I didn’t know that this book was a romantic suspense going in and I was surprised when I started reading. I could almost tag this book as a straight up romance given how much time is dedicated to Sam and Jules’ love story. While the romance could be a good hook for some I personally just found it distracting and kind of eye roll worthy. Sam and Jules were high school sweethearts, Sam cheats, and after getting dumped Jules finds her way into the arms of his brother, who took care of her through her family troubles. The book spends an inordinate amount of time on Sam’s miserable love life and how he never got over his first love despite a plethora of women throwing themselves at him. This made the earlier parts of the novel slow down to a crawl as the narrative focus was more about the romance than the actual murder.
It got worse when Jules started getting her memory back and remembers nothing of the love she shared with her husband and instead keeps thinking about Sam and all the great sex they had just days after her husband is murdered. I groaned. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised and it’s predictable, it’s just so distasteful and was just sort of a big middle finger to Sam’s brother Joe. I couldn’t get behind the romance in the story at all and it really decreased my enjoyment. So much that I actually was really struggling to like the book and had been thinking about rating it lower until I got to the second half of the story.
“Besides, he’d discovered a better thrill than sex… killing… with a partner. And then sex. Hot, hard, no-holds-barred sex.”
Thank goodness for the second half, when the mystery really started to come together. The thrill killers were an interesting pair that bring to mind several real life serial killer couples. It was a confusing twist on an otherwise average murder mystery and at first I had been wondering why they were even in the story at all. As I dug deeper into the story, however, things pulled together nicely and I actually found these characters to be pretty interesting.
This was the part of the book that was actually good, and the ending alone convinced me to push my rating just a little bit higher. It was worth slogging through the romance to get to the good stuff. While I found certain parts predictable and had figured out the dastardly duo immediately when they were introduced I still enjoyed unraveling the mystery and finding a few surprises along the way.
Just one look, and it’s clear they’re perfect together. It’s in the way they touch, talk, and kiss. They share the same interests. The same twisted passions. They do everything together. Even kill…
ARE TOO GOOD
Julia St. James Ford has washed up on a beach near her home in Seaside, Oregon, with no memory of how she got there or how her husband, Joe, died. The police rule the case an accident. But Joe’s brother, Sam—Jules’ rescuer and her first love—suspects otherwise. While Sam tries to piece the facts together, Jules fears someone is watching, determined to find out how much she knows.
TO BE TRUE
Behind closed doors, behind Jules’ neighbors’ smiles, are terrifying secrets. A string of sordid thrill kills…and one survivor who never should have got away. And as she and Sam close in on the events of one tragic night, and the truth comes flooding back, remembering a killer’s face may be the last thing Jules ever does…