Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tool Belt Defender by Carla Cassidy

Title:  Tool Belt Defender
Author: Carla Cassidy
My Rating: B+ 

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Lawmen of Black Rock #5
Main Characters: Alex & Brittany
Release Date: December 2011
Publisher: Harlequin
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Story Overview:
"It's party time."
That's the "invitation" shoved under her door. It's got Brittany Grayson fearing for her life…and her sanity. She's sure the monster who once held her captive for months is dead, so why his chilling words in the note? His menacing face in the window? And why won't anyone —even her lawmen brothers—believe that somehow he's after her again?
Brittany just wants a normal, independent life in Black Rock. Romance is out of the question…although she's okay as friends-with-benefits with Alex Crawford, her hunky, marriage-phobic contractor. Alex, a single dad, has his own good reasons not to fall for Brittany. But none of them matter when the race is on to find the killer who's kidnapped her!

My Review:
I don't know what I expected from this book, but it was a definitely a surprise to me. I have never read any of the books from the Harlequin Suspense line and I was surprised at how really very good, gritty, and suspenseful this one was. I also didn't realize that this was #5 in the series, although after I started reading, it occurred to me that there were probably stories for all of Brittany's brothers since they are all newlyweds in this book. Regardless, this is easily a stand-alone book. I didn't miss any of the details because I haven't read the other books, but I have a feeling that they would be equally good since several of them probably take place during the time of Brittany's original abduction.

It's been eight months since Brittany was originally kidnapped and held captive for 4 months by a serial killer. She is finally trying to get on with her life and the first thing on the agenda is to build a deck onto the back of her house where she can celebrate life with her friends and family. She hires her new neighbor Alex to do the job. Alex has only lived in Black Rock for 6 weeks. He's a widower and a lawyer with a 6 yo child. After his wife died, he knew that he couldn't keep up his lawyer's hours in Chicago and still be the kind of parent that Emily needs so he moves to Black Rock where his mother in law lives.

There is immediate chemistry between Alex and Brittany, but neither wants anything to do with a real relationship. Alex has tried marriage once and it was a less than stellar event. Brittany is mentally scarred and honestly doesn't feel that she will ever be able to offer enough of herself to a family. Regardless of this, these two become close.

I felt like the suspense in this was really pretty good. Like I said, it was much more than I expected from a  Harlequin series line. The original event was horrific and chilling and when someone starts to copy those events in Brittany's life, it is equally terrifying. I like that Alex and Emily live only three doors down from Brittany. That offered some great opportunities to develop the story that were really believable. I especially loved the sweet moments when Emily ran away. Her character in the story added such an endearing element to it. I also really liked the influence of Rose, Alex's mother-in-law, on the story. She offered some great insight that I really loved.

Overall, this was a great afternoon's read. It kept me entertained. I am a huge fan of romantic suspense and this one definitely did not let me down.

1 comment:

Felicia Sparks said...

Great afternoon reads are sometimes just what the doctor ordered! One must be distracted from life for a short little bit so that your batteries are re-charged.

I would have never guessed that was what the book was about based on the cover. I thought it was like a Ty Pennington home improvement romance.