by H.D. Thomson
Jake Preston is on borrowed time. If he doesn’t stumble upon a miracle and soon, he’ll end up dead. And even if he does, he still might end up dead with a clever killer hounding his heels. He believes that the one miracle and antidote to save him is in Margot Davenport’s house, across the country and miles away from Boston. Somewhere locked in her home is the key to reversing an experiment that is killing him.
Margot doesn’t particularly care if she ends up dead. She’s lost everything she’s ever cared for. A divorce and the loss of her job as a corporate lawyer has left her with little faith in herself or in anyone else. Most importantly, she’s lost the one person on this earth she’s looked up to and cherished–her brother, Johnny. His death in a car accident has devastated her, and she can’t find the willpower to pull herself from the chasm she’s fallen into. Her only solace is at the bottom of a wineglass. Having moved back to the small town in northern Arizona where she was raised, she’s made a point of isolating herself both mentally and physically from everyone other than a few chosen friends. Little does she know that her life is going to explode into chaos and the person behind Johnny's death is coming after her.
I did a first with this book. Usually, I’ll research a book before I purchase it to make sure it will be something I like. I’ll read the blurb, a couple of reviews (good and bad), and if they peak my interest, I’ll read the sample chapters. If those grab me, I’ll buy the book. I didn’t do that with this book. I started reading it without knowing anything about the book, other than it was a paranormal romance. It was an interesting experience, to say the least – diving in without any preconceived notions, not knowing what the paranormal element was, or who the main characters were. I really enjoyed watching this story unfold, without any foreknowledge of where it was heading and what was going to happen. I’m going to have to do this more often. *G*
Neither of the main characters is perfect. Margot is one big, hot mess of a woman, drowning her sorrows in a bottle. She knows it’s not the way to deal with the death of her brother, but she doesn’t care. If drinking herself to death will help ease the pain, it would be a blessing in her eyes. Jake is a mystery. He keeps to the shadows and reveals as little about himself as he can. But he can’t help but notice Margot’s self-destructive tendencies and he interferes, whether either one of them likes it or not.
There were a few scenes that had me scratching my head. I can’t reveal them without revealing major spoilers, but they were the type of thing I’d want a beta reader or editor to bring up and question, such as: Why would X do this (behave out of character) if previously he did Y? Or why did the cops not question what happened to character Z as they should? Holes like this bug me.
Neither Margot or Jake are interested in each other romantically in the beginning. Each has bigger issues to deal with. Margot prefers to live each day closeted away in a haze and Jake is in a race against time. But they end up drawn to each other, learning to depend on and support the other, even though the question of trust keeps getting in the way.
The Paranormal Element
Not knowing what the paranormal situation/creature/event was going in, I ended up playing a guessing game with the first half of the book. Some of it I got right, other elements surprised me. The paranormal element is hinted at, developing slowly, and often leading the reader on a goose chase before coming back and resolving itself. Very well done.
Plot holes aside, I really enjoyed this book. It had secrets, suspense, romance, and a cool paranormal undercurrent running throughout the whole story. Be sure to pick this one up.
Learn more about H.D. Thomson at http://www.hdthomson.com/