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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mind Over Matter by S. J. Clarke

Mind Over Matter by S. J. Clarke
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (164 pages)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Sunflower

For three years, Rebecca McKenney grieved the loss of her daughter. Now, a vision showing Sabrina three years older, suggests her baby is still alive, and the FBI agent who gave up the search is the only one who can help find her. Rebecca once witnessed a psychic connection between Agent Cooper and her daughter. She only hopes their fragile bond remains – and that the coward has the decency to pursue it.

Special Agent Dan Cooper, haunted by a tragic mistake made early in the investigation, agrees to help Rebecca to ease his conscience, if nothing else. Together they fight inner demons, all too real bad guys, and an attraction neither wants to admit to. Each step closer to finding her daughter unearths widespread deception and an evil so vile it threatens to break Rebecca's spirit. The thought of having her daughter back in her arms is all that keeps her going. Until she learns the horrifying truth – her daughter is scheduled to die in mere days.

The townsfolk say Rebecca isn't right in the head after the loss of her child a few years ago. Often times they'll find her in the same places, acting as if her daughter is still there. It's sad and heartbreaking. She just can't let go.

As a mother myself, I can't imagine the pain this heroine endures. To suffer such a loss and never get over it is an unthinkable horror. When she begins having strange visions, I wondered if it was all in her mind. Was there was a chance things could actually work out in her favor by the end of this story? Or were the readers being set up for false hope?

Dan Cooper is reluctant to believe Rebecca, but the relief I felt that he decided to help her kept him in my good graces. He wanted to protect her, and prepare her for anything that would come out of this. The sparks between them came later.

The real suspense element didn't come until about a third of the way through the book. The first few chapters were spent on Dan and Rebecca trying to pull of a charade so others didn't know what they were really doing. It wasn't until the real search began that the pacing picked up quickly. The rest of the story went by fast from there, and I was caught up in the pages, needing to know what they were going to find next.

The villains had a bigger agenda than I'd imagined, and the ending caught me off guard. The author created lots of action throughout most of the book, though the characters weren't as well developed as they could have been. I really never got a major sense of who Dan was. There wasn't a lot of conflict between the hero and heroine. The biggest conflict was with Rebecca, trying to find her child even though everyone else accepted the fact that she was dead.

Overall, the story line was interesting and filled with twists and turns. If you enjoy a romantic suspense with light paranormal aspects, then you may enjoy Mind Over Matter.