Thursday, August 31, 2017

Fatal Threat Review

Title:  Fatal Threat
Series:  Fatal #11
Author:  Marie Force
Publisher:  Harlequin Books
Release Date:  July 25, 2017
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  3 Hearts

First Thoughts:  Great plot with lots of potential, but some issues derails it.


With a killer on the loose, it's the worst time to be on lockdown…

It's just another day at the office for Washington Metro Police lieutenant Sam Holland when a body surfaces off the shores of the Anacostia River. But before Sam can sink her teeth into the new case, Secret Service agents seize her from the crime scene. A threat has been made against her family, but nobody will tell her anything—including the whereabouts of her husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano.

This isn't the first time the couple's lives have been at risk, but when a bombshell from Sam's past returns to haunt her, she can't help but wonder if there's a connection. With a ruthless killer out for vengeance, and Nick struggling to maintain his reputation after secrets from his own past are revealed, Sam struggles to tie the threat to a murder that can't possibly be a coincidence. And she has to get it done before her husband's career is irrevocably damaged…


Lt. Samantha (Sam) Holland is whisked away from the scene of a murder investigation by Secret Service agents. It all happened so abruptly that neither she nor her partner, Freddie, could stop them or get answers to their questions about what was going on. Sam finds herself locked down in a safe house along with the rest of her extended family. She eventually learns of the credible threat against them (especially the children) after she’s joined by her husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano. Needless to say, Sam is very verbal in her displeasure over being locked down and unable to pursue the investigation or her other cases. She insists on going to work in spite of the danger to herself and others.

The police procedurals in these cases are always intriguing. I enjoyed following the evidence along with Sam and other detectives as they worked together to solve this case. I love these characters and have enjoyed reading about their lives. However, there are things occurring that just don’t work for me. Sam is the Second Lady – the Vice President’s wife – and yet she roams around the city easily recognized without protection of any kind…because she stomps her foot and demands it be that way. There’s no consideration for Nick or anyone else – just Sam doing what Sam wants to do. I loved that she continued to work after becoming Second Lady and think the plot has great potential, but it’s becoming harder to suspend belief and accept the fact that no agent covers her, and it’s never been more evident (or over-the-top) than in this book. Sam’s continued blatant attitude, along with some other issues, was so profound in Fatal Threat that I found myself shaking my head and rolling my eyes a few too many times. It lessened my enjoyment of this book.

I’m a fan of the series. I’ve loved the journey with Nick, Sam, and Scotty as well as the awesome support cast. I’m intrigued with their lives and future and am really hoping to see a more believable stance going forward. Yes, even Romance/Suspense has to be believable to a point. The saving grace for this book is the Bonus Story at the end concerning Avery and Shelby. I loved it and them!

My Rating:  3 Disappointing Hearts . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

IWSG: Trust Me! I'll "Get It."

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a community of writers who share ideas and encourage other writers. It's a great place to express doubts and concerns as well as offer and receive tribulations and guidance from other writers. IWSG posts the first Wednesday of every month. I think you'll find it to be a great writer's resource that's well worth your time. Be sure to stop by and visit with some of the other IWSG writers/bloggers at IWSG Members.

Join me in thanking this month's awesome Co-Hosts:  
Christine Rains
Dolarah @ Book Lover
Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor
Yvonne Ventresca
LG Keltner

IWSG Question: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

Great question!  How much time have you got?!  Just kidding.  I'm going to address this question as a reader.  I think those of you who know me will confirm that I read and review a lot of books.  Probably more than I should as it cuts into my writing time, but being a lifelong lover of books, an avid reader, it's hard for me to cut back.  There are a few things that ruffle my feathers when I read, but I have to say one of the biggest - once you get past editing issues - is trying to read a book when the author obviously doesn't trust me!

What does that mean?  It's kinda like the "show, don't tell" rule, but it goes beyond that.  It's when the author makes me feel like a child by holding my hand and blatantly directing me toward the identity of the "villain".  In other words, instead of subtly weaving the clues/hints into the plotline/story for me, the reader, to pick up on, the author states them in words or obvious character's actions.  Nothing spoils a story much quicker for me than having the "answers" shoved in my face.  I want and need an author to trust me to "get it" as my reading experience is enhanced by figuring things out for myself.  

If an author has done his/her job, they will have crafted a twisted story with a trail that manipulates readers in the direction they want them to go (ideally with a few heart-racing intentionally misleading detours) without hand-feeding them the story.  In simpler words, the authors write their story and trust the readers to figure it out on their own.  The trail should be a curvy one with some surprises, even a shocker or two, but what it absolutely shouldn't do is state anything in words that will lead the reader to look in only one specific direction.  It's a fine line to walk, I know, as I struggle with it as a writer also.  How do you show, not tell?  Through actions, not just words.  But even then, an author needs to take care not to reveal their ace in the hole too soon - don't spoon-feed the reader information.  The bottom line is authors should trust their readers.  Trust me, we'll figure it out!

Have you ever been guilty of "spoon-feeding" your story to readers?  What's your pet peeve when reading/writing/editing?