Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: Concrete Evidence by Rachel Grant

Title: Concrete Evidence
Series: Evidence
Author: Rachel Grant
Read copy: eBook
Published: April 11, 2013
Publisher: Janus Publishing, LLC
ISBN: 0989301001
ISBN-13: 9780989301008

A year ago she lost everything. Now she wants revenge…

Accused of stealing artifacts from a five hundred year-old shipwreck, underwater archaeologist Erica Kesling is determined to clear her name. She’s concealed her past and taken a job certain to give her access to the buyer of the missing antiquities. She's finally closing in on her goal, when she's distracted by a sexy, charismatic intern who makes her want something other than revenge.

But Lee Scott is no intern. He's looking for the lead conspirator in an international artifact smuggling scheme, and Erica is his prime suspect. He’ll do whatever it takes to win her trust and get her to reveal her secrets, even seduce her.

As Erica and Lee struggle to conceal their real agendas, the one thing they can’t hide is the attraction that burns hot between them. When Erica’s quest puts her life in jeopardy, Lee must choose between old loyalties and a woman he never expected to fall for.

My rating:

***copy provided by publisher through NetGalley***

Erica Kesling has almost remade and redeemed herself. A year ago she lost everything—her money and her reputation. There’s nothing to be done about the money, but she can restore her reputation. And she will, as soon as the stolen artifacts go on display and she can whip out the photographs she’s taken a year ago on a treasure-hunter’s ship.

Clean and simple.

Unfortunately there’s a complication. In the form of a 25-year-old, slacker of an intern named Lee Scott. He’s too sexy for comfort and he knows it. And he’s also made it his mission to get her into bed with him.

Which wouldn’t be a problem if she trusted him. Or if he trusted her...

This book started off great. Nicely plotted-out, ‘fluent’, intriguing...And yeah, hot, when Lee had a scene. It was twisty and turn-y and for about the first 40% of the story I loved it to bits.

Then it all went downhill from that.

I simply didn’t get the heroine’s motivations. Didn’t get her reasoning. Sure, she wanted to make the guy who destroyed her life and reputation pay. Okay, nothing wrong with that. But her methods...She boggled the mind. I had no idea a person’s reputation was more important than their life. Okay, I don’t move in the archaeological world and I don’t live in the US. But with so many law-enforcement agencies out there, she couldn’t go to one? She needed to play the hero first by unmasking the baddie before she went to the FBI or whatever? She thought she could take them alone? All the while almost fainting every time she laid eyes on the bad guys? And all the while believing the bad guy’s word that he would protect her unless she tattled. Uhm, he’s the bad guy here! What’s to say he’d keep his word?

Then there was the twist-and-turniness of the plot that at the beginning drew me in so much. Toward the end there were too many twists to keep everything straight. And some of them seemed forced, written for the sake of higher page-count, and for the main couple to suffer through yet another bout of suspicion and anger. (And these were truly getting annoying toward the end—haven’t they heard of TALKING?)

Without those two peeves (which are probably just my peeves), the book would’ve been amazing and worthy of a 5-star rating. The writing was great, the plot tight, the suspense edge-of-the-seat gripping, the characters nicely drawn-out, the ‘secrets’ intriguing, and the chemistry between the main protagonists sizzling.

A good debut novel, but I cannot get past the above-mentioned ‘hiccups’. But since there is space for improvement, I’ll definitely pick up the next two books by Ms. Grant. The blurbs are promising.


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