My trend of finding great romantic suspense books has continued! Mean Streak is the latest book from New York Times best-selling author Sandra Brown and it had all the elements I love in a good novel. Tortured hero, kick ass heroine and plenty of intrigue. Just when you think you have it figured out, a new twist pops up.
Pediatrician Dr. Emory Charbonneau is in training for a charity marathon which she is organizing. In order to push herself harder and get a break from her failing marriage, she heads out of town to run on the most difficult paths she has attempted. One moment she is running as planned and the next she is waking up in a cabin with a splitting headache, nausea, and the most intriguing man she has ever seen. When it becomes clear that he does not intend to let her leave, Emory does everything in her power to escape – to no avail. The man has promised that he will not hurt her and that he will release her when it is safe, but not until then.
Hayes Bannock is on the run, determined to meet out justice as he sees fit. His mission is not yet complete and the last thing he needs is to become attached to the feisty doctor. Intending to let her go, he keeps her in his cabin for just a little bit longer than is necessary and the two begin to grow closer. Unfortunately fate steps in before he can follow through on his promise to return her to her family, and he needs her help to save the life of a young girl. Throughout the crisis and the days she spends with him, Emory begins to see that there is a lot more to this man than he lets on.
Knowing he must let her go before he becomes even more involved, he turns on his cold side, rebuffs her and drops her at a gas station outside of town. The media is all over the story and her husband, who had been suspected of killing her, seems to be turning on the charm to win her back. Although Hayes intended to leave and never look back, he discovers a clue as to who was trying to kill Emory and he can’t just walk away.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was some of the secondary characters. It’s probably an unrealistic hope, but I would love if Ms. Brown gave FBI Agent Jack Connell and Bannock’s sister Rebecca their own story. It is clear the two have some chemistry in their interactions and I would definitely buy it. The detectives that investigated Emory’s disappearance would make good books too.
Moving back to Mean Streak, there were plenty of plot twists that kept you guessing as to who the bad guy really was, and I was wrong. This is one case where I like being wrong. With respect to Hayes, you never really know is this guy on the right side of the law, the wrong, wrongly convicted, in trouble, tragedy. It keeps things interesting. He was so sweet to Emory but he also did not apologize for who he is and he doesn’t hesitate to show his dark side. His interactions with the young girl and her mother make you all mushy for him. Emory was a great heroine because she didn’t just sit back and take the word of everyone, she used her intuition and relied on her gut to tell her what was real and what wasn’t. She also wasn’t waiting for a man to save her.
Overall a great book. Sweet love story, smoking hot sex (although there wasn’t a whole lot of sex), and a genuine suspense plot. This was my first experience with Ms. Brown’s work and I would not hesitate to read her again.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Sandra Brown
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing