Monday, September 10, 2012
Zebra/July 31, 2012
When Liv Dugan ducks out of work for lunch, it’s just an ordinary day. When she returns, she stumbles onto a massacre. All her colleagues at Zuma Software have been shot. Only luck has left Liv unscathed, and that might be running out…
Will Follow You
Liv suspects the shootings are tied to her past—and to the package she recently received from her long-dead adoptive mother. Sensing she’s being followed, Liv jumps into a stranger’s car and orders him to drive. Her “hostage” complies, listening carefully as her story unwinds. Skeptical at first, he ultimately begins to believe all Liv’s fears are justified…
To Your Grave
Together, Liv and her unlikely confidant try to uncover the truth about her adoptive family, her birth parents, and her troubled childhood. Because somewhere in Liv’s past is a secret worth killing for, and a nightmare she can never outrun…
A shout out to Hilcia from Impressions of a Reader for sending Ms. Bush's romantic suspense my way. :)
Romantic suspense has become one of my favorite romantic sub-genres but isn't always easy to pull off. In the case of Nowhere to Run, the romance happens on the run with little build up from first meet to first sexual encounter. Add in deception on the part of both the hero and the heroine, and you have a less than believable romance.
Liv Dugan is no stranger to trauma. Liv's mother died when Liv was six years old leaving Liv with nightmares and a history of mental anguish. She tries to keep her life as uncomplicated as possible, living life while trying to maintain a calmness she never really achieves. Liv is running on auto-pilot after fleeing a shooting at her workplace. She doesn't always make the best decisions and her paranoia, while much deserved, colors those decisions. We always think we'll know how to react in a crises but that isn't always the case and Liv's reactions came off as more realistic than had she done everything perfectly in planning and executing her escape. Her paranoia had a tendency to take over her personality and she jumped into bed a little too quickly with the hero but she also didn't pull the "why me" crap so I'd give her bonus points for that.
Auggie is an odd name for a hero but it ended up suiting this hero. Auggie is walking a very thin line when it comes to his relationship with Liv. He meets her when she takes him hostage at gunpoint then tries to help her, all the while falling for her. Interesting role reversal but unfortunately I didn't buy it. It is mentioned a time or two that Auggie has a weakness for damsel's in distress and boy did Liv fit that description. But having a weakness for helping someone and falling into bed with someone are two very different things. I also got the impression that Auggie was not the type to jump in bed with just any woman. Again, liked him except for how quickly he hit the sheets with Liv. Not only were his deep feelings for her unbelievable in such a short period of time (less than a week), there was a very clear conflict of interest.
The suspense of the story centers around the mysterious package Liv received from her mother who had been dead for nearly twenty years. Then there is the workplace shooting and a gruesome murder. This is what drove the plot far more than the developing romance. Often I get a feeling, if not outright knowing who the murderer is. This time it was almost too obvious who it was not. There are a number of twists to the plot but in the end, it wasn't apparent who the threat to Liv was and I'm not sure the clues were there throughout the story. The murderer seems to come out of nowhere.
The secondary characters are interesting enough but there is definite sequel bait in the form of the hero's sister. She had a decent size role and the ending did leave me wanting to read her story. So in that sense the book did work. I only wish the romance had been stronger and better woven within the suspense plot.
Nowhere to Run
Nowhere to Hide