Tuesday, September 17, 2013

She Can Scream by Melinda Leigh

Title: She Can Scream
Author: Melinda Leigh
My Rating: B

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Series: She Can... #3
Main Characters: Brooke and Luke
Release Date: September 2013
Publisher: Montlake
Purchase Links: 
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
In one moment, high school teacher and single mother Brooke Davenport interrupts a vicious assault, saves a young woman’s life, and attracts the attention of a serial killer.
Sixteen years ago, Brooke lost her roommate to a brutal murder. Now she teaches women’s self-defense, still trying to heal from the guilt and grief that plague her. Convinced the predator knows his victims and is stalking his prey online, she is determined to find him before he strikes again. Her brother’s friend, Luke has the computer expertise to help. But Brooke’s unexpected desire for Luke complicates her investigation, and her fixation with the case provokes a deadly reaction from the killer.

Injured in terrorist bombing overseas, computer expert Luke Holloway is still haunted by flashbacks of his young assistant’s death in the explosion. But Luke can’t refuse the request of a deployed friend to look after his sister, Brooke. Taking on responsibility for Brooke’s safety threatens Luke’s tenuous recovery, especially after he develops feelings for her that transcend a promise to a friend. When Brooke saves a young girl from a brutal assault and becomes a killer’s obsession, Luke vows to protect her at all costs.

My Review:
I really like Melinda Leigh's style of writing suspense. Every single time, I think I have her writing/story figured out and then the next page I'm shocked...chapter after chapter. Long after I've thought that the surprises in the story have ended. I LOVE that. That's truly the way suspense should be written. This book was no exception to that. There were so many twists and turns and surprises...all the way to the end. You have to love a book that keeps you guessing.

This book is about Luke and Brooke, who have both been horribly traumatized by random violence in their lives. Luke is friends with Brooke's brother who is deployed to Afghanistan shortly after the book begins. At this point, they know her life could possibly be in danger so he asks Luke to step in to help keep her safe. Luke is suffering from horrible PTSD and feels completely useless and helpless in the face of possible danger. He's sure that he couldn't even save his own life at this point. I really enjoyed his aspect of the story and wish that could have been explored a bit more WITH Brooke. It seems like most that side of the story just went on in his mental ramblings and when he was alone.

I enjoyed the basic set-up for this book and found Luke's background to be especially riveting just because it seemed so real-world and believable, but as the book went on, I had a more and more difficult time with Brooke. She is just so utterly obsessed....to the detriment of EVERYTHING else. After 18 years like this, I just found it hard to believe that that attitude/obsession could ever change. That made this a very difficult book for me, especially the second half. I'm not sure most readers would react that way to her though. She definitely has a change of heart about how she lives her life at the end of the book, but this was her life for so long...that's where I lost touch with the fantasy. I'd need to see something with the two characters further down the road to truly believe that things could change (like maybe an epilogue might have helped), because I just didn't feel it from her in the book.

And it's very possible that the next book in the series will provide that. I hope that it does. That book features her friend, so I'm hoping that we get a glimpse of Brooke and Luke, happy together. It will be a further test for Brooke's new lifestyle if Abby is in danger (Brooke's entire life-focus is in teaching other women on how to be safe)...since Abby's the heroine in the next Melinda Leigh book...that's pretty much a sure thing, right??

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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