Tag: Carla Cassidy

Guest Review: Lethal Lawman by Carla Cassidy

Posted February 27, 2014 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Lethal LawmanJudith’s review of Lethal Lawman (Men of Wolf Creek #2) by Carla Cassidy

Marlene Marcoli made the mistake of falling in love and almost lost her life. Hoping to put her abusive marriage behind her, Marlene moves to Wolf Creek, Pennsylvania. But danger follows her once again when her apartment is vandalized. To make matters worse, the sexy detective working the case is distracting her beyond reason.

Detective Frank Delaney hasn’t been interested in dating since his wife died—until Marlene comes to town. Irresistibly drawn to the blonde, he’s got to find a way to make her trust him. And when Marlene’s life is threatened, Frank must race to protect her—if they both hope to have a second chance at love.

It is an unfortunate commentary on our society that spousal abuse is so much a part of the relational scene these days.  Thus this scenario has found its way into the romance fiction genre, as it should.  It is a part of real life and it is the part that is, for me, one of the most scary contexts for a love story.  There is so much that law enforcement either can’t or won’t do.  I guess it depends on the community and the policing in that area.  In this short novel the heroine has run for her life back to the haven of her family, or so she thought.  Even the safety of her family does not prevent her abuser to continue searching for her in order to prove to her that she can never hide from him.  The vandalism and all that continues to disrupt her life keeps her aware that she is not safe, and that is truly the kind of psychological abuse that can defeat one’s deepest sense of self.

The detective is nurturing some significant wounds as well, only he has become a master at beating himself up over his wife’s suicide.  Yet being drawn into Marlene’s life does indeed begin a cycle of moving out of that inner world of self-destructive thinking and begins to move him toward wanting and needing a new “someone” who will care about him and help him to renew his joy of living.

This is a really nice read–good length with a complete story, fine characters and a story that moves along.  There is sufficient tension from the mystery surrounding the activities of Marlene’s abuser, but the sensual content is really toned down.  Nevertheless, this is indeed a romance and while it’s not getting hot between the sheets kind of story, there is the sensual tension between two people who recognize someone who is potentially special.  I enjoyed the fact that Marlene knew she had somewhere to go when she needed to leave her abusive marriage.  I liked knowing that the community and her family were “there” for her.  So this was a very heart-warming story for me and one that was easy to read and which filled an evening nicely for me.  Of course, Ms Cassidy is one of those tried and true authors who have built a following and whose stories are anticipated and appreciated for their good writing and plot development.  Her books are also written with good language skills and give evidence that the author knows her way around the task of crafting a story so that it all “hangs together.”  I guess that is one of the main reasons I enjoy her work.

This is the second novel in her series about Wolf Creek and I am looking forward to her next effort.  I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place

This title is available from Harlequin.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.  The book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Guest Review: Her Cowboy Distraction by Carla Cassidy

Posted July 26, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Judith’s review of Her Cowboy Distraction by Carla Cassidy.

She’d been watching the handsome rancher for a while, just a lone cowboy eating pie with an empty chair beside him. One night, Lizzie Wiles, Cowboy Cafe’s feisty new waitress, went over and dared to interrupt his tortured solitude. Daniel Jefferson seemed shocked by her boldness as he buried himself in guilt over his wife’s mysterious death. Lizzie tried to penetrate his gloom, but in the end, found herself falling in love. Having plans to leave town, she didn’t want to think of these consequences. Worse, someone “really” wanted her to disappear–now Attacked and warned to leave, Lizzie had every reason to go…but she had one undeniable reason to stay.

The idea of a Bucket List has become popular in recent years and is something that many people assemble over the course of their lives. However, most people think of completing it toward the end of their lives or when receiving news of a terminal health condition. Such is not the case with Lizzie Wiles, a young woman whose mother’s death has spurred her toward her undertaking of fulfilling her Bucket List and making sure she fulfilled all her dreams early in her life. It became the driving force in her life and one that set the framework of every decision she made, including the boundaries and perimeters of her personal relationships.
Now she has observed a man whose actions each week puzzle and fascinate her. Why did Daniel order a piece of pie for someone who never showed up? Lizzie found that she just couldn’t seem to resist the urge to challenge Daniel and force him to respond differently than he had in previous weeks. Out of that action came a strange but somehow fulfilling relationship, one that Lizzie appreciated but one that she was needing to leave because it didn’t fit into her Bucket List plans.
This story is more about one woman’s need to please her dead mother, her need to fulfill her dreams, and her unwillingness to see her compulsion in wider terms. When her heart became engaged, the reader becomes aware that Lizzie would rather give up a strong and generous love than her decision to fulfill her promise to her now-dead mother. The death of Daniel’s wife may be an important part of his anxiety and deep guilt, but the full explanation isn’t a part of the narrative nor is the reader really satisfied about all the happenings of that event. What is really important is the struggle Lizzie undergoes as she weighs her desire to be with Daniel over against her desire to complete her personal mission. And while I was intrigued by the mystery surrounding the death of Daniel’s wife and the apparent unhappiness of their relationship prior to her death, I was far more involved in Lizzie’s development, in her growth as a person as she moved through her grief for her mother and in her unfolding understanding of herself and what was really important for her future.
This is a relative quick read and one that will be easy to move through for most readers. Yet it has some meaty aspects, ideas and concepts that give it weight and value as it points out the need for each person to determine what is really important and how to claim a future that is fulfilling and one that will inspire continued personal growth. I found the writing to be well done and the story crafted by an author who knew how to put a good novel together. The story wasn’t rushed nor did I feel that important ingredients has been left out. While some reviewers seem disappointed that more was not made of the death mystery, I felt that it was sufficiently explained to give balance to Daniel and Lizzie’s story. I liked the book a lot and was glad for a read that was interesting and one that kept my imagination working all through the text. I hope you’ll check it out.

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.
This book is available from Harlequin. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Review: Up Close and Personal by Carla Cassidy

Posted September 24, 2009 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Casee‘s review of Up Close and Personal by Carla Cassidy.

Detective Jordan Sampson is struggling to maintain a relationship with her young daughter while enjoying a new romance with an old flame. But Jordan’s personal life takes a dangerous turn when her old friends from school are killed off one by one.

I’m a big fan of Carla Cassidy, though I really didn’t enjoy Broken Pieces which is the last book I read of hers. The blurb intrigued me and sounded more like the kind of book I’ve come to expect from Carla Cassidy.

Going through a divorce and then losing custody of her daughter, Jordan Sampson isn’t in the best place at the moment. When a good friend convinces her to go to their fifteen year high school reunion, Jordan accepts only to have something to do. And while she enjoys catching up with a few of the people she went to school with, nothing prepares her for seeing Clint Cooper, her high school sweetheart.

The next day, Jordan is assigned to a new murder case. The murder of a woman that was on her cheer-leading squad in high school; a woman that she had just seen the night before. Jordan thought she had seen everything, but the brutal murder of someone she knew and recently spoke to horrifies her more than she will admit.

When another of the squad turn up murdered, Jordan and her team realize that they have a serial killer on their hands. They also know that as the former captain of the cheer-leading squad, Jordan has to be somewhere on the list.

In the midst of investigating multiple murders, Jordan is also re-discovering her feelings for Clint. He’s much different from the boy she remembers, but she doesn’t know if she can trust him. He was “the one” in high school and she can’t help but remember all the times they broke up and got back together. At this point in her life, Jordan isn’t sure that she wants another relationship.

The suspense aspect of the book was well written. It was a bit predictable, but not unbelievable. What I didn’t like was the inconsistency about Jordan and her ex. At the beginning of the book, the ex basically screwed her in the divorce. He got custody just to get back at Jordan. He was poisoning her daughter against her. Which was completely different from how it was at the end. Dane was actually an ideal ex-husband. He wasn’t trying to keep Jordan away from her daughter. It was all just very confusing.

It wasn’t enough to ruin the book. It probably would only seem like a minor inconsistency to most readers.

Aside from that small problem, this book is what I expect to get from Carla Cassidy.

4 out of 5.

This book is available from Signet Eclipse. You can buy it here.

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Review: Broken Pieces by Carla Cassidy

Posted September 30, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Mariah Sayers survived a brutal attack as a teenager, and ran away out of fear. Sixteen years later she returns with her daughter to make peace with her past. Just as she feels she is rekindling old friendships and even an old flame, she receives some shocking news; a girl has been killed in her town. Now, Mariah will have to confront the unthinkable—and reclaim the broken pieces of her shattered past.

I always enjoy Carla Cassidy. Her books are easy reads with plots I generally enjoy. Broken Pieces was no exception. As with all her books, it starts off with a bang and doesn’t quit until the end.

After being brutally attacked, Mariah Sayers has no choice but to leave town. Alone and pregnant, Mariah goes to Chicago where she’s able to build a life for herself and the daughter she loves more than anything. When her father dies and leaves the family home to her, all Mariah wants to do is sell the house and finally be done with the bad memories it brings. What she doesn’t expect is to be confronted with the very evil that drove her from home all those years before.

Veterinarian Jack has had a crush on Mariah since he was a kid. When he sees her again after sixteen years, the boyish crush turns into feelings only a man can have for a woman. After a hard marriage and even harder divorce, Jack thinks Mariah might be the perfect woman for him. All Jack wants is a woman with no emotional baggage. He doesn’t think there is anyone more perfect for him than Mariah.

No one in town has any idea of the evil that lurks in their town. An evil that started that long ago night when Mariah was attacked so horrifically. I really enjoyed the suspense in this book. Cassidy took us into the mind of the killer, who (as always) is one of the people you least expect. I enjoyed reading about the small town and the people that made it. While there wasn’t a whole lot of character development, it really didn’t take away from the story which was very fast paced. It was an easy read that kept my attention.

4 out of 5.

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

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