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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Heartbeats by Susan Rae

heartbeats by Susan Rae
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (206 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Love makes your pulse race, but passion can kill...

murder, passion, suspense…

Dr. Elizabeth Iverson’s career is on track. She’s just landed the enviable position as lead cardiologist at a prestigious Chicago heartcare center working under a renowned cardiovascular surgeon. But her plans for a quiet, controlled life are shattered when she discovers her college roommate murdered in her apartment. When her former lover, FBI Special Agent Drake McGuire, shows up on her doorstep with the cops, he unleashes a storm in her heart that further threatens to destroy her world, especially when he insists on hanging around to help solve the case when it becomes apparent that Elizabeth was the intended target for murder!

Elizabeth’s patients put their lives in her hands, but what happens when her own life is in danger?

Elizabeth is definitely someone who likes to have things under control. I wouldn’t go as far as to call her a control freak, but she comes close. When her life spirals out of control after the death of her friend, she certainly doesn’t want to admit that she needs help. She’s the kind of person who insists on pressing on no matter the circumstances. While I admire her determination, this does give Elizabeth the appearance of being cold at times. However, underneath her carefully controlled exterior, Elizabeth does have a softer side. She is absolutely crazy about her daughter and is as loving and devoted as any parent could be. Elizabeth also has a true passion for her work and she genuinely cares for each one of her patients.

Elizabeth’s softer side is further revealed in her relationship with Drake, a flame from her past. Elizabeth is cautious at first, but when she fully commits her heart to him, they have great potential as a couple. Unfortunately, Elizabeth has a secret that threatens to ruin her budding relationship with Drake. I thought the revelation of this secret played out in a fairly typical way, but it did add an interesting dimension to Elizabeth and Drake’s relationship.

Drake is a typical tough guy with a good heart. He’s a successful FBI agent who doesn’t take no for an answer and is used to doing things his way. Since Drake and Elizabeth both have strong personalities, they butt heads frequently, but given time and little compromise on both sides, I think they will work well together.

Ms. Rae did an excellent job of presenting several plausible suspects who would want to target Elizabeth. I carefully considered the motivation of each one and I was eventually able to narrow down the list based on the continued threats of the killer. As the story progressed, I couldn’t help but read faster, sure that I was on the right track. There were two twists that I didn’t see coming. The first involved Elizabeth and I didn’t think it was necessary as it sort of slowed things down at a moment when I wanted to keep moving full speed ahead. The second twist was more interesting and happened right at the climax when all the pieces of the puzzle were sliding into place and added an extra dash of suspense at just the right moment.

I enjoyed reading heartbeats. The pacing is great and the mystery is plotted very well. Anyone looking for a thrilling romantic suspense should give heartbeats a try.