Thursday, January 21, 2010

Double Life: TBR Challenge Review

So, for my first TBR Challenge endeavor this year, I feel cheated. Actually, I cheated myself because I didn't set enough time aside to write up a proper review (I was planning to last night at work, but because of whiny people at work, I had to step into staffing), so I have to do a drive-by quickie. But, I did read the book. And I did enjoy it. It's got my taste buds yearning for more category books. Maybe a glom is on the horizon?

Anyhoo, from the blurb because I'm too tired from work last night to formulate my own synopsis...

An oil fortune and an ill-fated heir...

Ash Corbett had been gone for twelve years. And now he was back in Jacob's Pass, Texas, as brash and as beautiful as ever. But something about him wasn't right. His family knew it...Emma Novick knew it. And what would take DNA typing precious time to reveal, Emma had only to look in his eyes and sample one kiss to know for sure.

As a child, Emma would watch the grand Corbett parties through the windows and from the trees, catching only glimpses of the gowns and glamour inside. She was the gardener's daughter, not the sort of girl Ash would ever be attracted to. He was educated and well-bred, the kind of man who commanded respect wherever he went. But he and Emma shared secrets that only intensified over the years. Even though they were little more than strangers now, the passion between them burned strong still. But someone knew about them and would use their forbidden past to forge a new future...without Ash.


DOUBLE LIFE, by Amanda Stevens, is from Nov. '06 and part of a mini-series called He's A Mystery. What I enjoyed about this one was the "full" feeling I got, like that of the longer, mass market suspense books. I think that came from the history between Emma and Ash, as well as Emma's ongoing recovery as an assault victim (her reason for being back in Jacob's Pass, Texas). Jacob's Pass may be a peaceful, idyllic little town, but it has many dark secrets...namely the unsolved murders of several women from when Emma was a young girl. She may call the town "home", but she can't ignore foreboding feeling of dread that something bad is about to happen. Within the first two chapters, another dead body is found on the beach...

On the blurb, it doesn't mention that Ash Corbett is actually an imposter. He's really Tom Black, a man down on his luck with a bit of jail time under his belt, eager to prove himself and make a quick buck. Or is he? As the story goes on, it becomes quite evident that there is more beneath the surface of Tom Black/Ash Corbett, and he steps into Ash's life with ease. The true test of his new identity will really be tested when he sees Emma. They hadn't just had a summer fling before Ash Corbett had disappeared, and that is evident when he sees the heart that Emma wears on her sleeve for all to witness.

I liked the layering in DOUBLE LIFE, and the well-rounded feeling of it all, especially the unsolved murder threat that is never lost in the background. It kind of sets the tone of the whole novel and reminds you that even if Ash and Emma do get their happily ever after, things will never be right until a murderer is caught. Shell Island, a tiny abandoned island off the shores of Jacob's Pass, used to be home for a cult of sorts in the 60s. It's also the place where several bodies had been found, mentioned earlier in this "review". Could Emma's feeling of dread be tied to that? Or is she just frightened of her own shadow after her attack?

(And just a question -- why is Blogger not allowing me to publish posts without attaching labels?)

3 comments:

Wendy said...

I haven't read very much of the Intrigue line - but this one sounds good. Will have to look it up. Thanks!

Shon said...

Ditto what Wendy said. I've been in the mood to read more categories lately as well. I have a whole bunch of them, too. Thanks!

Keishon

ag said...

This one sounds intriguing. Thanks for the quick but effective review.