A year ago Jamie learned that her beloved cousin, Nate, had been killed. Beaten to death in what police suspect was a drug deal gone wrong, he was found by his childhood friend Dillon Gaynor. Dillon had always been the baddest of the bad boys, leading Nate astray, and Jamie knows he has the answers to her questions about Nate’s death. He’s not about to volunteer any information, and Jamie’s only choice is to head to the Wisconsin town where he lives to find the answers for herself.
Jamie shows up unannounced on Dillon’s doorstep, only to find that Dillon is as dangerous and seductive as she remembers. But despite his silky hostility, she discovers she can’t leave. Things start disappearing, strange accidents begin to happen and Jamie doesn’t know whether Dillon is trying to seduce her or scare her away. And if she gives in to his predatory games, will she lose her soul? Or her life?
But something else - something evil and threatening - is going on. And Dillon knows more than he’s saying. Is he the one behind the strange threats - or is he Jamie’s only chance for survival?
©2009 Anne Stuart (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
Even with an escapist 'beach read,' poor writing (and a miscast narrator) are deal breakers.
If you aren't familiar with Anne Stuart, don't let this book be your first impression. Her skills at plotting and characterization have evolved by leaps and bounds since this early effort.
The lead characters in "Into the Fire" are fairly one-dimensional, and it's not an enjoyable dimension. They maintain an I-hate-you/I-can't-resist-you relationship that would have been credible in a pair of teenagers. With these adult characters, it might even have been intriguing as the opening salvo of a reluctant, developing romance; a typical way of building sexual tension. But 'Nate' and 'Jamie' keep the childishness going for most of the book, exchanging petulant insults as often as they fall into bed, and usually within seconds of getting out of bed.
CAUTION: SEMI-SPOILER BELOW:
As for the suspense component, I just wasn't buying it. The fear factor here is based on the implausible premise that a man living alone in a creaky old building would remain oblivious to the fact that someone else lives there too. For months.
I'll continue to read Anne Stuart, but I'll stick with her newer novels. Live and learn.
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