RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Don’t Cry for Me by Sharon Sala


Title: Don't Cry for Me
Author: Sharon Sala
Publication Info: MIRA 2012
ISBN: 9780778313427
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Book Don't Cry for Me This RITA® Reader Challenge 2013 review was written by Diana. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Best Romantic Suspense category.

The summary:     

Mariah Conrad has come home. Badly wounded on active duty in Afghanistan and finally released stateside, she has no family to call on and nowhere to go—until Quinn Walker arrives at her bedside. Quinn, …her brother-in-arms, ex-lover and now maybe her future. Quinn brings Mariah to his log cabin in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky to rest and recuperate, both physically and emotionally.

While she's incredibly grateful, Mariah is also confused and frustrated. She's always stood on her own two feet, but now even that can literally be torture. She's having flashbacks and blackouts, hearing helicopter noises in the night. She wants to push Quinn away—and hold him closer than ever. But will she get the chance? Those helicopters are more than just post-traumatic stress; they're real—and dangerous.

Bad things are happening on the mountain. Suddenly there's a battle to be fought on the home front, and no guarantee of survival.

And here is Diana's review:

Where to start with this story.  There were parts I enjoyed but more that I didn’t.  Why?  This story was filled with an overabundance of drama.   Too much, I think for one book.  There was so much going on with the story—a maddened bear, drug runners, poachers, unrequited love, incest, PTSD—that it was difficult to keep up with the main characters and their journey to love.  I know this is romantic suspense and the mystery element is necessary, but this story barely had any romantic moments (besides the smexy bits) to recommend it as “romantic” suspense.

As a romance reader, the development of the relationship between two characters is the reason I read a story.   However, this story skipped over most of these parts, instead, relying heavily on their past relationship to create the bond and intimacy between them now.  It had been over a year since Quinn and Mariah were together–or had even spoken– yet we are supposed to believe that upon first sight they forgot this and were once again in love?  It was hard to believe.   I can see a couple’s past being the catalyst for reconnecting but not for establishing a permanent bond.  I think more couple time, some not involving dangerous scenarios, was needed to show how the new Quinn and Mariah fell in love.

As much as I didn’t enjoy the overall story, I can see why it was chosen for an award in the Romantic Suspense category.  There was a lot of tension in this book, practically a smorgasbord of drama.  It was the suspense that kept me reading when the characters made me want to pull out my hair.  Despite the hair pulling moment, I really think this author has a strong voice for romantic suspense.  Each of the side story lines that appeared at first glance to be random turned out to have a purpose connected to the main mystery.  For full disclosure, I listened to this book instead of reading it and I think it lost something in the “translation”.

This book is available Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Ejaygirl says:

    Just for clarity, is the D for it as a romance story without suspense?  Would you have a different grade if you were rating it as romantic suspense, its award category?

  2. 2
    Diana says:

    I can see why it was nominated because of the many suspense plots in it but I rated it like I did because it fell flat as romantic suspense title.  I thought the romantic suspense category focused on an element(s) of suspense that enhances the story’s overall romance. 

    For me, it didn’t quite manage a balance of romance and suspense of what I thought a romantic suspense title should be.  There was hardly any romance in it; it was all suspense and action with a couple of moments where Quinn and Mariah were together intimately (not even sexually, just together where they focused on themselves as a couple).  Most of their time was spent solving the story’s many problems. 

    If it were being judged as a suspense or mystery title only it would have been a higher rating, but as a romantic suspense I felt it didn’t work.

    Does that make sense?

  3. 3
    Ejaygirl says:

    Thanks for the clarification.

  4. 4

    I’m really bummed that this book fell so short. I’ve read a lot of Sharon Sala/Dinah McCall books in the past and always loved them.  I admit it’s been awhile since I’ve read one of her books, but this review is making rethink doing so.

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