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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Every Breath She Takes by Norah Wilson

Every Breath She Takes by Norah Wilson
Publisher: Montlake
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (301 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Veterinarian Lauren Townsend has good reason for hiding her psychic ability. Not only did her “freakishness” earn her pariah status in the small town where she grew up, it cost her a fiancĂ© and her faith in love. When Lauren foresees a murder—through the killer’s eyes—she traces the victim to a sprawling ranch, never guessing what waits for her…

Cal Taggart’s rugged ranch life doesn’t need any more complications. His stubborn determination cost him his marriage, and now may cost him his livelihood. But then beautiful Lauren enters his corral…with danger close behind. And Cal wants nothing more than to protect her. They can’t deny their intense attraction. Nor do they want to. What begins as a fling with no strings becomes a fight for survival—and for true love.

Breathtaking, Every Breath She Takes touches that mysterious world of premonitions and violent visions that are so strong they cause Lauren Townsend to cross a continent to try to save the life of a person she doesn’t even know—a person she sees being strangled at sunset in her vision.

Lauren, a successful veterinarian, survived the ridicule, embarrassment, endless doctor examinations and tests, and her family’s distress over her being “different”, and even survived the defection of a fiancĂ©. Her violent visions that the doctors labeled “seizures” governed her life but she learned to cope. For some reason she feels compelled to try to prevent a death if possible, even though she knows people will not believe her. When the vision comes, she does as the old detective told her, look with her eyes, then with logic, and finally with her gut—intuition. The body knows the truth before the mind. It’s terrifying but she sees clues and goes from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Alberta, Canada to vacation at the Foothills Guest Ranch. Here her life changes as euphoric lovemaking, near-death experiences, and conflicts that try her soul engulf her.

“Whatever it takes” is Cal Taggert’s mantra. If it takes entertaining dudes to save his ranch then that is what he will do. Economics and weather conditions have put his ranch in peril, but the ex-bull rider has a long range plan for his hard-won ranch and selling out to a greedy, devious neighbor does not figure into the plan. When the lady from back east, a perfect picture of athletic femininity arrives at the ranch, Cal does not feel so grumpy about the “guest ranch” part of his business. She stirs his libido and brings a spark to his eyes and subtle innuendos to his greeting.

Neither Cal or Lauren are in an emotional place in their lives to be looking for commitment, but sex for fun with no strings attached seems attractive to both of them. The foreplay, the love scenes, and the gradual healing for two wounded hearts and souls take the reader on a vicarious experience that ebbs and flows from raging storm intensity to quiet, contented togetherness.

The undercurrent of danger, the watchfulness, the worry, and the sorting out who is really the ‘bad guy’ is ever present. It ranges from uneasiness to a savage battle for life. Norah Wilson keeps the reader turning pages as she sprinkles in clues, hints, and tiny incidents of foreshadowing that intrigue.

The secondary characters demand attention and have a strong influence on how Lauren and Cal cope with their problems. Marlena, Cal’s ex-wife is a character that captivates. Her problems and actions wreak havoc on the best of intentions. Cal’s father is a mystery that unravels bit by piece to create a poignant back story that reveals so much about Cal.

Norah Wilson’s writing style gives the reader adrenaline-pumping danger, world-shattering love scenes, and a look at human nature with all its flaws and foibles. The loyalties, intrigues, and love that reach passed hurts and fears to find a happy-ever-after and hope for the seemingly hopeless make Every Breath She Takes an absorbing romance with mystery and suspense aplenty. Good reading!