Title: Heartbreaker (GoodReads link)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Place(s) Traveled to: Holy Oaks, Iowa
I’ve long been a fan of Julie Garwood’s historical novels and will admit to being disappointed when she decided to stop writing them and move to contemporary suspense. I really wasn’t into reading contemporary romances all that much and so mourned the loss of reading an author that I enjoyed. Then I met book bully J and we bonded over our love of snark, Doctor Who, books, and romances. When she learned that I’d never read Garwood’s contemps she was shocked and said that needed to be fixed. I shrugged and said maybe one day. That day came not too long ago when we met up and she gave me a bag of Garwood’s contemporary books and said very sternly…READ THEM.
So I did.
I brought Heartbreaker with me on the plane to London. I thought what better way than to kill part of the 7 or so hours of the flight than with a romance book. Well, wouldn’t you know it but this book kept me so engrossed that I didn’t stop reading until I hit the end and I didn’t get much sleep as I flew across the pond.
The opening chapter is pretty chilling and really sets the tone of this book and really sets it apart from her historicals. Garwood still has her classic feisty heroine and alpha male hero but there is more tension as there is also a race to find out who a killer is before the heroine ends up dead. I really enjoyed the relationship of Laurant and Nick I thought it was well developed and believable and I enjoyed their banter. I also liked all of the side characters, even the inner ramblings of the killer, who I just couldn’t wait to figure out who it was. The mystery that is woven throughout this story isn’t overly complex but there are enough twists and turns to keep most readers guessing what will happen next.
The thing that bothered me most about this book is all the random head jumping. Not just between the hero and heroine but with any side character that happened to be nearby as well when it was convenient to the story. This is an on going issue that I have with Garwood and is something that happens in every book of hers. There is little to no structure with the head jumping and it just ends up as a cheap plot device because its the easy way to get a point across. Overall though I really enjoyed this book and didn’t mind the lack of sleep because I couldn’t stop reading it. It has put me on a contemporary romance kick as well and I love discovering new authors because of it. I look forward to reading more about the Buchannon clan and I hope that Nick and Laurent make appearances in later books as well. Though, I do still wish that Julie Garwood would write some more historicals. I still miss those.