February 3, 2011

Adult Readers' Advisory Annotation #1: Romantic Suspense

Title: Seeing Red
Author: Susan Crandall
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: 2/1/2009
Page Count: 432
ISBN: 0446178578

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Library book

Fifteen years ago, Ellis Greene helped convict Hollis Alexander, the man who kidnapped and brutally attacked her cousin Laura. Many of their family members suspected that Nate Vance, Laura’s boyfriend, was somehow involved in the crime, but all the evidence, including Ellis’s eyewitness testimony, pointed to Hollis Alexander. Even though Nate was innocent, his bad reputation caused him to leave town and start over somewhere new. 

Now an elementary teacher in the same town, Ellis has grown into a strong woman who teaches self-defense classes to young girls. When she finds out that Hollis Alexander is out on parole, she fears for the safety of her family. After all, Hollis did threaten that Ellis would pay for putting him behind bars. Meanwhile, Nate Vance has returned to his hometown to help protect Ellis despite the fact that she denies needing any help. Together they unravel the secrets of the past while they track down the criminal and find themselves drawn into each other’s arms. 

Seeing Red was my first foray into romantic suspense, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The setting, Belle Island, South Carolina, was richly detailed. Everyone knows everyone in this small town, which makes it difficult to hide from danger. The action started on the first page and didn't let up until the story's conclusion. Multiple points of view revealed frequent plot twists that had me wondering who Ellis could really trust. The elements of suspense and romance were well-balanced throughout the novel, and the sexual tension grew as Ellis and Nate's friendship developed into something more. 

This fast-paced, suspenseful, intricately-plotted novel is highly recommended for fans of romance, suspense, and mystery.


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