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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Null and Void by Jane Toombs

Null and Void by Jane Toombs
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short (116 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Shadowed Hearts Series: Book 1

Two ten-year-old girls, Ari and Mandy vanish. One is found so traumatized she can't remember what happened or who she is. A barrette in her hair with a name on It identifies her as Ari. An uncle and aunt arrive and take her away from Null House. Her memory never returns. Twenty years later Mandy's grandmother invites her back to help identify a woman claiming to be the long lost Mandy. Ari's never told anyone about the child's voice in her head that whispers to her at night. She doesn't want to go, but the voice tells that she must because now it's time…

After a lifetime of trying to forget, Ari London must face a painful past shrouded in mystery.

The Bad Time. That’s what Ari London calls the traumatic experience that stole her innocence and her memory. Ari never had any intention of returning to Null House, the scene of the crime, but how could she refuse Henrietta’s invitation? Henrietta was Mandy’s grandmother. Mandy had been Ari’s best friend when she was younger, and Ari had been with Mandy when she was killed, though she can’t remember any of it. Now a little voice in Ari’s mind is telling her she needs to go back to Null House. Once there, Ari soon finds that the past is no longer content to stay buried. After twenty years of keeping “The Bad Time” locked away in her mind, Ari’s memories are coming back, but is she ready to face them?

Ari is an exceptionally strong heroine. The traumatic experience that took her memory could have easily crippled her mentally and emotionally, but she has persevered and built a life for herself. The prospect of visiting Null House frightens her because she knows seeing the old house might bring some of her memories of “The Bad Time” to the surface. Even though she is afraid, Ari faces her fears and goes to Null House. There she finds more than memories. Quinn Tanner is living at the house as a “man of all work.” Ari isn’t sure what that means, and despite their mutual attraction, she fears he might be taking advantage of Henrietta. Will she act on her feelings or let suspicion ruin a chance for love?

Quinn Tanner is a puzzling hero. His past is a bit of a mystery and he certainly isn’t forthcoming about it or the reason he’s staying at Null House. From the moment Quinn learned that Ari was coming to Null House, he had a bad feeling about it. He’s certain her life is in danger, but he doesn’t know from what or whom. He knows the answer must be locked away in her memory. Quinn isn’t looking for romance, but he soon finds himself falling for Ari. As the connection between Ari and Quinn builds, he offers to help her regain her memories, but will he gain her trust or push her too hard?

I read Null and Void in one sitting because once I started reading the story, I literally couldn’t put it down. I was immediately captivated by Ari and her plight and raced through the story to find out how it would all end.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Null and Void and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a short, fast paced suspense.