Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Lily Rede - Safe From the Dark

Nursing a broken heart and a couple of bullet wounds, no-nonsense Evie-Asher leaves her career with the NYPD to move into her grandmother's old house in a small New England town in the middle of nowhere. She wants nothing more than a new start and a chance to forget the mistakes of the past and get her life back on track, minus the shootouts. Her plans are shattered when her new neighbor, the town's hunky young mayor, starts receiving death threats from a dangerous stalker. Evie is unwillingly drawn back into a world of peril, and while her bruised heart tries to resist the out-of-control sparks that zing between them, she is forced to stay close to keep him safe as the stalking quickly turns to murder...
Colin Daniels has his hands full running Bright's Ferry as their popular and busy young mayor. He doesn't have time for stalkers or threats, much less a lovely gray-eyed cop with control issues who insists that the stalker is a member of the community, someone he knows and loves. When the situation takes a deadly turn, Colin finds that he has no choice but to give up some control himself and rely on Evie to protect him until they can unmask the killer. Passion sizzles between two stubborn hearts as they clash over the best way to handle a dangerous situation, but can they keep each other safe as the dark closes in?

Comment: I got this book several months ago in hopes this would be a great read. I've decided to get after seeing some good comments about it somewhere. Although I didn't end up as impressed as I convinced myself I would by the blurb alone, it isn't such a bad book. It's simply not executed to perfection.

This book presents us Eve Asher, a young woman who has had a bad goodbye with the police where she worked because of a scandal. She went away to Bright's Ferry in hopes to run from that and also because her late grandmother left her a house there. Eve only wants to run from her troubles and start again but her attraction tot he town's mayor and the fact a stalker might be after him, makes it all up become a mess again. But can Eve have found a community she can be part of and people who believe in her?

At first sight, this has all the ingredients to be a good story and to make it look interesting for us to read but the reality is that there are two things that didn't impress me much.
First, we have the execution of the novel, I just think the author is still trying to see what works or not and some parts didn't feel as fluid or well done.
Second, the fact this story is also labeled erotica adds some interesting but needless layers to it. I just think this would have been a much better and consistent story if not erotica also.

The plot is easy enough and the concept is there, I was really curious to see Eve, someone apparently tough and who was sort of betrayed comes to a smaller town, she knows she needs another chance, she wants to prove herself but the way things are written doesn't seem to flow very well. I have the feeling this is a case of many ideas, not enough room to make them all be necessary and at the same time too much rush to insert as many as possible. Some of the ideas wee interesting but then the author went to a path I think only made things worse. The relationship obviously makes the story more interesting, the small community vibe is attempted to makes things work too but the murders and suspense parts were too much. Or, if this is really how the author wanted to make things, then the care for detail and the focus should be elements better done and thought over.

The romance between Eve and Colin clearly matters a lot, after all this is primarily a romance. But the fact this has the added layer of being erotica only made things worse. The plot takes space, we get to see certain things and then some pages of sex, which wouldn't be a bad thing on its own but often we get distracted and it cuts the flow of the story when we are more interested in other things. Basically it doesn't seem to fit the book. Then another thing: Eve is coming to Bright's Ferry to escape a sexual scandal, not her fault. But wouldn't we think that, after a scare and a betrayal of sorts, Eve should be more concerned about fighting her attraction and not becoming "sexually addicted" to someone else so soon? I feel disappointed, and is she supposed to be considered a grown up, someone to be look up to?
I understand why this element was added but sexual tension would have done the trick much better and I bet the romance would have been more realistic and interesting.
Colin has interesting features but I can't help thinking about him as too much of a player for his feelings to be considered believable. Then the focus isn't on their emotional growth nor the emotional bond between them, so...

The suspense parts were ok, I guess, but the writing is very distracting and some scenes don't seem to follow up.
The secondary characters were also ok but I confess I don't feel the need to read more about them right now. Maybe one day, in the future.
I think the author had too many ideas and the book isn't well paced or structured well enough for it to be a complete success. At least to me. But it wasn't totally bad...
Grade: 6/10

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