Tuesday, June 1, 2010

REVIEW: The Defender by Cara Summers

ISBN 978-0-263-86212-6
Series: The Angelis brothers, Book 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
(c) 2007, Harlequin Blaze
Cara Summers' website

Rating: 2 stars

Buy Link: Book Depository

"Fell a little short in romance and suspense"

When Sadie Oliver's sister disappeared and her brother, heavily injured, became a suspect in a murder, she had no choice but to turn to Theo Angelis for help, whom she'd been attracted to for some time. Sparks fly between them as Sadie disguised herself as one of Theo's interns and she worked with him to solve the mysteries surrounding her family.

It was only when I read the author's note that I realized this book was part of a trilogy and it's the third book! I think it's clever of the author to spin out three stories from one single event, though it's been done by other authors as well. For those who want to know, it's not necessary to read the other books to get the whole story on this one, though it may help to keep the storyline and the characters clear.

The story started out with promise for me (I love Aunt Cass's prologue, which I think is aimed at setting up the atmosphere--suspense with the hope of making you care for what's gonna happen to the hero), but sad to say, the story spiraled downward as I read on.

I get the feeling that the author was aiming the sex scenes to be hot, but it fell a little short, especially when I didn't get the characters' urgency for it that first time. It's not like they've been pining for each other or teasing the other for so long. Maybe the sex was brought forward because well, after all, it's Blaze? Also, I think the story would've been more enjoyable if the sexual tension could be ramped higher. As it was, I think there's not much tension before the characters got down and dirty.

The mystery was also rather confusing, with the lack of names and accurate descriptions (coz Sadie didn't see the faces in the dim light) and going only by the number of shots fired. If I'd wanted to really be clear about this, I would've read it twice (or maybe thrice), but I didn't want to bother. After all, it's a Blaze book, not Intrigue. But if you're finicky about this type of thing, you may be a little bit frustrated. And it didn't get better.

Some things would've been better if it had been showed rather than told, such as the car chase with Theo's passenger car ending up wrecked. I thought that'd be good for a suspense moment from Theo's POV and his extreme relief that Sadie didn't go with him, but since he was only helping out, perhaps this scene was featured in one of the other books.

I also thought the moment when Sadie was taken hostage up on the roof would be full of tension, but the writing was rather flat. So, don't read this for the suspense and maybe I was wrong to expect it, since, as I've said, this isn't Intrigue but Blaze.

Buy Link: Book Depository

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