Thursday, July 11, 2013
Review: Behind Closed Doors (McCloud & Friends, #1) by Shannon McKenna
Author: Shannon McKenna
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication Date: October 1, 2003
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Surveillance expert Seth Mackey knows everything about the women his millionaire boss, Victor Lazar, toys with—and tosses aside. But Lazar's latest plaything, Raine Cameron, is different. Beautiful. Vulnerable. And innocent. Just looking at her triggers a white-hot passion Seth can barely control as night after night, he watches her on a dozen different video screens. Raine is pure temptation, but Seth can't slip up: he's convinced Lazar had his half-brother murdered. His secret investigation—and his life—are on the line. But then he finds out that Raine may be Lazar's next victim...
Raine knows she's being watched—but no one can see the secrets in her heart. She has reasons of her own to seek revenge on Victor Lazar, and she will, despite her fear—and the distracting presence of Seth Mackey. His fiercely masculine good looks and animal sensuality stir her fantasies when she's alone...and lead her to a bold plan. Offering her body to him, surrendering totally to his ruthless desire, might well push her beyond all emotional limits—and beyond fear itself.
Wowza. I've read a lot of books. Like, seriously, a lot. And usually I know how a book is going to go. After all, I generally read books with happily ever afters so, ya know, I have certain expectations.
Well, this one certainly threw me for one helluva loop.
Don't get me wrong, there's still a satisfying ending. More than satisfying. I loved to see how the hero grew emotionally and how the heroine got stronger (also emotionally). But the way the author gets you there, well, fasten your seat belts people, cause you'll be in for a ride with this one.
As you can tell from the blurb above, our hero, Seth, is more than a little obsessed with the heroine, Raine. Raine has secrets; Seth has secrets; Victor has secrets; Alix and Ed have secrets. Hell, let me just put this way: everyone has secrets! And untangling those secrets is where the intrigue and suspense comes in. Half the time I didn't know whether I was coming or going, and like Seth, was suspicious of everyone's motive. I think that when it comes to romantic suspense, having the reader connect like that is the mark of a great storyteller. And even though as the book progressed and I knew who the players were -the good, the bad and the ugly- I was still being surprised, again in a good way most of the time, by the actions and responses of the characters.
Now, let's talk about Seth's obsession. Many readers have issues with Seth and think he's a crazy, psycho, perverted stalker. And in the first 50 pages I have to say, I was on their side. But it must be said that he doesn't start out obsessing over Raine. At first, what we learn from his back story, is that Seth is obsessing over the death of his brother and trying to avenge him. Raine just happens to get in the way and Seth, seeing something good for the first time in, well, ever really, latches on. I admit, at first it's not healthy. but the good thing is that his voyeurism only lasts a short while. He sees Raine, watches her and then, putting his plan in motion, decides he wants her. So it's not like he's lurking in bushes and windows for most of the book, which is what I was expecting based on what others have said. Seth is suspicious, doesn't trust anyone, and certainly doesn't love anyone, but seeing Raine makes something click inside of him and things start to change rather quickly.
And I have to also add that, what was a pleasant surprise about this book is that the hero and heroine actually talked through things, including the surveillance. After all, Seth's equipment was at the house before Raine moved there as he worked on his revenge plan so it's not like he set out to watch her. She happened upon his operation with the McCloud brothers, and well, you'll have to read the rest to find out the intricacies of where the plot goes from there.
So, sure Seth acted rash and like a paranoid freak a few times, but Raine was always there, forcing him to talk, to confront his feelings about the two of them and his brother, and pushing him away from the shadows that had dogged him all his life. And we can't forget that Raine herself isn't perfect. Raine has her own motives, her own secrets to drive her to get tangled in the stupidest, most asinine revenge plan (if you can even call it that) she could possibly think up. There were times, especially in the early part of the book, that I wanted to slap Raine in the head, and hard, because of her dumb ass-ery. (Yes, I'm making that a word). She had such a major TSTL moments at one point I was hoping the bad guy got her but Seth -the protective, paranoid alpha- was there to save her behind. Again.
I will say this though. Something happened around 80% into the book. Raine found some backbone and strength and went balls to the wall (theoretically of course since she doesn't exactly have balls) to save herself and Seth (or well, that was the plan anyways). This was when my feelings for her started to change and I didn't want the bad guys to get her anymore. Whether they did or not...well, you'll have to read the book to find out.
You may be wondering how I could possibly fall for a possibly crazy hero like Seth Mackey. Well, that's an easy inquiry to respond to. First, he wasn't just crazy and obsessive. He was also protective, strong, and sometimes even sweet. But it was also the hot, no holds barred, seriously panty-melting sex. Ms. McKenna knows how to make the pages, and my Nook, melt with her prose, let me tell you.
The author also does a great job writing the technological side of things, explaining all Seth and the McCloud boys' technology that they use in their investigation. She also writes a kick ass fight scene that had me a bit worried for our hero.
So all in all this book didn't scare me as much as I thought it would. Or rather, Seth didn't. I will definitely be reading the second in this series and look forward to other work by this author.
Here are the purchase and Goodreads links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads
*This book was a self-purchase and I was not in any way compensated for, or even asked, to review this book. All opinions are my own*