Guilty as Sin by Jami Alden
Published by Forever
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
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For over a decade, a killer has been waiting, silent as death and . . .
Fourteen years ago, Kate Beckett was a teenager more interested in summer romance than babysitting. Then the unthinkable happened: her younger brother was kidnapped and murdered on her watch. Now she is an advocate for missing children, and her newest case brings her back to the small town where she lost her brother-and where she left behind the first boy she ever loved.
Tommy Ibarra’s world fell apart after Kate broke his heart, and he’s spent his adult life making sure that he’ll never be vulnerable again. When a teenage girl vanishes, he offers his expertise as a high tech security expert to help find her. Although he’s determined to keep his distance from Kate, it isn’t long before he’s falling under her spell all over again.
As they race against the clock, their investigation leads to a brutal killer with a shocking connection to Kate’s tragic past. And this time, the killer has Kate firmly in his sights.
When Kate Beckett was 16 years old she snuck out of of her house with her boyfriend, Tommy, to go down to the beach and possibly have sex. She was supposed to be watching her 12 year old brother, Michael, but when he wouldn’t go to sleep as expected she left the house. While down at the beach for just 45 min. to an hour (with no sex happening) Michael is kidnapped and found days later found dead. Not only do her parents blame her, so does her sister and in her grief she pushes Tommy away.
After 14 years of near emotional solitude Kate heads back to Sandpoint to help find a missing child. She works for a company as an advocate for missing children and helps organize volunteers, help lines, fliers, etc. Going back to Sandpoint is tough but she’s ready to work, that is until she sees Tommy again. It seems that as much as they’ve been through separately since that horrid night they are still incredibly attracted to each other. As much as they fight it they can’t seem to stay away from each other. While they search with the town Sheriff to find 14 year old Tricia they’re also trying to build their relationship back up to see if they can start a new, better relationship than what they had when they were kids.
This is my first read by Jami Alden. There were quite a few things that I liked about this book but there were also some issues that I had with it.
I really liked the romance aspect of the book as the tension between Tommy and Kate was pretty explosive. I can’t say I completely cared for the timing of it as I thought it detracted from the search for Tricia. On the one had the couple is incredibly worried about the missing girl but that doesn’t stop them from taking the time to think about themselves. I know it’s a thin line that can be crossed and this one definitely walked it’s edge and slipped over a time or two. The suspense and the romance could have been balanced differently and it would have made a big difference, imho.
I figured out the identity of the kidnapper/killer from the first moment he appeared on page. I don’t think the reader was supposed to have figured it out until the big reveal so it was hard for me not to get frustrated with the other characters who didn’t know as it was so obvious.
The parts of the book with Tricia’s POV were well done. I didn’t care for the parts when it was the killer’s POV as it was just sick but I think that’s just me. There were a couple of parts that had to do with the killer that were completely unexplained and that bothered me but overall well done.
The ending was a little too happy, happy for my liking. I thought the author tried too hard to make everyone happy and it didn’t sit right with me. I thought the epilogue shouldn’t have even been included as I found it unbelievable. If that part had been left out I believe this would have gotten a slightly higher rating but in the end still a good book.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5