hers a pleasure to read. The only minor gripes I have are the lack of interaction between the characters of her previous books in the series and even the surprising lack of steamy bedroom scenes given the slow burn between Ray and Amanda – characters who, by that point have had me greatly vested in their welfare and actions. The rather rushed ending however, left me, as always with Miller’s storytelling, wondering why there isn’t more – or at least more of a definitive closure – when there clearly should be.

four-stars

Shadow by Maureen A. Miller

Shadow by Maureen A. MillerShadow by Maureen A. Miller
Series: Blue-Link #1
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on January 19th 2015
Pages: 292
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five-stars

Sophie Diem's boss has skipped town, abandoning their counseling firm and taking her investment money with him. As she seeks to rebuild her professional career she is distressed by the appearance of a stranger. The man keeps to the shadows, but he is definitely stalking her. In an attempt to flee him she accepts a job offer...in London. Surely crossing the Atlantic would be enough to deter her Shadow.
Glenn Barber is a desperate man. He sorely wants answers. The man that can supply them has gone missing, though. Now all Glenn can do is go after the next best thing, the man's former employee, Sophie Diem.
Sophie is shocked to spot her shadow in London. What she learns is that Glenn, the Shadow, is not a stalker, but rather her only protection. As her attraction to Glenn grows, together they conspire to locate her former boss and stop him before he can harm others.

The blurb made absolutely no sense to me at all, and really had to get my head around the idea that a stalkerish guy (who’s quite creepy in the beginning) is actually the hero-protagonist of the book. Things changed a quarter way through, when Glenn’s tragic story eventually unravelled through Maureen A Miller’s stylish, atmospheric and metaphor-laden writing that made this almost a noir-adventure tale. I loved so many things about this short book: the struggle and the torment that Glenn faced, how he clawed his way back to the light with Sophie’s help and Sophie’s eventual dependence on him.

five-stars