Wow, this book gave me exactly what I needed, even though I didn't realize I was missing anything. It was a refreshing palette cleanser that I was in dire need of. Romantic Suspense is one of the least frequent genres I read, but every once in a while I need a book like that to shake things up. You may be wondering why I mentioned the Romantic Suspense genre when the cover blurb reads like a Paranormal Romance. I guess it's because this read like a Romantic Suspense book that had people with paranormal abilities in it, as opposed to a Paranormal Romance with a suspense storyline in it.
I love, love, love Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard, and this reminded me of it. Not in storyline or humor, but in the way multiple POV's were featured in order to make a well rounded picture of the plot. We saw POV's from the main characters, the villain, some coworkers of the hero and heroine, and even one of the victims. Sometimes too many POV's can make me feel a lack of depth in the characters, but Parrish managed it beautifully. Instead of feeling a lack, I actually felt like the author built a whole cast of well rounded characters that I couldn't help but become invested in.
This book does not shy away from the grim details of bad events happening to good people. If you do not enjoy your books with disturbing events that you could see in real life then I would recommend steering clear. Not only was Liv a victim herself, her experience gave her the ability to experience death again and again. The scenes showing her past and the ones we see that highlight her ability are not pretty. They are dark and upsetting, and the author nailed the emotion of the characters so well that it's hard not to get sucked into the moment. I absolutely love that we're actually shown those scenes instead of just being told about them.
The heroine, Olivia, is absolutely wonderful. She has her issues (totally understandable), but she doesn't let it control her life. She still has friends and doesn't isolate herself from her family, dysfunctional though they may be. She doesn't spend her life moping about the past. She picked herself up and tried to rebuild her life. I have to admire her for that. I also like that the abilities that she and her coworkers have are not convenient and easy to manage. Sometimes it's hard for them to tell whether their abilities are a gift or a curse.
I liked that the author managed to illustrate that tragedy breaks down any division between the rich and the poor. She wasn't in your face about it, but having the rich girl heroine and the poor boy hero both experience tragedy in the childhood put them on equal footing. Liv and Gabe even had a couple discussions about it. Gabe kept thinking that their backgrounds were a hindrance to their relationship, but Liv wouldn't let him see a stereotypical rich girl instead of the real her. She was so much more than that label.
Although this book took place in short amount of time, I never felt that the romance was too rushed. Gabe was authentically suspicious of Liv's legitimacy in the beginning, and his trust was earned slowly. The attraction between them was immediate, but the relationship took a while to blossom. I liked that things were developed slowly between them and that they never let their attraction get in the way of the case.
The only thing that kept this from being a perfect grade was Gabe's attitude toward Liv's job near the end. I understand and appreciate that he was concerned about the toll her ability was taking on her, but the things he said to her and her boss really put my back up. I did not like that he put that crap on her about it being impossible for her to have a family or a relationship if she continued to use her ability. His dismissal of the occasional necessity of her ability really put a bad taste in my mouth. Especially when a good portion of the plot relied on her using that ability! I really wish she would have turned his accusations right back around on him. It's not like being a cop treats you to nothing but the good in people.
Beyond that minor irritation, I really liked the book. I could tell by page 30 that I loved the author's writing style, and I was never proven wrong. Although some parts of the book are dark, the author manages a nice balance with humor from the characters. I can't wait to see what the next book will be about.
"Gabe," she eventually whispered, her voice lazy, sated and thick with sex.
"Thanks for pushing me out of the path of that car."
"Pushing doesn't sound heroic enough. I didn't push you; I swooped in and carried you."
*For a sneak peek check out my Tempting Teaser on Fiction Vixen*
Review originally posted on Fiction Vixen.