RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Scorched by Laura Griffin


Title: Scorched
Author: Laura Griffin
Publication Info: Pocket 2012
ISBN: 9781451617399
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Book Scorched This RITA® Reader Challenge 2013 review was written by Kerry. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Romantic Suspense category.

The summary:     

Kelsey Quinn set out to trace a murder victim. Now she may become one.

The dead don’t speak, but Kelsey knows their secrets. As a forensic anthropologist at the Delphi Center crime lab, Kelsey makes it her mission to identify bodies using no more than shards of bone, and her find at a remote Philippines dig hints at a sinister story.

When Kelsey’s search for answers puts her at the scene of her ex-fiancé's murder, only one man can help her. The same man who broke her heart just months before, and who is also a prime suspect.

Faced with an ultimatum – Kelsey or his job – Gage Brewer did the only thing a Navy SEAL could…but that doesn't mean he stopped wanting Kelsey. Now Kelsey is running for her life and Gage is her last line of defense. As the threats escalate, Kelsey realizes this conspiracy goes deeper and higher than they could have guessed.

With the clock ticking down on a madman’s plot, the slightest misstep will have unthinkable consequences….

And here is Kerry's review:

This is the first time I've submitted a review for the RITA challenge. I happened to be reading my email from smartbitches and clicked on the spreadsheet out of curiosity. I am a huge fan of romantic suspense and prefer that over most other genres. I wasn't sure if I wanted to commit to a review but wanted to check out the different options to see if I was interested in anything. I checked out the titles on Amazon and was a little impatient with my clicking, hitting “buy with 1-click” accidentally while looking at Scorched, so here I am.

I enjoyed it, to an extent, but it never really “grabbed ahold” of me. It wasn't a book that I HAD to keep reading, stealing a few minutes while standing at the stove making supper, etc. I'm not sure why I didn't LOVE it, it had all the elements I enjoy. Navy SEAL? Yes, please. Strong heroine with an interesting career? Excellent. People chasing them? I'm in.

However, I just couldn't get invested in the romance between the two main characters. Kelsey and Gage had been together previously, but she couldn't handle his job and gave him an ultimatum. He elected to keep his career (hello, Navy SEAL isn't your typical throwaway job) and she ended up engaged to an FBI agent in Texas where she lived. It really rang false that she expected him to walk away from his career – she's a forensic anthropologist (I think? not sure if the title was explicitly stated and I may have just missed it) who travels all over the world and works in some precarious situations. Her beloved uncle was a Navy SEAL as well, so you would think she would have some understanding as to having a demanding career that you love plus the requirements in a significant other of a Navy SEAL. It seemed like a trumped up reason to break up.

The author touched briefly on an issue that made more sense as a catalyst for the break up, but then never expanded on it. I read it, thought “Oh, I think I understand” but it never went any further and I was left thinking “huh”? I felt that way about their previous relationship in general. It was supposed to be this amazing, hard to get over, hot affair but I never really got the sense of that in their interactions.

Technically, I think the book seemed like it was well-researched and didn't have any huge glaring errors when it came to things they did. She wasn't overly stupid when she went running for her life. There was a lot going on, with a lot of city changes, and I found that I had to keep thinking back as to what city they were in and why. That was a huge sign that I wasn't all that engaged. There was a sense of bumbling around by the FBI, while simultaneously talking about them being the best law enforcement agency IN THE WORLD.

I probably would have given it a C, but I really liked the resolution for Kelsey and Gage at the end. I thought it was a believable, practical solution to the problems that had supposedly kept them apart at the beginning and that they both were willing to make sacrifices for their relationship.

All in all, I think it was an okay book. I'm not sorry that I read it but it wouldn't be a book that I read over and over again. Fun to read it with a view to reviewing it, made the experience a little different for me.

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

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