I picked up this book in part, because I wanted to join in the Valentine’s event hosted by The Bookish Groupies; and also because I was in the mood for something spicy for Valentine’s. It was remiss of me to think that this book was going to be a romp in the sheets. I mean, sure it was hot. But because of the other dark themes in this book, I found myself unable to revel in all its erotic glory.
This book had me by the nose from the get go. It opens with Caleb barging in to Ramie’s hide out in the mountains. Caleb forces her to help him find his sister who was abducted by a depraved serial killer. Ramie has some abilities. I guess you can say they’re psychometric by nature. But while others can see the history of an object with a single touch, Ramie can only see through the eyes of one psychotic maniac.
The problem is, when Ramie touches the victim’s things, she also experiences every single torture that victim goes through. So, it’s pure hell for her every time. It’s the reason why she went into hiding in the first place. After she helped find Caleb’s sister, she took off again. A year later, the serial killer who was only biding his time until he can kill the one that got away, finds Ramie. Since she’d ran out of places to hide, she had no choice but to seek the protection that Caleb had offered her in the past.
As the serial killer gets closer to finding Ramie, the more she realizes that he has to be stopped. She has no choice but to use herself as the bait. Either way, the torture and the killings has to end. Even if it meant her inevitable, painful death.
I have read a few of Maya Banks’ books. She’s written a whole slew of them. If there is one thing that I’ve noticed about her stories, is that it takes .02 seconds for relationships (carnal or otherwise) to develop in her books. The same could be said for Caleb and Ramie. This was no slow burn. It took Caleb literally a few days before he realizes that he’s in love with Ramie. Now, I don’t blame the guy. I mean, if you were single-handedly the one person responsible for putting that woman in hell to save your sister, I think I can see why he would develop feelings for her quite easily. It’s a short trip from ardent admiration to lustful love.
Some of their interactions were a bit too sweet for my taste. Sometimes bordering on cheesy. It almost made me look forward to when the serial killer was in the throes of torturing his victim. And that’s saying a lot, because I’m typically a squeamish person.
I think that’s the only reason I’m rating this book three stars. Otherwise, it would’ve been a great read for romantic suspense fans. The best thriller reads are the ones that make a reader feel anxious to turn to the next page. I had sweaty palms, and my heartbeat was elevated while reading this book. A true testament to Ms. Banks’ success in creating the right environment for a suspenseful novel.