Tag: Beverly Barton

Review: Silent Killer by Beverly Barton

Posted September 16, 2009 by Casee in Reviews | 9 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Casee‘s review of Silent Killer by Beverly Barton.

In A Town Full Of Secrets

To most people, men like Mark Cantrell are fine, upstanding pillars of the community, completely beyond reproach. But their killer knows better. They are sinners of the worst kind, and they must burn on earth before they burn in hell…

Trusting The Wrong Person

Eighteen months after her husband’s unsolved murder, Cathy Cantrell has returned to her Alabama home, eager to build a new life for herself and her son. But pieces of her past are everywhere—including Jackson Perdue, the town’s deputy sheriff. The spate of recent deaths—each victim burned in the same horrifying manner—leave Jack and Cathy in no doubt that a serial killer is at work, one whose rage grows more vicious each day…

Can Be Fatal…

Now as a twisted killer moves in for a final, brutal act of vengeance, buried crimes are coming to light once more. And this time, justice will be swift, merciless, and as silent as the grave…

Beverly Barton’s heroines usually drive me batty. They always gasp and say “Mercy!” or are just generally helpless without a man. There are a few exceptions of course. Cathy Cantrell wasn’t one of them.

Cathy had a nervous breakdown after she saw her husband burn to death right in front of her. Checking herself into a mental health facility, Cathy gave up guardianship of her twelve year old son, Seth. While it was a very difficult thing to do, Cathy knew it was what needed to be done.

After a year of in and out-patient therapy, Cathy has returned to reclaim her son and her life. Everything is going just swimmingly when a priest is found burned to death in the local park. That and her father-in-law is refusing to give up custody of Seth. On top of all that, Jackson Perdue, a man she once loved is back in town. Facing him is one of the harder things Cathy has had to do.

Jackson takes a job with the sheriff’s office and is put to work on the county’s cold cases. He starts with Mark Cantrell, though the case doesn’t remain cold for long. The killer that has only struck twice in eighteen months has stepped it up.

There were passages from the killer’s pov. I found the whole “God told me to” part a little over the top. I skimmed most of the passages b/c there were just so out there. I understand that the killer is psychotic, but it just seemed cheesy after awhile. The killer believed that punishing men that are sinners was the work of God. Which brings me to a loophole that was never tied up…did Mark Cantrell actually do anything the killer thought he had done? That was never really clarified. There were a few other things that didn’t add up, which really took away from the story.

The romance was probably the best part of the book, but even that was lacking.

3 out of 5.

This book is available from Zebra. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


Tagged: , , , , ,

Review: Dying for You by Beverly Barton

Posted January 12, 2009 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

It was the job of her dreams…but it became her worst nightmare….

All private security agent Lucie Evans wanted was a fresh start—and the chance to show Sawyer McNamara, her ex-boss, that she no longer craved his absolution for a crime she didn’t commit. So when the offer of a trip to South America as the personal bodyguard to a billionaire heiress came up, Lucie jumped at the prospect of leaving the Dundee Agency behind. Then the nightmare began. Kidnapped in a case of mistaken identity, suddenly Lucie’s only hope of survival rested with the one man she never wanted to see again.…

Sawyer had spent years convincing himself that all he felt for Lucie was contempt—but with her life at stake, he was forced to face his true feelings. Though it may be a case of too little, too late. Because Lucie’s captor wouldn’t rest until she was silenced…once and for all.

Dying For You is the final installment in Barton’s Protectors series. It finally brings closure to the story of Sawyer McNamara and Lucie Evans, who have been at odds as long as I’ve been reading the series. I was looking forward to reading this book, looking forward to Sawyer and Lucie finally getting their happily ever after. Unfortunately it fell flat for me.

Lucie Evans has always had hope that Sawyer would forgive her for her part in his brother’s suicide. Following him first to the FBI, then to Dundee Agency, Lucy continues to believe that Sawyer can’t hate her forever. Even though she gets assigned the jobs no one wants, Lucie takes that as her due. That all changes when Sawyer sends her on a job where she almost gets raped. Suddenly enough is enough and Lucie finally realizes that Sawyer will never forgive her.

Though Sawyer is horrified by what happened to Lucie, he’s glad when she decides to leave Dundee Agency. Seeing her every day just reminded him of his brother and his part in his brother’s death. Yet when Lucie gets herself into trouble while at her new job, Sawyer is the first person that goes to help her.

There were basically three stories going on here. The other two just took away from Sawyer and Lucie. That’s why I was disappointed. The tension between Sawyer and Lucie has been building for years and years (and books and books). So the way their story ended just didn’t work for me.

3.5 out of 5.

This book is available from HQN. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: Cold Hearted by Beverly Barton

Posted September 15, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 5 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Trusting Her.
They all loved her. That was their mistake. Two husbands, her college fiancée an influential boss-every man who gets close to Jordan Price is made to pay in blood. And the list is growing.

Could Be.
Hired by the Powell Agency to investigate Senator Dan Price’s death, Rick Carson can see at once why people would believe Jordan Price incapable of cold-blooded murder. Slender, pale, and elegant, she stands by her late husband’s graveside exuding sweet vulnerability. Only Rick notices that she never sheds a tear. And the deeper he delves into the string of deaths from which Jordan has profited handsomely, the more convinced Rick becomes that he is dealing with a callous, cunning, unstoppable killer.

The Last Thing You Ever Do.
The closer Rick gets to the chilling truth, the more dangerous this game of cat-and-mouse becomes. The targets are changing, and suddenly, nothing and no one is safe. If Jordan is as innocent as she claims, Rick may have placed her in a killer’s cross hairs. And if she’s guilty, he’ll never live to regret it.

I have a love/hate relationship w/ Beverly Barton. I really love her story lines and the relationships between her characters. I really have to get into a “southern” frame of mind. Both her heroes and heroines are extremely southern. The heroines are southern bells and the heroes are the men that take care of them. It’s only when you really look below the surface that you see that these are really strong women.

Jordan Price is shocked when her brother-in-law hires the Powell Agency to look into the death of his brother, her husband. She is even more shocked when the agents arrive and immediately put her on the suspect list. Though she knows that the spouse is generally looked at first, Jordan hadn’t even considered that Dan was murdered.

Rick Carson can’t decide if Jordan is a grieving widow or a black widow. Too many men in her past are dead to make it a mere coincidence. Rick is dismayed by the protective instincts that arise when it comes to Jordan. He carefully watches Jordan so he can understand who she really is.

I liked the mystery in this book. It’s not immediately clear whether Jordan is a killer. That made for interesting reading. There are a lot of relationships and secrets in Jordan’s family. Jordan is a caretaker and with a family like hers, Rick quickly realizes that Jordan is an incredibly strong person. Which gives him all the more reason to suspect Jordan. As for Jordan, she is horrified by the feelings she has for Rick Carson. Ever since her fiance died when she was younger, she has never let herself love outside of her family.

Even though I liked the book, it wasn’t my favorite of Barton’s.

3.75

This book is available from Zebra Books. You can buy it here. No e-format.


Tagged: , , , , ,

Review: The Murder Game by Beverly Barton

Posted March 30, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Murder Game by Beverly BartonReviewer: Casee
The Murder Game by Beverly Barton
Series: Griffin Powell #8
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.
Publication Date: February 1st 2008
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 432
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

New Game
The game is simple--he is the Hunter. They are the Prey. He gives them a chance to escape. To run. To hide. To outsmart him. But eventually, he catches them. And that's when the game gets really terrifying. . .
New Rules
Private investigator Griffin Powell and FBI agent Nicole Baxter know a lot about serial killers--they took one down together. But this new killer is as sadistic as they've ever seen. He likes his little games, and he especially likes forcing Nic and Griff to play along. Every unsolvable clue, every posed victim, every taunting phone call--it's all part of his twisted, elaborate plan. And then the Hunter calls, wanting to know if they're really ready to play. . .
But Winner Still Kills All. . .
There's a new game now, and it's much more deadly than the first. A brutal psychopath needs a worthy adversary. He won't stop until he can hunt the most precious prey of all--Nicole. And with his partner in a killer's sights, Griff is playing for the biggest stakes of his life.

I really wish I could say aloha from Hawaii again, but alas I’m back in cold-ass Boise. Why did I wear shorts back on the plane again? A fifty degree temperature difference is fairly noticeable.

Anyway, I read this book before I left and I completely forgot to review it. Strange that I would forget, no?

I’ve always liked reading Beverly Barton, eye-rolling at times though she may be. Her heroines always tend to be helpless debutantes from various southern states. They say “Mercy!” a lot and are usually sweet-tempered virgins who make stupid ass decisions when they know their lives are in danger. They get smart after they almost get killed. It tends to get rather annoying. That’s why Nic was a refreshing heroine. I can’t think of any other Barton heroines that are like Nic.

Griffin and Nic are the only people that believe that the Beauty Queen Killer was actually two people rather than one. Unable to convince anyone at the FBI, the case was subsequently closed. Only Griff and Nic shared the belief that they hadn’t heard the last of the sadistic killer. When they both get a phone call, their worst fears come to life. There are at least two women dead and another one has gone missing. The killer has given both Nic and Griff clues that could eventually lead them to his prey, if only they can decipher the clues before he strikes.

The relationship between Griff and Nic was interesting. I don’t know any southern men, but Griff is what I’d imagine a southern man to be. He enjoys taking care of women. He really has no use for feminists. Nic has always felt she had to prove that she’s as able as any man. After growing up with a father determined to mold her into the perfect girly-girl, Nic rebelled and has been proving herself ever since. Griff doesn’t understand Nic’s need to prove herself and their personalities obviously clash. Nic believes that Griff is a womanizing bastard and Griff believes that Nic is a man in a woman’s body. Their personal feelings for each other aside, the two agree to work together to bring down the man who is now calling himself “The Hunter”.

Onto the villain. He was one evil S.O.B. The problem was that I couldn’t really take a sociopathic killer seriously when his name was “Pudge”. Yes, Pudge. That was the eye-rolling moment for me in the book. I mean, really. Pudge?

Barton does a great job of of making the victims seem real(see The Dying Game). Every time Pudge would choose his victim, we’d get a small glimpse into her life. So whenever Pudge would call Nic and Griff with a clue, I wanted them to figure it out even more. Before Pudge got to them and tortured them in a way that’s almost unimaginable.

Overall I liked this book. There was one thing that really made me like it and one thing that I really didn’t like.

First what I didn’t like…the character of Griff has been built up over several books. He was always sort of an enigma. There were 10 years where he just disappeared. Once on his way to being a professional football player, he just disappeared one day. When he resurfaced 10 years later, he was a rich man. He also had secrets. We never learn the secret of those 10 missing years until this book. It was what the secret was that I didn’t like. Maybe if I knew that this was his secret all along, it would be different. However, I feel like his big secret was somewhat of a cop-out, chosen specifically because of the kind of killer that Pudge turned out to be. I can’t reveal anything else because I don’t to spoil it for those that will actually read it.

Obviously the reader knows that Nic will eventually be taken by the killer. Usually this would happen at the end of the book. What I thought made the book good was that Nic was taken in the middle of the book. That made it really interesting. It was right at the time that Nic and Griff realized that their beliefs about each other were wrong and they started getting close. That made her being taken even more powerful.

Anyone that wants to read a good romantic suspense, give this one a try.

3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Lightning Reviews: Various

Posted January 15, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

I don’t generally like making New Years resolutions. Big resolutions lead to big disappointments. This year I decided to make a relatively easy resolution: keep track of all the books I read. How hard could it be? I keep the spreadsheet on my work laptop, which I (unfortunately) have to take everywhere. Keeping track for 15 days and I’ve already noticed how the # of reviews and the # of books read are getting farther and farther apart. Then I thought that I’d just do lightning reviews at the end of each month for all the books I didn’t review. There’s one problem with that. My memory is shit. So waiting until the end of the month doesn’t really work b/c by then I would forget everything except for the plot. Maybe not even that.

Why did I feel the need to explain that? I’m not sure. I think part of it was explaining it to myself.

I’m Watching You by Mary Burton (Spoilers)
3 out of 5

The first kill was easy. The second much easier.No guilt, no remorse, just a rush of adrenaline surging through him as each life drains away, and the pleasure of knowing that their deaths help his beloved Lindsay. And there are so many more who deserve to die…

The first twisted gift to Lindsay O’Neil arrives hidden in a bouquet of flowers. When her estranged husband, Detective Zack Kier, is assigned to the case,Lindsay’s past comes back with a vengeance.Because only Zack knows the dark secret she lives with—or so she thinks. Now nothing can prepare her for the nightmare to come…

Everything Lindsay’s stalker does, every life he takes,is for her. But when Lindsay spurns his gifts, she and those she loves most become targets of a depraved madman whose rage is growing, and who is waiting,watching, closer than she ever feared…

This book was eerily similar to I’m Watching You by Karen Rose. Not just the title, but the plot as well. I could have handled the fact that the heroes in both books were cops. A lot of heroes are cops when it comes to romantic suspense. What I didn’t like was that the villain, while definitely dangerous, was really trying to “help” the heroine. It was exactly the same in Karen Rose’s book.

There was also too much going on. In the end, the villain ended up saving the heroine from a secondary villain who was even more evil than the 1st villain. If that doesn’t make your head spin, well, good for you. *g*

I did like the heroine. She was very likable for the most part. I just thought she should get over her relationship hangups. While she had a past that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, she got help before it ruined her. So I just felt that she didn’t resolve her relationship with her husband in the manner I would expect from a personality like hers.

A Time to Die by Beverly Barton
3 out of 5

Ten years ago, Black Ops commando Deke Bronson’s bullet left up-and-coming journalist Lexie Murrough paralyzed.

It’s taken years of painful physical therapy to bring Lexie back from the brink. And Deke is just grateful that she has no memory of his part in the incident that left her injured and him emotionally scarred. He’s tried to put the past behind him, leaving the military and joining the Dundee Agency, but he’s never been able to forgive himself.…

When Lexie, now head of an international charity organization, begins receiving terrifying threats from the son of the dictator killed during that long-ago operation, it’s Deke who’s assigned to keep her safe from harm.

Maybe it’s fate’s way of giving him another chance, but falling for Lexie isn’t supposed to be part of the deal. And what if she finally discovers the truth?

Every time I read a Beverly Barton book, I continually have to remind myself that she’s southern. Every time the heroine bursts out with “Oh Mercy!”, I think of my grandmother. I got several chuckles as I was reading.

As I was reading (in between giggling), I kept hearing the theme song for the Small World ride at Disneyland. “It’s a small world after all. It’s a small world after all. It’s a small world after all, it’s a small, small, world“. Yes, I am crazy.

See, 10 years ago when Lexie was a journalist, she was covering a story in the Middle East. While she was there, a group of mercenaries assassinated the newly elected President, the story which she was covering. She took a bullet in the back and was paralyzed (not plagiarized). Whose shot her? You guessed it…Deke. Now does the “Small World” reference make me seem a little more sane?

This is typical Barton fare. Southern woman who is independent seeks bodyguard to protect her body. Sex optional. Danger, danger, danger. Fall in love. Deny, deny, deny. Kill bad guy.

The end.

Just a Taste by Deirdre Martin
3.5 out of 5

While trying to keep his retired hockey star brother out of the kitchen, Anthony Dante has turned his restaurant into a Brooklyn institution. But the stunning Vivi Robitaille is giving him some competition with her new bistro. The table is set for a culinary war-until things start getting spicy.

I love Anthony Dante. How can you not love a hero that has no qualms about taking a lawn chair and going to his wife’s grave to talk to her? Every single Sunday?

So overall, I think this was a good book. There were many different elements that made it very amusing. I wasn’t really feeling Anthony and Vivi, though. While the French-born Vivi was the polar opposite of Ant’s wife, she was almost too French. I enjoyed the sparring between the two of them. I enjoyed how Vivi constantly messed up American slang and sayings. I just didn’t like them together romantically. I also thought Vivi was too naive considering her childhood. It just wasn’t believable.

Without the comic relief that Michael, Ant’s brother provided, this book wouldn’t have been nearly enjoyable. There was also “Insane Lorraine” who had a big crush on Anthony and didn’t have any problem with letting him know how she felt.

While I enjoyed this book, it didn’t wow me like some of her previous work.


Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,