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Monday, October 26, 2009

Danger at the Door by Michelle Sutton

Danger at the Door by Michelle Sutton
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (132 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Upon her fiance's death, Laney became a recluse who only left her home for emergencies. She managed to survive - barely - on food delivery service and her work-at-home job. When she tries to move on from her grief, the commemorative meal she orders is ruined. However, it leads to an unlikely friendship with an attractive man, Bojan, who speaks little English.

As he befriends Laney he continually says the wrong things, but he doesn't give up trying to win her trust. Meanwhile, she has this strange feeling of being watched and wonders if she's losing her mind.

Complicating things further, every time she leaves her house something bad happens, confirming that she is safer at home. Can Bojan convince Laney she'll be safe with him, or will his presence put her in further danger? Will he be able to protect the woman he loves before it's too late?

In this thriller Sutton lets the door creak open ever so slowly and tantalizingly keeping the suspense alive.

“Danger at the Door” opens with a momentary flash of some ultimately creepy character who exudes hate and malice. Knowing he is out there, somewhere, casts a shadow from the very start.

The tragedy in Laney Cooper’s past and her small efforts to get past grief and shock have left her withdrawn and alone. She has little contact with the outside world – in fact, she knows her food delivery guy by his first name and relies on her little Chihuahua for companionship. When ‘Tom’ isn’t the guy at the door though, things start to change.

She knows she needs more than this stay-home life. A crucial moment in her emotional life occurs when Bojan arrives– somehow, she recognizes this man as both good and kind and begins to talk. Bojan is sympathetic and a religious man who pays attention Laney’s concerns. He is a strong and goodhearted person, and it seems like Laney will – or should- leap into his arms. The appeal of the potential romance here could sweep away the rest of the story. Yet, we never forget the overhanging threat that sometimes seems right outside the door.

Bojan is very appealing and so different from the run-of-the-mill hero and romance star. His sweet protectiveness is utterly charming and all the more attractive given Laney’s fears. He’s also a very creative suitor-- bringing out the usual order, even when the customer doesn’t order it! It’s even somehow sweeter that so many of his charming efforts go awry (although we can’t help feeling a bit frustrated that Laney has to be THAT thin-skinned.) However, the world of fear she lives in we know to have some validity. The aura of danger increases, but seems to make less of an impression on Laney (ratcheting up our terror!)

This romance moves right along, although at times the main character just does not behave logically (a bit frustrating, but not out of keeping with her character.) This leads to a revisit in a new way of the same problem a couple times that feels a bit tedious. It’s a fairly atypical suspense, as the romance is paramount, but that certainly is not a complaint. For all the characters are fresh and interesting, some points of plot are fairly predictable. Very readable.