Fiona Bristow runs a dog training centre and heads up a canine search and rescue unit, and both are her life. Fiona has a history, a bad one, that cost her the love of her life. Kidnapped and almost killed, Fiona escaped from the Red Scarf Killer, George Perry, being the only woman in dozens that survived his murder spree. In return, Perry retaliated and killed Greg, her love, and his K-9 partner, Kong. Fiona has had to move on and rebuild her life, and went to Orcas Island to do so.
Her mother-in-law, Sylvia, sends bachelor and artist Simon Doyle to Fiona for help training his puppy, Jaws, who he cannot stand and was a gift from his mother. Initially the two do not get along, yet they fascinate each other, and eventually things heat up enough to end up in a sexual romp. The two are forced to spend more time together when a fresh bout of murders occurs, the MO identical to Perry’s, though he is in prison. The only conclusions that can be drawn is that there is a copycat, or Perry groomed someone.
Fiona refuses to let her life be ruled by fear again, and continues as best she can. She and Simon do not want a relationship, but they are steadily moving in that direction. It soon becomes evident that the new Red Scarf killer is making his way toward Fiona, and he starts taunting her. Fiona is terrified, and this aggravates Simon. The entire island is looking out for Fiona, and the feds work their way back into her life while they hunt down their latest problem. Fiona is also dealing with a pesky reporter who does not care who she needs to walk over to get her next scoop and make a name for herself.
Will the island looking out for her be enough? Will the solitude of her home count against her? Will Perry’s disciple ever get to her? Will the FBI stop this man, too? Will Fiona be able to hold it together? Will her and Simon ever get over themselves and just let themselves be together?
So here was another one that I gave a try and I must say that again, I was not bowled over. I think my issue is that Roberts writes too unrealistically for me, and it is more about some soppy, ludicrous romance as opposed to the crime section that I want more of. I like layered villains, or more scary criminals, or something like that. Also, so far her books are overwhelmingly similar. For instance, The Search was too similar to The Witness, what with escaping a bad past, too much gardening and dogs, wine and all that. Another thing that worked on my last nerve was the fact that this book revolved so much around dogs. Like I don’t mind dogs and pets and all that but seriously, I am sure that there are so many other types of things to write about. The romance, again, just felt rushed and hollow and I wasn’t a fan. She also sets this unattainable type of relationship up in her books, and then this just again reminds me why women that read too many romance novels have issues dealing with a real relationship because they are expecting something like this which is just not right. This one definitely had a more satisfying end than the failure from The Witness, but it still felt like a rushed cop out. So much of this book just felt like it was going in circles and not contributing anything, and I felt like I wasted my time. I think I just have really high expectations for stories in this genre because I want some flesh, some more psychology and a deeper meaning behind things. Again, it is not because Roberts is a bad writer, her work flows and all, it is just the realism that gets to me, and how it can feel like an empty affair sometimes. Probably because the bulk of what I read usually is either crime thrillers, dramas or horrors, etc. so I am used to something being more serious, well thought out and constructed, with logic that flows and a creepy villain. I wanted to like this more, I did, but it just didn’t really work for me. Seeing as Natasha is a huge fan and has recommended me some more of her work I am bound to find something in there that I like. Oh well, maybe there are others that are like The Villa, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I suppose we will find out. Maybe.