Saturday, July 28, 2012

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: No Turning Back by Tiffany A. Snow

Release Date: June 10th, 2011
Publisher: Self-published
Page Count: 385
Source: Complimentary copy provided by author, via Romancing the Book, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you both!)

After the death of her parents, Kathleen Turner leaves small town life for Indianapolis to pursue her dreams the best she can. Young and alone in the world, she works as a lowly Runner at the prestigious law firm of Gage, Kirk and Trent and bartends at night to make ends meet. Her ignominious introduction to Blane Kirk, partner in the firm and local playboy, has her diving under desks to avoid him. Unfortunately, when her friend is murdered and attempts are made on her own life she doesn't know where to turn—except to Blane. Kathleen’s journey begins in the halls of justice where she finds not everyone is as they seem and what you don’t know can get you killed. Though a far cry from her Midwestern upbringing, she poses as a prostitute in the intriguing circles of high-priced escort services in a reckless bid to uncover the murderer. Little does she know that the murder of her friend was only a small part in a high-tech plan to rig an online election. She must race against the clock in a desperate ploy to sabotage the scheme in a dangerous game of political espionage. In No Turning Back, Kathleen struggles to bring a killer to justice, even if it may be the man with whom she's falling in love.

What Stephanie Thinks: It's two in the morning and I'm staying up to write this review, which is saying a lot, considering I'm driving to an charity event at the orphanage tomorrow morning at 7. No Turning Back is seriously one of those books that make me go asdfhgkjdf;afsdj. (The pronunciation of that is up to you). It's everything I love in a novel: sweet, suspenseful, sinfully, sinfully sexy, humorous, and dangerous but still light-hearted; it's one that I literally couldn't put down!

First, I'll throw it out there that Kathleen's voice is breezy, klutzy, and adorable, which reads very chick-lit-y, very entertaining. It does kind make it difficult to take the peril of the situation seriously—after all, this is supposed to be a gripping Mission Impossible-like novel—but all in all, I like it because while it is unmistakably girly, in times of adrenaline and danger, it cuts the crap, and shifts to edgy and bone-chilling. Snow makes these transitions of voice very smoothly, which I was impressed by. 

Kathleen's seemingly mundane and "normal" life is turned upside-down when she is caught up in this murder case—one that's far more than a murder, stretching as far as a lethal nationwide political fraud—and somehow, she knows she has bigger ties to it than just being a friend of the victim. Through awfully awkward but delightfully hilarious mishaps, high-tech computer hacks (much to the fluster of the technology-retarded Kathleen), and even an unprecedented romance (or two), Kathleen bends over backwards to bring justice to the sudden tragedy once and for all—or at least, hopefully, to come out alive.

The storyline, I love love love. There's nothing more accurate I can say about it. The circumstances under which Kathleen is presented are believable, easily followable, and in the end, all fall into place faultlessly. This book is the perfect composition of enthralling suspense, scorching romance, and witty, warm, perfectly-played-out moments. As for her posing as a prostitute, I thought it would be a large part of the book based off the blurb, but it's actually just one scene. Nonetheless, it's an entertaining (because of her ironic predicament!), indulgent, and significant scene I adored.

Tiffany Snow has a way with words; she's amazing at creating situations that range from intense and critical, to blithe and comical. More importantly, her polished, contemporary style make No Turning Back an easy read, not only because of its unchallenging material, but also because the story just progresses effortlessly.

I was not fond of how Kathleen seems to be some sort of temptress, even though she swears to being, and comes off as, the cute and clumsy type. I mean, she is attractive, and has a great personality, but she's clearly not used to being so desired. Guys can't keep their hands off her—five different male characters (three of which are leading characters) either make passes at her or are infatuated with her, which isn't only grossly unrealistic, but also unconvincing, considering she's the type of girl who never whores herself out, and has only been with one other boy before—and that was in high school. I rolled my eyes at times. While the love triangle is steamy, the other guys hitting on her suddenly are too much. I also was a bit unsettled by the constant betrayal by and Kathleen's fickleness towards Blane. One moment I wanted him and Kathleen to be together, the next, I wanted him out of the picture. He continuously disappoints, sporadically revealing shocking tidbits of his involvement in the life-threatening scheme. Kathleen seems to recognize this. She's a smart, level-headed girl: she knows Blane is trouble, and that he's keeping his own secrets. But then he touches her arm or something and she melts and reconsiders her feelings about him...?—this happens more than a few times throughout the book, and it is not only confusing, but also slightly irritating. However, the conclusion is satisfying—a good ending to a good book—so I can't complain too much. The very last line leaves me hanging, even though full closure is provided; I'm now eager to try the sequel, Turn to Me!

Okay now it's 3am woohoooo but I'm not even tired. Just writing about No Turning Back is invigorating. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who would like a fast-paced, amusing romance that also contains heavier, disturbing facets (such as an attempted rape scene, gruesome murder descriptions, and frightening instances of combat). This, to put it in the best of words, is a law/crime thriller for the ladies: we've got hot heroes and wardrobe malfunctions, gunshots and very very unwelcome hunger pangs, break-ins and breakups... oh yeah. If suspense and chick-lit are your genres, this is the book for you.

[QUICK NOTE] Read my review of Turn to Me, the equally absorbing and fan-fucking-tastic second book in the Kathleen Turner series, by clicking here.

Read my review of the aaahhmazing third book, Turning Point, by clicking here.

Stephanie Loves: "Kade's words echoed in my head and I tried not to let the overwhelming fear and despair drown me. I would do what I could and the rest was in the hands of Fate, the fickle bitch."

Radical Rating: 
9 hearts: Loved it! This book has a spot on my favorites shelf. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥