Saturday, September 24, 2011

Against the Storm, by Kat Martin

Rating:  B, Hot
Book # 4  in The Raines of Wind Canyon, presents us with a suspenseful story about professional photographer Magie O’Connell and Atlas Security owner and former Army ranger Trace Rawlins.  Maggie has a stalker who appears to be escalating, so she hires Trace to assist her in finding the stalker, since the Houston police department is not showing much interest in Maggie’ issue.  Trace is a bit baffled that the police are inattentive towards Maggie.  As he starts his investigation, he learns that when she was a teenager, she falsely accused a police officer’s son of rape.   However, Maggie didn’t share this information with Trace, and he is angry that she withheld this when she hired him.  

Trace goes to work, getting Maggie set up with a new security system in her condo.  As they spend more time together, they develop some serious feelings for each other.  Both are gun shy, Trace from his first marriage to Carly and Maggie from a past relationship gone bad.  The  investigation continues, as the stalker becomes bolder.  At the same time, these two are falling in love, although they each deny their true feelings, and blame it on their strong sexual relationship.

Maggie has a younger sister Ashley, whom she has never been close to.  However Ashley now has a three month old son, and is not getting along with her mom. The only person she feels she can turn to is Maggie, so she shows up on Maggie’s door step, asking her to let her and the baby stay with her.  Maggie is hesitant  because of her stalker.  But, she relents, so Ashley and the baby move in.  Not long after Ashley moves in, things really take a turn for the worst with the stalker. 

There are plenty of suspects for the stalker, and just when Trace thinks he is making progress, he is proven wrong.   I did figure out who the culprit was at about the halfway point.  But Trace really has to work to solve the stalker puzzle, and there was a time or two that I doubted that I really knew who it was!  The suspense, and solving the issues in both plot lines in this story was quite well done. 

The secondary plot in this book intertwines nicely with the main story. Trace is also working for wealthy Hewitt Sommerset, who has an employee embezzling funds from his company. Hewitt is found dead in his home, and Trace and Hewitt’s son Jason do not think his death was a suicide.  Jason really falls for Ashley, who seems like an unlikely girlfriend for the wealthy young man.  Jason is such a breath of fresh air that they really work well together.  

 One issue I did have was the heroine Maggie not giving Trace some important information regarding her past.  She lies to him by omission a couple of times, and if there is one thing I struggle with, it’s moments like this with the heroine.  Not only does she put herself in more danger, along with Ashley, the baby and even to a certain extent Trace.  The other issue was Carly, Trace’s x-wife.  I felt she was an unnecessary character in a story loaded with interesting characters.  I get that she is the reason Trace is doubting his ability for trusting women, but that came through loud and clear. 

Book provided by NetGalley for review. 

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