Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Book Review: The Sons of Broad Novellas

Shattered Fear
Author: Tara Thomas
Series: Sons of Broad
Publication: St. Martin's Paperbacks (February 6, 2018)

My Thoughts: This novella introduces the Sons of Broad romantic suspense series. The setting is Charleston where a serial killer is targeting young women without families. They have been disappearing from a local club. The Prologue introduces The Gentleman and the nameless minion who is kidnapping girls for him. The minion is a gambler who owes The Gentleman half a million. He also apparently has ties to the police department since he knows Janie has been assigned to work undercover.

Janie is a police officer who is undercover at the club working as a bartender. There she meets Brent Taylor who is a rich guy who is also really handsome. She starts dating him despite the fact that he fits the profile of the kidnapper. They are shot at and Janie is removed from the case for her relationship with Brent. However, since a homeless guy she befriended outside the club is murdered, she doesn't want to let the case go and decides to investigate on her own.

The story ends on a cliffhanger and has a few things that bothered me. First of all, Janie is awfully weepy for a police officer. Also the relationship with Brent happened very quickly. I know that things have to happen fast in a novella but I still thought the relationship got too serious too fast. I also thought that Janie going from suspended to fired in the course of a couple of days seemed pretty unrealistic and looked like a potential lawsuit for the police department.

I am eager to see where the clue that Janie smelled a minty cedar smell and has linked it to the kidnapper goes in the next novella.

Hidden Fate
Author: Tara Thomas
Series: Sons of Broad
Publication: St. Martin's Paperbacks (February 13, 2018)

My Thoughts: This second novella has Janie still investigating the kidnappings and murders that happened at the club where she was working undercover until she fell in love with a suspect and was fired by the police department.

Wealthy Brent Taylor was cleared of the charges through the use of DNA evidence. Now his main goal is protecting Janie who is still the target of someone who wants her dead.

The assassin who was assigned by The Gentleman to kill Janie is having too much fun trying to scare her by sending her dead roses and threatening poetry and trashing her apartment. He did make a mistake by leaving some DNA but his is not on file.

In her personal life, Janie and Brent and falling in love. She's ready to move with him to Washington, DC, as he serves on a government committee. Thinking they are safe house hunting in DC, they learn they are wrong when the assassin sends pictures of the two of them in an intimate moment in their hotel suite.

This is definitely the middle novella in a trilogy because it ends on a major cliffhanger. While the readers knew who the assassin was, the good guys just find out when Janie is kidnapped from a police picnic.

Twisted End
Author: Tara Thomas
Series: Sons of Broad
Publication: St. Martin's Paperbacks (February 20, 2018)

My Thoughts: This concluding episode deals with Janie's kidnapping and Brent and Alyssa's quest to find her.

Janie has been drugged which leaves her with slow reactions and hallucinations. Her kidnapper didn't remove her phone from her back pocket though and, despite hands tied behind her back, she manages to call Brent which lets him know she's alive.

Alyssa grabs a tablet and tracks Janie's phone which leads them to an isolated forested area. They need to rescue Janie before the kidnapper steels himself to kill her.

After a fight which leaves Janie and Brent wounded and the kidnapper dead, The Gentleman decides Janie and Brent aren't a danger to him. He also kills a couple of young cops and frames one of them leading the police to believe that he was the kidnappers partner.

This series is among the least realistic romantic suspense stories I've ever read. Janie was kidnapped from a police picnic yet Alyssa doesn't alert the police to the kidnapping. She and Brent go off on their own to try to find her! She does indicate that the Charleston police force is fulled with corruption and she doesn't know who she can trust. But really? There are no officers that she can trust?

I am still curious about who The Gentleman is since he says that he fears Alyssa would recognize him. Hopefully, the full-length novels coming soon will answer that question.

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