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The Stone Forest [Mass Market Paperback]

Karen Harper

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should be called suspense, not romantic suspense! 22 July 2002
By Faith Freewoman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Of the things I consider important in books, Karen Harper does two things very well, one fairly well, and two poorly (in my opinion).
Both Stone Forest and Shaker Run (an earlier book of hers) are fabulously rich and vivid in terms of atmosphere and environment, and both environments are quite unusual as well. The other thing I've really liked about these two books are her descriptions of wierd mental processes: as an example, in both books you're in a person's point of view when they are drugged by the bad guys, and both times I felt myself fuzzing out and getting really disoriented along with the heroine before I realized what was happening. Very effective!
What Karen Harper did *fairly* well in both books was develop an interesting plot with interesting character concepts. However, the concepts never really caught fire or came to life in either book, particularly not the romance portions. I just never felt a spark between the h/h in either book, and never really got interested in the main characters either time. It actually says a lot for her ability to create unusual and interesting environments that I kept reading, because I usually put a book down when I am so unaffected by the characters.
So, if you want an interesting suspense plot, with fabulous atmosphere and very unusual and interesting situations and locations, Karen Harper's one to watch, but I hope that, even though she's a part of a romance publishing line, she stops trying to sell her books as romantic suspense.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars exhilarating romantic suspense 8 Jun 2002
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In 1985 Ridgeview, Indiana, following her sweet sixteen bash, Jenna Kirk relishes the memory of Mace Macaman's kiss even if he is the boy friend of Mandi, her older sister. That night, Mandi gets Jenna to help her reenter their home after she returns from her tryst with Mace. However, someone abducts both siblings holding the sisters for ransom inside the town's extensive caverns. Jenna manages to escape, but remembers little of her ordeal. Mandi vanishes. Jenna and Mace separately flee the town with its now nightmarish memories while her mother successfully runs for state office.

Fifteen years of nightmares and therapy propel Jenna to come home to confront what happened. From the start of her return, she receives packages and notes from apparently Mandi. Though most townsfolk believe he killed Mandi, Mace returns to town because of his father's illness. He joins forces with Jenna to learn the truth. However Jenna begins to recall what happened on that fateful evening; she wonders if she can trust Mace even if he has her heart.

THE STONE FOREST is an exhilarating romantic suspense that never eases off the throttle until the final page is completed. The story line is loaded with non stop action, but it is the lead couple that hooks the reader. As Jenna climbs out of the labyrinth of the pits of hell, she struggles between love and trust. Mace is a wonderful "victim" condemned by most of the townsfolk. Though the final twist seems too bizarre, the audience will read Karen Harper's taut tale in one sitting to learn what happened to Mandi.

Harriet Klausner
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This Book Put Me To Sleep 4 Nov 2002
By K. Grant - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've never read Karen Harper before and when I saw the summary of
this one I thought it looked good. I was wrong. There is way
too much dialogue in some scenes of this book and the characters
don't show a lot of emotion. This book has a few parts that were
mysterious, the rest seemed dull and drawn out. I was happy that the author didn't include profanity or any brutal violence, but instead of a classic thriller she ended up writing a predictable story. I hope her other books are better.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where the heck was the romance? 26 Jun 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Well this book delivered on exactly one thing...mystery. There was absolutely no romance. A couple of chaste kisses(no detail: simply "they kissed") and a few bottom gropes do not count as romance. If you want to read a murder mystery then by all means pick up this book but if you want a romance then don't waste your money.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Three words - Uninspiring, slow, and unromantic. 12 Jun 2007
By JJN-1313 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Three words - Uninspiring, slow, and unromantic. This book was nowhere near as interesting as I'd thought it would be. I picked this one up at a Thrift store, and when I read the blurb on the back, I thought it looked fascinating, but it ended up being pretty darn boring.

The story at it's core was interesting enough, but while reading it, it just seems to drag on and on. The plot is low-intensity, slow-moving, and just generally lackluster. There was a ton of potential for the plot, but it never materialized. I just kept thinking: come on! something exciting needs to happen! For a book that in the end was mostly suspense versus a romance, the plot needed to grab the reader's attention better. The whole thing just seemed like a series of little, half interesting events.

The romance...what romance? The love story in this Romantic Suspense was only a small step above the romance in the one and only unromantic Lisa Jackson book I read. The whole romance is based on Jenna, and the fact that she's been in love with Mace since she was a kid, but Mace had been her sister's boyfriend. When she goes back home, he returns not long after because his father has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. There's no development to this pairing. For Jenna, she just loves him, period. That's all the readers get from her. For Mace, he comes back and he suddenly wants Jenna and a future with her. There's this line near the beginning where he thinks about how during the years he was away, his sister (Jenna's best friend) told him once that Jenna had a huge crush on him and he thinks to himself that the more he thought about that fact, the more intrigued he was by it. That's it. The so-called love between them is built with little contact or anything. They just seem to be in love. During the book, they hardly spend any time together. They kiss a few times, and spontaneously tell each other they love each other. It was boring as heck. I didn't believe for a second in their "love" and wasn't inspired by their store at all. It was stupid. It just very barely qualifies as a romantic suspense.

So all in all, there wasn't anything I found particularly interesting about this book. I couldn't wait to finish it. For something with such a good blurb on the back, the end product was a total let-down.
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