Like your romantic suspense told with a hard edge—with psychos, hard-boiled agents and visual images to make your heart pound? Then Crucified by Adelle Laudan is the one for you.
Crucified by Adelle Laudan
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: Short (75 pages)
Heat: sweet/graphic language
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Orange Blossom
Taylor rides into the small oceanfront town of Johnstown with hopes of starting fresh. He takes over the local auto body shop and puts the open sign in the window. Unfortunately the previous owner left the townsfolk with a bad taste in their mouths in regards to Bikers. When a photo of the pastor's daughter bound and gagged, is found on the post office bulletin board, all fingers point to him.
Will the sexy Federal Agent, Dianne Parker, be able to prove his innocence, while trying to ignore their growing attraction? Will they find young Casey in time?
This author really knows how to set the scene with sights, smells and sounds. You really feel like you are right there and didn't miss a thing. Great characterizations, almost picture perfect-especially the secondary characters (such as the small town sheriff) without falling into stereotypes. The author also seems to know her psychotic killers. What makes them tick and the steps they go to for attention. She had this guy pegged to a tee.
Be aware of a little coarse language. This is a kidnapping story with a female federal agent as the heroine. The tone is dark, especially with the descriptions of the agent’s previous cases. Agent Parker’s outlook is a little jaded too. Overall this is more of a thriller suspense story, including the vulgarity of a psycho into body mutilation among other things. So thought the "heat level" may be sweet, the story is not.
Taylor is a guy who likes to ride and works the author body shop. He’s a good citizen and hasn’t ever broken the law. With that in mind, some readers might be baffled as to why Taylor is the prime suspect. Just remember ‘Small town mentality’. The author brings this type of environment to life in this story.
Ms. Laudan is a terrific writer. Real-to-life characters and gritty, well-written prose. The suspense and mystery in this story was amazingly told. I only wish the romance had been moved up a notch. I don't want to discount the author’s talent or plotting, but I believe that if this had been a longer story the romance between the leads might have felt more natural than the hurried sensation which came out of a shorter story.
Crucified was an enjoyable story that kept my on the edge of my seat. I look forward to reading more from this author.