RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge Review: Love Me To Death by Allison Brennan


Title: Love Me to Death
Author: Allison Brennan
Publication Info: Ballantine 2010
ISBN: 9780345520395
Genre: Romantic Suspense

RITA®, and the RITA statuette are service marks of Romance Writers of America, Inc.It is RITA® Reader Challenge season ‘round these parts, and Rachel stepped up to review this book, which was nominated in the Romantic Suspense Category.

Book CoverPlot Summary: Six years ago, Lucy Kincaid was attacked and nearly killed by an online predator. She survived. Her attacker did not. Now Lucy’s goal is to join the FBI and fight cyber-crime, but in the meantime, she’s volunteering with a victim’s rights group, surfing the Web undercover to lure sex offenders into the hands of the law. But when the predators she hunts start turning up as murder victims, the FBI takes a whole new interest in Lucy.

With her future and possibly even her freedom suddenly in jeopardy, Lucy discovers she’s a pawn in someone’s twisted plot to mete out vigilante justice. She joins forces with security expert and daredevil Sean Rogan, and together they track their elusive quarry from anonymous online chat rooms onto the mean streets of Washington, D.C. But someone else is shadowing them: A merciless stalker has his savage eye on Lucy. The only way for her to escape his brutality may be another fight to the death.

And here is Rachel’s review:

Creepy, thrilling, nail biter status aside – this book may not be for everyone because of the topic of rape and violence towards women. While I am not a victim myself, I did lose a good friend to such violence. Brennan handles the subject well in my opinion, and I’m not trying to warn people away from the book, but I did feel it should be clearly stated.

This book reminded me why I don’t read suspense/thriller types all that often. With books I get way too involved with what’s going on, unlike a movie of the same genre. Having said that, I couldn’t put it down. Not even when the sicko villain had me doing the heebie-geebie dance in my chair (dude was messed up). I’m getting chills and scrunched up shoulders just thinking about it again as I write this.

Lucy’s character felt real to me – like someone you’d want to sit down and chat with over cheesecake and coffee. Six years after her experiences, she’s finished college and has an application in to join the FBI. She’s driven to want to catch the bad guys and protect the innocent, but not in an obsessive manner. She just knows it’s what she wants to do. In one form or another, she’ll be there to help people who’ve had similar experiences to her own.

Her family wasn’t perfect either. They love Lucy – to the point of being more overprotective than most people in normal situations. Which gave some great moments for conflict that flowed well with what was happening through the book.

Sean, sexy P.I. – amateur race car driver, pilot, expert lock pick, computer genius – seemed a little … I don’t know. Not that a person can’t have all the aforementioned skills, and being self sufficient is great – but his hobbies seemed manufactured for convenience to fit certain plot elements when the need arose. Like being an amateur racer gives one all the skills needed to have a brief car chase through a residential neighborhood. Huh – say wha??

Not that I question the ability of a race driver to handle a car, but I would have found it more plausible if he’d mentioned a stunt driving course or something along those lines. I’m probably the only person who would have an issue with such fiddly little details – more specifically why it had to be mentioned before the chase could start in the first place. Course, I find reading about car chases very boring in the first place, so I might be a little biased here. Using one as a mini info dump (only time anything racing related was brought up) to mention a character’s little side hobby turns me on even less.

I can’t be too hard on him though. He’s an overall decent guy for the most part, and very good to Miss Lucy (letting her dictate the speed of their relationship a big plus). So as long as I ignored the occasional “Oh yeah, I can do _______. Shazam!” moment, everything was okay. Any guy that can take a girl teasing him about his ego (and join in with her) can’t be all that bad.

This book is available at Amazon | Kindle | BN & nook | Sony | Kobo | WORD Brooklyn eBookstore | Book Depository

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    SarahW says:

    My biggest gripe about this book was that it didn’t have much of a romance. In fact I think this is a series, and the relationship doesn’t develop until later books. Which in my mind is not a romance!

  2. 2
    Susan says:

    Well, at least he wasn’t a professional race car driver retired due to an accident with scars and injuries that give him intermittent pain.  That would *really* be too much.

  3. 3

    Yeah, I didn’t catch on about the series thing until later. I was caught up more with the mystery thrill that I didn’t mind a bit less of a romance on this one. Probably since I don’t normally go for this sort of book.

    I was nearly yelling at the book much like the first time I saw “Silence of the Lambs”. You know, that whole “OMG, TURN AROUND, BEHIND YOU!!” reaction. Yeah, I get involved with my entertainment….

    I know it sounds like I’m really complaining about the guy, but it bugged me when there seemed to be nothing he couldn’t do. Except be patient like his brothers and other business partners because he had never been in the military.

    He’d bug me the same if he was a dude in an action movie … there would just be pretty explosions and such to distract me more. /blush

  4. 4
    Donna says:

    This sounds sooo much better than the book I chose in this category. And I ‘m so glad someone else couldn’t say what needed to be said in under 250 words.
    So, were they just going around and around the same block?  Cause that’s the only way I can see being an amateur race car driver being an advantage in a street chase.

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