Heartbreaker Mass Market Paperback – May 31 2011
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Setting: Holy Oaks, Iowa, present day
Sensuality rating: 4
New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood breaks new ground in her first contemporary suspense novel. Long-time fans of Garwood will be amazed at the way the queen of historical romance weaves this tale of love as it blossoms in the face of extreme danger. FBI agent Nick Buchanan is about to take his first vacation in three years when he receives a phone call from his best friend and former college roommate, Father Tom Madden. Tom relates the horrifying tale of a confession that he heard from a killer seeking absolution for a gruesome crime he has yet to commit. Worse yet, the madman, who calls himself the Heartbreaker, confesses that his intended victim is Laurant Madden, Tom's gorgeous younger sister. The Heartbreaker is crazy about Laurant--really, really crazy.
When Tom and Nick break the news to Laurant, she is furious at the disruption the psycho is causing in her very busy life. With her best friend's wedding rapidly approaching and Laurant's own business set to open in two weeks, there couldn't be a worse time to be stalked. But when she learns that the Heartbreaker has already broken into her home and watched her sleep, she reluctantly agrees to Nick's protection, even if it means that she's thrown together with her brother's all-too-sexy friend all day--and all night. Nick, posing as Laurant's fiancé, heads back with her to Holy Oaks. There he encounters a strange cast of characters, the likes of which are grown only in small towns where everybody knows everybody's business--except whether one of them might be a serial killer. Along the way, Nick and Laurant also discover their own hunger for each other. Readers will love the change of pace for perennial favorite Garwood. She creates a sensational story with a truly explosive conclusion. --Alison Trinkle --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
From Publishers Weekly
"Bless me Father, for I will sin." In her first contemporary suspense thriller, Garwood, better known for best-selling romantic fiction (Ransom; the Clayborne Brides trilogy; etc.), explodes out the narrative gate, but delivers more romance than suspense. While waiting for test results to determine if he needs another round of chemotherapy, Father Thomas Madden is the guest of Monsignor McKindry at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Kansas City. He offers to sit in for McKindry in the confessional. When a mocking voice seeks the good father's prayers to prevent him from murdering the priest's own sister, Laurant Madden, panic quickly sets in. The faceless voice behind the screen admits to a previous murder and also knows about Father Tommy's cancer. Tommy quickly calls FBI agent Nicholas Buchanan (Tommy's best friend since childhood) and asks him to track down the madman and protect his sister. Laurant has never met Nick before, but is instantly attracted to him. The two fake falling in love to flush out the murderer, but the pretense is short-lived. Some members of the chorus provide amusing turnsAmost notably outspoken elderly sisters Bessie Jean and Viola Vanderman, who serve up casseroles and counsel safe sex. Garwood's writing is strongest where affairs of the heart are concerned. If the thriller aspect of the novel fails to ignite, the sexual pas de deux between Nick and Laurant delivers sufficient smolder for Garwood's fans. Major ad/promo; 16-city author tour. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The priest, Tommy Madden, panics and calls in his childhood friend to protect his sister. Nick Buchanan belongs to an elite division of the FBI. He works in a specialized division called the "lost and found." His talent is in tracking the most difficult cases involving lost and abducted children. He comes to his old friend's aid by promising to take care of Laurant Madden. Laurant Madden takes matters into her own hands. She refuses to hide and instead taunts the killer into striking out at her. The FBI agree with what she is doing and provide around the clock protection for her. There are several secondary story lines that are interesting to go along with the plot.
I have always admired Julie Garwood's writing style. She generally has strong, independent heroines and dashing, brooding heros. I was excited to see her switch over to suspense. The synopsis I read had me hooked on this book long before it came out.Read more ›
There were quite a few superfluous characters. For example, the role of Pete could have been eliminated, as he's just an older non-priestly version of Tommy. And, the sub-plot involving Jules Wesson never really went anywhere and eventually just fizzled. What was the point of including Jules at all?
My final gripe is that, although FBI agents are a big part of the story, she never delves very deeply into the actual investigation. We're rarely told anything about suspects, clues, etc. She mentions an FBI profiler was working on the case, but we never find out anything about the results of his investigation, nor do we hear anything about the results of the crime scene investigation. This would have been interesting and would have at least given me, as a reader, clues to the ending.
Overall, I think the book lacked adequate depth, focus and direction. I'm disappointed, as I generally like Julie Garwood's books very much.
I take the blame for not taking the storyline more seriously, but truthfully, I thought the scary stuff would be secondary. It's not, and it's exactly the type of thing that young women fear.
My favorite qualities of Garwood's past work have always been her ability to tell the story through the woman's eyes. To show her heroines as bright and witty individuals. I do not think that this story, told from the omniscient perspective, achieves the same respect for and closeness with the heroine I have previously enjoyed.
My main point in writing this review (having never written one before) is simply to warn readers that this book may not be what you expect. So, double check before you lay down the money for the hardback copy. Personally, I'm hoping she goes back to historical romances. No one can write them like she does.
Most recent customer reviews
I have just discovered this author and have found this FBI series to be quite entertaining
I know she is more popular for her historical romances and some fans may be... Read more
In the sweltering heat, Father Tom is in the confessional, doing his duty. But today will be a different sort of day, for a murderer will enter the confessional and ask for... Read morePublished on Feb. 23 2009 by GinRobi
Absolutely loved this book and Mercy, just finished Murder List, cant wait to buy the next one...I love Julie Garwood's writing and am thrilled that she can write all types of... Read morePublished on March 21 2005 by Sherri
Julie Garwood is now one of my favorite Authors. The first time I read Heartbreaker i was astounded and speechless. This book was extremely good. Read morePublished on July 11 2004 by Jamaica
You're a romance writer, but you want to do a "genre shift," kind of like going from baseball to football. What do you do? Read morePublished on June 2 2004 by Kris
Now everyone has their favorite author, one of mine is Julie Garwood. I have enjoyed her historical romances immensely and now she has switched to more contemporary fare. Read morePublished on March 8 2004 by Elizabeth
I really loved this book!! This book is all about suspense, thriller with a touch of romance. I am a fan of Julie Garwood and I have read all of her books with no exception. Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2004 by Houretta
i'm sorry...what were we reading again!? A romance, suspense, murder mystery thriller...what?!? because i couldnt tell from the book!
I love julie garwood. Read more
I had heard good things about Julie Garwood, so I looked forward to this book. What a disappointment! The story is obvious, and Laurant and Nick are cardboard characters. Read morePublished on Dec 21 2003