Wednesday, September 5, 2012

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: Turn to Me by Tiffany A. Snow

Turn to Me (Kathleen Turner #2)
Tiffany A. Snow

Release Date: April 13th, 2012
Publisher: self-published
Page Count: 439
Source: Complimentary copy provided by author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)

When Kathleen Turner, office runner for the prestigious Indianapolis law firm of Kirk & Trent, started dating the boss, she knew the risks. Senior Partner Blane Kirk is known for being a notorious player—the Baskin Robbins of dating with a different flavor every month. Kathleen is the happiest she’s been in a long time, especially as Christmas approaches, but she’s always known there was a termination date on her relationship with Blane.

She just didn’t expect that termination to be her funeral.

A festive afternoon of Christmas tree shopping turns life-threatening when Kathleen and Blane become targets for an unknown gunman. They make it home alive, but Kathleen realizes her boyfriend has been keeping secrets. The deadly kind. Blane’s current case is drawing heated debate and stirring the pot of public fury. Kathleen is horrified by the threats—and worse—being directed at him. A former Navy SEAL stands accused of the wrongful death of an American citizen during a military operation overseas. The case has far-reaching political and military implications. Someone with a lot of money, and even more clout, wants Blane to lose.

As dead bodies of people connected to the defense start piling up, it becomes painfully obvious that disappearing witnesses and altered testimony are no longer enough for whoever is intent on guaranteeing the SEAL gets convicted. Kathleen and Kade, Blane’s brother and ex-FBI-agent-turned-assassin-for-hire, are on the trail of the killer.

Unfortunately for Kathleen, he’s already moved for the end-game—by painting a target on her... and pulling the trigger.
[QUICK NOTE] Read my review of No Turning Back, the book that started the Kathleen Turner series, by clicking here.

What Stephanie Thinks: I was first introduced to Kat Turner when I reviewed No Turning Back in July—I absolutely adored it! So I definitely had high hopes for Turn to Me, and I can say with confidence, this is a sexier, more dangerous, and much more intense sequel. Kathleen Turner fans, beware: you're in for a seductive albeit vicious ride.

The first part is a little slow and lovey-dovey, mostly showing how happy Kat is with Blane. In the first book, she only fantasizes about him and eventually does win his affections, but in this one, readers watch as her official relationship with him blooms and struggles to stay afloat. Nothing fancy—just the vanilla drama of regular relationships—slightly dull. The suspense picked up after the first few chapters though, for sure.

The circumstances of Kat's very vulnerable position by Blane's side in a recent lethal legal case may lead to her demise, but she can't help but stay loyal to her lover. That's Kathleen Turner for you: our (often foolishly) stubborn protagonist. She's one of both the weakest and strongest characters, especially when in the presence of men, which is interesting to watch play out.

What's most penetrating about Snow's novel is her passionate characters, namely, the two male protagonists: Blane and Kade. To Kat, even despite the immediate risks of dating him, Blane is the perfect man, the perfect boyfriend, the light to her day. Kade, his half-brother, the is the dark to Blane's light, but that doesn't make him any less appealing. Thought Kat will only admit to loving her boyfriend, she can't deny her dangerous attraction towards Kade. I know, I know. You may be cringing. But hear me out. This isn't a smutty soap opera love triangle; it's very real, very forbidden, and thus, very painful. Kat's already been in a sticky situation by dating Blane, so she's only set herself up to get her heart broken from the start, but that doesn't mean the relationship—or its downfall—will be any easier. Snow perfectly shows the difficulty of real-life relationships through Kat and Blane's interactions, and there just happens to be a troubled, troubling, and delicious half-brother added in. 

However, I do have one major problem: Kat's flitting mind. She knows to be the good girl and stay with Blane—the one who easily displays his affections for her, the one she fell for hard—but her heart's going out to Kade. I don't blame her, because he's sexy as sin, but I wish she wouldn't have kept insinuating feelings for him, SPOILER then ultimately settling with BlaneKathleen's too wholesome to let herself succumb to her attraction to Kade. I mean, no doubt she and Blane have chemistry, but what she and Kade have are explosions. I personally admire her for not consummating her relationship with Kade (Lord knows I wouldn't have been able to resist myself to him LOL), but am disappointed by the increasing tensions that fell flat in the end. I felt like I was being led on because my Kat/Kade fandom was becoming so enthusiastic. Does that make me the biggest fangirly geek ever? Yes, and I'm proud, but only because of how much I loved Turn to Me. I kid you not; Kat and Kade share one of the hottest, most heartbreaking dynamics I've ever read in contemporary romance, and it is without a doubt, my favorite part about this book.

The only reason I hold myself back from giving this one my full 10 hearts is because, while it is the kind of story I felt like I didn't even have to work at—the pages turned themselves!—the chick-lit-y voice detracts from overall substance, whether the particular reasons be Kat's indecisiveness, her fickle mind, or the predictability of the happily-ever-after. No way am I saying the book is predictable, on account of its countless twists and shocking revelations, but the man she ends up with, well, I expected as much. It's just that Kathleen puts herself in a stupid amount of unnecessarily dangerous situations; you'd think she'd learn her lesson and just stay put after the first few times of nearly getting killed. I understand she's being 'rescued' by Blane or Kade to propel the strength of her trust in each of them, but this directly contradicts her determination to be a strong and independent woman. This was my main complaint about No Turning Back as well: the irritating fact that she would be seething in her socks because of a betrayal by or insult from one of the brothers one moment, then quivering in sexual desire the next... flighty much? I'm not tearing her character apart, really (BY NOW YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS BOOK), but her annoying attitude is the main reason Turn to Me doesn't hit home completely.

Regardless, I was mesmerized by this intoxicating, excruciating second installment of the Kathleen Turner series. If you like your suspense novels breezy—if you like high heels with your high crimes—this series, and Turn to Me in particular, will rock will world. Kat's character may stray sometimes and exasperate often, but it's the story that counts, right? In my opinion, the story is the perfect mixture of chick-lit and thriller, of scorching romance and heartbreaking impasses, and that's what makes it one you certainly won't want to miss. Despite being irked, I still loved it (is that tragic or what?) and am counting on Snow for the next in the series.

[QUICK NOTERead my review of the aaahhmazing third book, Turning Point, by clicking here.

Stephanie Loves: "'Don't worry,' Blane whispered to me, settling his hand on the small of my back. 'You'll be fine. I promise, I'm the only one who'll bite you.'"

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