Recently, there was a discussion about favorite romance authors. One of the authors whose name I recognized but had never read was Heather Graham. And no, I didn’t recognize it because of the other Heather Graham, I simply hadn’t found time to read anything she’d written. Having just finished Down in New Orleans, I have to say that I am definitely going to be finding more of her books to get me through the winter!
I will admit, I haven’t been one to jump on anything that strayed too far from standard contemporary romance. The description of this book intrigued me, so I figured it was worth a shot. I had no clue what I was in for!
One problem I have with a lot of mystery novels is they are too choreographed. You know what’s going to happen long before it does and then you’re left wondering what was so big about the result. Too many times, you’re introduced to the killer in a way that makes you hate them and know that they’re the one who did it. I thought I had it figured out about four different times. I was wrong four different times.
The reason I never started reading suspense romance was I didn’t see how the two could fit together without feeling cheated on one plot or the other. While I’m not sure that Mark and Ann would have felt the sparks they felt given the circumstances, it’s what made them work as a couple. There was a great tension between them. She didn’t want him flaunting his authority and telling her what to do. He was falling for her and that caused problems for him professionally. It was a good back and forth between the two.
Given the shared history between Jon and Mark, as well as the murder investigation, the conflict between these two characters is one of the few low points of the book. I can’t imagine that with everything they’ve shared, combined with the fact that Mark is trying to put Jon behind bars, that they would have almost no bad blod between them.
Heather Graham also did a good job sprinkling hints throughout the book regarding why Gina wasn’t just another murder victim. I’ll admit, that was another jaw popper for me when it continued to unravel, right up to the end of the book. I suppose that her character was developed enough, seeing as she was a dead woman from page one, but it would have been nice to learn more about why those who loved her did, even when it meant looking past her multiple lovers and prostitution.
This one is definitely going into the “read it again” pile!