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Summer Rain by Barbara Freethy

Posted in Contemporary Romance/ Reviews/ Romantic Suspense 3rd August 2016
Summer Rain by Barbara FreethySummer Rain by Barbara Freethy
Series: Lightning Strikes #3
Published by Hyde Street Press on August 23rd 2016
Pages: 375
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four-stars

Danielle Monroe is determined to use her new job in DC as a stepping-stone to a high-powered political career. But the secrets surrounding her father's death continue to overshadow her goals. Her family thinks she holds the final piece of the puzzle, but she doesn't even know what the puzzle is until an attractive and possibly dangerous stranger shows up in her life.
Patrick Kane is searching for answers about his own dark tragedy, not realizing that the beautiful Danielle may not just hold the key to his mystery but also his heart. They have to stay alive long enough to find out.

That high-level conspiracy, the mystery of 2 plane crashes and the seemingly unrelated incidents in the first 2 books all culminate in ‘Summer Rain’ in a thrilling conclusion here. There are parts of the story which seemed a little too coincidental and somewhat outlandish but by and large, I thought ‘Summer Rain’ was the best of the lot in this series.

Dani and Patrick did make a good team and their relationship progressed in a way that was believable and not at all angsty. In fact, I liked their camaraderie, the easy conversations between them and unlike books in this genre where a couple is torn apart by the TSTL actions of one party or some shortcoming that a reader can sniff a mile away, Dani/Patrick thankfully exhibited none of this. There’s a mystery to solve, a growing body count and a huge game at the top that no one can quite hope to play and win…but Dani and Patrick did all that as part of their getting to know each other stage, along with a slight hint of the paranormal.

Barbara Freethy’s writing style is very direct and unembellished, which also makes for very easy reading. The action and plot hold steady throughout, even if both do skirt near the ridiculous at times, but it’s not any more than what I’ve come to expect in this high-octane genre where some measure of disbelief has to be suspended after all. I’ll admit readily that Freethy’s style takes a while getting used to – I kind of hail Cindy Gerard’s style, among several others as the one of the best in the genre – but that’s merely my personal bias splitting all those hairs here.

Already there is a small setup for the next series of hers and after this book high, I’m actually looking forward to it.

four-stars

Lightning Lingers by Barbara Freethy

Posted in Contemporary Romance/ Reviews/ Romantic Suspense 7th March 2016
Lightning Lingers by Barbara FreethyLightning Lingers by Barbara Freethy
Series: Lightning Strikes #2
Published by Hyde Street Press on February 15th 2016
Pages: 319
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three-stars

From #1 NY Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy comes the second book in a new romantic suspense trilogy: Lightning Strikes. In these connected novels, lightning leads to love, danger, and the unraveling of long-buried secrets that will change not only the past but also the future
Katherine Barrett, a dedicated young doctor, receives a terrified phone call from her younger brother, TJ. He is running away to Mexico to save himself and their family from an unnamed killer. He warns her not to come after him and not to go to the police, as there is no one she can trust. But Katherine realizes there might be someone she can trust
She turns to her former high school sweetheart Jake Monroe the man whose heart she broke a decade earlier. Katherine asks Jake to fly her into a remote and dangerous part of Mexico where no one else dares to go.
Jake had always thought that one day Katherine would realize she needed him, but he didn't expect it to go down this way. Still, he can't resist the beautiful brunette he has never been able to forget.
They set off on an adventure that will take them into the past, unravel a decade of secrets, and lead them into the heart of a lightning storm that will change the way they look at their families, the world, and each other.

Liked the blurb, but the story-telling less so, especially since I’d expected a greater intensity of angst, a harder, edgier time of action and breathlessness which didn’t quite materialise.

Jake and Katherine’s past could have made for an explosive reunion, but unfortunately, I simply ended up with more incredulity than when I started the book. Katherine’s cold ambitions gave me the shivers and her sudden turnaround (and seeming mental transplant) in the jungle after the plane crash, the lightning witchery and the paranormal elements made me more of a cynic than a believer.

three-stars

Beautiful Storm by Barbara Freethy

Posted in Contemporary Romance/ Reviews/ Romantic Suspense 22nd October 2015
Beautiful Storm by Barbara FreethyBeautiful Storm by Barbara Freethy
Series: Lightning Strikes, #1
Published by Hyde Street Press on October 1st 2015
Pages: 321
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two-stars

When her father's plane mysteriously disappeared in the middle of an electrical storm, Alicia Monroe became obsessed with lightning. Now a news photographer in Miami, Alicia covers local stories by day and chases storms at night. In a flash of lightning, she sees what appears to be a murder, but when she gets to the scene, there is no body, only a military tag belonging to Liliana Valdez, a woman who has been missing for two months.

While the police use the tag to jump-start their stalled investigation, Alicia sets off on her own to find the missing woman. Her search takes her into the heart of Miami's Cuban-American community, where she meets the attractive but brooding Michael Cordero, who has his own demons to vanquish.

Soon Alicia and Michael are not just trying to save Liliana's life but also their own, as someone will do anything to protect a dark secret…

Storm Chaser Alicia Monroe’s latest lightning photoshoot leads her to a pair of military dog tags and sucks her into a cold case of a missing JAG attorney – Liliana Valdez. Going on her own investigative trail leads her to Valdez’s childhood friend, Michael Cordero, who is determined to find justice for Liliana.

‘Beautiful Storm’ was a mediocre read for me personally. There wasn’t anything wrong with both the H/hr whose chemistry seemed a little lukewarm at best (barring the cheesy ending of declarations), but the case felt far too removed from Alicia and Michael and bored me boneless the moment the details of the case started emerging.

two-stars
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