Wednesday, April 17, 2013

6 Heart Review: In Her Sights by Robin Perini + Giveaway!

In Her Sights (Montgomery Justice #1)
Robin Perini

Page Count: 236

Release Date: 29 November 2011
Publisher: Montlake Romance (Amazon)
Source: Complimentary copy provided by author, via Book Monster Promotions, as part of the Behind the Lies virtual book tour
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Jasmine "Jazz" Parker, Jefferson County SWAT's only female sniper, can thread the eye of a needle with a bullet. But she carries with her a secret from her past that she thought she buried for good at the age of fifteen. Two years ago she even drove away the one man she believed she could love—ex-Army Ranger turned reporter Luke Montgomery—to keep her past hidden. But now, in a fleeting second, the time it takes for one clean shot, one perfect hit, to save the life of the governor's daughter, Jazz's world begins to crumble around her.

When Luke splashes her face and name across the front page of the newspaper, a vicious enemy from her past returns seeking vengeance without compromise. Jazz is forced to turn to the one man she can never have before she and everyone she cares about pays the ultimate price. Full of explosive action and almost unbearable suspense, In Her Sights is a relentless, steamy thriller surprisingly infused with soul and poignancy.

Review


This first installment of the Montgomery Justice series follows the reunion of Luke, the second-to-youngest Montgomery brother, with his long-lost lover, Jazz. Luke has always known Jazz to be distant, to always push people away, but only when she reenters his life, does he begin to discover the darkest crevices of a secret she's kept hidden since age 15, when it resurfaces to haunt her 12 years later.

In Her Sights didn't feel any different from your regular Harlequin Intrigue with its forced plot, predictable villain, and at least one character with a "haunting past"... in other words, pretty unmemorable. Then I looked the author up and saw she was a Harlequin Intrigue regular. How's that for sniper-like intuition?

The relationship is painfully unrealistic. The wistfulness of an old flame is portrayed well, but the fact that they still have feelings for each other and then go about pursuing a relationship is too predictable, too trite. However, the love scenes are sizzling! Perini knows how to write steamy in the bedroom (and out).

I liked Luke as an alpha hero, but there isn't much about him that made me want to fall in love with him. He's strong, handsome, caring... but isn't every ex-military romance hero these days? His "deep dark secret" is supposed to be touching, but just seems overused. I wanted to like him, but he's just too poorly developed of a character. As for Jasmine, I was able to relate to her pain and her fears, and do admire her; she's a mature woman who's tough to break, always with a barrier of protection she wears like a veil. She knows her life isn't made of happy endings, but as much as I respected her poise and courage, she's quite dislikable. She doesn't seem particularly nice or welcoming, and is rather bitchy and has a big head because she is the only female SWAT member and all. The author overall just did a poor job at portraying her personality.

Jasmine's whole life has been carefully calculated and painstakingly hidden, but this façade falls apart when her identity and her career careen out of her sights. Her faith has the chance of being restored when the only man who's believed in her unconditionally gives her hope, strength, and most of all, belonging. But there's a personal vendetta out to get her, that might not be so gracious as to let that happen.

While the sabotage and Jazz's past is frightening, the plot's lack of structure is awful. The characters are tolerable, but the plot just... the villain's identity and the mystery of it all just pop out of nowhere! There's no connection, no foreshadowing, no suspense or element of surprise... it's just a random person connected to a vaguely mentioned secondary character, which made the story overall terribly anticlimactic.

There are also very subtle, but rather misplaced Christian sentiments; instead of a strong, continuous undertone, the characters randomly burst into prayer in times of danger—a fair warning for those of you who can't stand that.

[UPDATE]: Click here to read my review of Behind the Lies, the second book in the Montgomery Justice series. I liked it significantly better, just saying ;)

Pros


Intricate plot // HOT chemistry between Jazz and Luke // The Montgomery brothers—I could get used to them! // Articulate, intelligent style // Emotional pain seems very real // Likable (but not lovable) characters

Cons


Forgettable, forced plot; your typical Harlequin // Mystery seems random // Characters are tolerable, but underdeveloped and not at all affecting // Not exactly a Christian novel, but still has haphazard Christian references // Anticlimactic and not suspenseful // Unrealistic relationship

Love

"There is no light, Jasmine. Not unless you count the moon."

Luke's velvet baritone sent shivers through her. She hadn't forgotten what his whisper sounded like in the dark. She wished to God she had.

Verdict


Robin Perini spins a decent romantic suspense about reignited fires, bitter secrets of the past, and hearts that wander back to true loves in the first of her Montgomery Justice series. I liked In Her Sights enough—the swirling unknown, precise SWAT details, and Luke and Jazz's scorching encounters make for a great story—but overall was not impressed, due to the anticlimax, random mystery, and stilted relationship. I wouldn't separate this book out as extraordinary because it's not particularly gripping or dangerous—just another series romance, more than anything  Americanflag

6 hearts: Satisfying for a first read, but I'm not going back (x)

Giveaway!


Thanks to Book Monster Promotions and the author, we have one copy of In Her Sights to give away! The winner gets to choose print or eBook, and if you've already read this one, Robin is happy to provide the second book, Behind the Lies, as a substitute. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what you think about my review and the book to win. Be sure to include your email address!

Remember to make your words meaningful. One-worded comments and solely "thanks for the giveaway" will not be eligible for entry!

Rules and Disclosure:
Giveaway ends May 2nd at 11.59 (your time).
Open to internationally! Woohoo!
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be chosen.
Although I do select winners, I am in no way responsible for the prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!