Skip to main content

Review of "Breath of Malice" by Karen Fenech

This was one of those books that I was really looking forward to reading from the moment I requested it on Netgalley and was super bummed that I had to wait because I received it more than a month before its publication date (June 14th).  Finally, I felt comfortable reading and preparing to review it last week, so almost immediately after finishing Beta Test on Monday afternoon, I greedily downloaded the file onto my iPad.  Unfortunately it was one of those cases of the anticipation being better than the actual product.

FBI Agent Paige Carson has spent the last year running from her past, transferring from one field office to another each time it caught up with her.  She knew it wasn't any way to live, but she needed to keep her teenaged sister safe and was willing to do anything to keep her out of harm's way.  Shortly after moving to South Carolina, she encounters a serial killer from her past and she must decide whether to stay and fight or cut and run.

Special Agent in Charge, Sam McKade, knew something was off about his newest hire, but being shorthanded, he chose to overlook that and see what kind of agent she would be.  Almost immediately, he felt pulled to Paige and wanted her to trust him with whatever was wrong.  But is he ready to deal with her unique set of baggage?

I don't know if the standard for romantic suspense has changed or if I'm just expecting too much from it all of a sudden, but this is the second book in a matter of days that has seriously disappointed me.  Breath of Malice's biggest problem is that it takes far too long for the plot to show up and when it does, the action moved at such a snail's pace that I was in danger of falling asleep.  I've only experienced that sensation twice before -- once in 6th grade when my class was reading Endlessness by Isaac Asimov, which for some reason was just a series of numbers from beginning to end (my teacher realized her mistake pretty quickly and stopped us before we were all sleeping) and again the summer before 8th grade when we were assigned A Separate Peace.  Somehow I managed to stay awake through that one, but from all accounts, I was one of the only ones in my class not to fall asleep.  At least with Breath of Malice, I wasn't forced to continue reading like I was back in school.

The pacing, unfortunately, was not the only problem I had with this book and had that been the case, I probably would have been able to finish it.  I also had issues with the likability of the main character.  I really did not like Paige.  She is the type of person who never wants help from anyone else and lets her pride and insecurities stop her from going to Sam when it was obvious that she couldn't deal with things on her own.  Yes, she had reasons not to trust the bureau, despite the fact that she still worked for it, but I felt as if she was hindering the investigation and putting her fellow agents in danger by not opening up about her serial killer stalker.  I would hope that a federal agent would know better, but Paige doesn't.  Even when she was certain that Thames, the aforementioned serial killer/stalker, was in South Carolina, she hesitated at talking to Sam.  It wasn't until he backed her into a corner that she told him the truth.

Sam wasn't as bad as Paige, but I have doubts about his feelings regarding his ex-wife.  I kept thinking that he wasn't completely over her, especially when he found out about her relationship with a new man.  At one point, he thought about how the new guy wasn't as good looking as he is -- and my first thought was that he was a bit shallow.  Maybe the new guy was good to his ex-wife and their son.  Maybe his ex-wife saw something else in this guy that she didn't have when she was married to Sam.

As for the romance, it kind of came out of nowhere.  Obviously, I knew there was going to be one as this is a romance novel, however, there was very little build up before the two of them started sleeping together.  Exactly half way through the book, almost as if Ms. Fenech was reminded that she was supposed to be writing a romance, Sam and Paige have sex -- boring sex, by the way -- and Sam is instantly in love with her and possessive of her.  This nearly killed me.  They'd only even kissed once before and the fact that the sex came right after she shared her painful past with him made me think that he was taking advantage of her.  She was vulnerable as hell and all he could think of was how long it would take to bury himself in her.

Finally, this isn't specifically a problem with the book and more about my total geekiness, but the character names just pulled me out of the book.  Each time I read their names together, it made me think about the old television show, Charmed, in which Paige meets her biological father, a man named Sam, and so the familial connection kept squicking me out.  I'm probably the only one that had this problem, but it bugged me so very much.

DNF

Breath of Malice is currently available for Pre-Order and will be released on June 14th.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Happy Bookaversary! A Review of "Edge of Darkness" by Karen Rose

Title: Edge of Darkness
Author: Karen Rose
ISBN: 9780399583087
Publisher: Berkeley
Series: Cincinnati Series
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $7.99 (e-book) $28.28(Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


It seems like I've been reading Karen Rose novels my entire life.  I remember the day I came across Count to Ten in the Duane Reade on Queens Blvd.  I'd finished the paperback I brought with me to school that day while sitting in the Dining Hall eating lunch and needed something for the long bus ride home.  I almost didn't buy it because it was $9.99 and I hadn't gotten my financial aid money yet, but the cover copy called to me.  Not even the 500+ page count could scare me away.

I recently learned that Edge of Darkness is Ms. Rose's 20th book and in a strange way, I feel like a proud mama watching her child cross the stage to get their diploma.  I'm just a big ball of happy nostalgia, thinking back to all of the other books I've read by her and hopeful about the ones to come, so befor…

Fifteen Years Later: Review of "His Sinful Touch" by Candace Camp

Title: His Sinful Touch
Author: Candace Camp
ISBN: 0373789963
Publisher: HQN
Series: Mad Morelands #5
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96(Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2


Most readers remember their first, the first book of their particular genre that they read, whether they enjoyed the book or not.  I have two firsts--the first romance I ever read was a Harlequin Intrigue written by Amanda Stevens.  If you've read my blog before you probably already know this.  The first historical romance I read was Mesmerized by Candace Camp, which was also the first book in her Mad Morelands series.  

I was a senior in high school when this series began and I remember seeing the paperback version of Mesmerized on the shelf at the Target on Queens Blvd (yes, I spent a lot of time on Queens Blvd as a teenager), and was pulled in by the gorgeous cover.  Apparently, that book has had several covers over the last 15 years, but this is the one I remember:


Isn't it pretty?  Of course from the cover I…

The Internet of Things: Review of "Hacking IT" by Kimberly Dean

Title: Hacking IT
Author: Kimberly Dean
ISBN: 9781386835561
Publisher: Self-published
Series: Hackers #1
Price: $3.99 (e-book) $9.99 (paperback)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2


Have you ever seen the description of a book and known immediately that it was going to be awesome and upon reading it were faced with the possibility that it might actually be better than you originally thought?  For me, that book was Hacking IT by Kimberly Dean.  A female white hat hacker using her skills to uncover a black hat hacker, who has stepped away from his computer and entered the real world?  Um, yes, please.

From the Publisher:
Independent software developer Kylie Grant is on top of her game in the world of IT. She has loyal clients, a good reputation, and a prestigious membership in technology giant Afire Industries’ small business accelerator. Things are going well until she stumbles across an innocuous issue with the lighting in the building where she rents space. When she digs into the problem, she discovers some…

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year--Christmas in September

The day after Labor Day I woke up to an email from my contacts at St. Martin’s Press, inviting me to review six of their upcoming Christmas books, all of which have release dates in early October. For most people, this would probably be a problem — who wants to think about Christmas before Halloween — but for me, I’ve always had a soft spot for the man in the red suit. Even after I stopped believing in the Christ-Myth, I still loved that one holiday. To me, Christmas represents everything that Thanksgiving is supposed to be, but with better music and no obligatory turkey. Some of my favorite books have a Christmas theme and so I jumped at the chance to review those six books (well, five of them because the sixth has to do with cowboys and if there is one sub-genre I just cannot do is cowboys). I read the first two, With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins and Deck the Halls by Donna Alward, fairly quickly, especially since they’re both novellas. Both are being released in a little o…

Review of "New York, Actually" by Sarah Morgan

Title: New York, Actually
Author: Sarah Morgan
ISBN: 0373804105
Publisher: HQN Books
Series: From Manhattan with Love #4
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96 (Audible)
Rating: 🐶🐶🐶🐶1/2


If you follow me on social media, you'll have seen my posts about this book over the last week.  For the most part, they weren't very positive -- until about 20% into the book, I hated the hero.  If I could have set him on fire, I probably would have.  It was only Ms. Morgan's prose and the fact that I had been looking forward to this book for 6 months that kept me reading.  For once, I am glad I was so wrong about a character.

From the PublisherOne man. One woman. Two dogs.  Meet Molly—New York's most famous advice columnist, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they're other people's. Still bruised from her last breakup, Molly is in no rush to find happily-ever-after—the only love of her life is her dalmatian, Valentine.  Meet Daniel—A cynical divorce …