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Friday, July 3, 2009

The Look by Judah Raine

The Look by Judah Raine
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 books
Review by Snapdragon

With a secret that makes her pretty much a walking time-bomb with the potential to turn her own life and a whole lot of others inside-out, Morgan Slater's plans definitely don't include the suspicions of the determined and dynamic Blake Thornton.

She heads out to the back of beyond on a simple Quest for the Truth, but her first meeting with Blake draws the battle lines for a persistent confrontation that makes focusing on her real reason for being there extremely difficult. Worse, he has this uncanny instinct and a way of seeing beyond her sassy, street-wise confidence that makes their ongoing conflict more than simply a battle of wills.

But Morgan has also not anticipated a lot of other complications and, as she struggles to keep her secret and protect herself and others in a world of shifting boundaries and increasingly difficult emotional situations, The Look rapidly becomes...

Judah Raine’s "The Look" is deceptively appealing. It engages your mind and interest from the start – not with a bang, but with a curiosity that matches the main character’s curiosity.

The challenges facing Morgan Slater begin right at the first sentence. Impulsive Morgan is on a mission – a mission to uncover truth. But she has no super-human power, in fact, she’s uncomfortable, a little humble and very, very human. As the story unfolds, we realize that Morgan – nice though she is, is far from a pushover.

Blake Thornton is not, perhaps, the perfect ass he seems- and in fact, Blake is totally surprising. Sometimes it seems every other romance I read starts with a thick-headed male character, set to change his ways/views/something, at the instigation of the heroine. Blake, stubborn, pig headed and suspicious is one guy that is hanging on to his opinions – it's great to get such a surprise! I expected a transformation at any moment. This one character is ultimately engaging, but there is no measure of predictability there. Regular romance readers will simply say ah-ha, before they even get to jump over to Blake’s point of view. Blake, aka the cave-man, is nasty, suspicious…and at times, he seems even threatening. The fact that Morgan rises to the occasion in a number of spats with him is simply great! The dialogue is snappy and real, and their combative comments are completely engaging. You become Morgan’s cheerleader- and she does not disappoint!

South Africa forms the backdrop for this novel; not as a foreign destination, but beautifully and comfortably described as a ‘home’ country for the Morgan. Descriptions are given in light touches – panoramic views that at once give a sense of place, but never slow the action. There are heartwarming moments, just enough to give a better sense of our characters – then on to the next discovery. City girl Morgan doesn’t quite fit her surroundings (a fact Blake sees at once). Her mission keeps her there, and her mission keeps us turning the pages, anxiously, right from the start. No giveaways here... you'll have to read the book!

Unpredictable and engaging from the start, "The Look" is a page turner.