Friday, July 19, 2013

Sleeping With Fear - Kay Hooper (2013 Romantic Sus Challenge)

Riley Crane woke up fully dressed, a gun under her pillow, and covered in blood. Even more frightening, she didn’t remember what happened the night before. In fact, she barely remembered the previous three weeks.

An ex—army officer, now a federal agent assigned to the Special Crimes Unit, Riley was a chameleon–a clairvoyant who could blend in with her surroundings, be anyone or anything she chose to be. The SCU’s expert on the occult, she’d been sent to the beachfront cottage on Opal Island by her enigmatic chief, Noah Bishop, to investigate reports of dangerous occult activity.

But that was three weeks ago. Now she’s awoken to discover that she’s got a sexy new man in her life and an unreliable memory, and that the clairvoyant abilities she’s always depended on to protect her are MIA. Worse yet, with SCU resources stretched thinner than ever before, Riley is alone and without backup, feeling her way through a deadly game of blindman’s buff, where no one around her is quite who or what they seem. And a bizarre murder is only the first jarring reminder of how high the stakes really are.

Bishop wants Riley off the case. So does powerful local D.A. Ash Prescott. Both her old retired army buddy Gordon Skinner and Sheriff Jake Ballard believe she can catch a vicious killer. But one of these four men knows exactly what’s going on in this coastal community, and that’s knowledge Riley desperately needs. For what Riley can’t remember is more than enough to cost her her life. This time evil isn’t just closer than she thinks–it’s already there.

Maybe to compensate for the lack the romantic relationship in the previous book in this series, here the heroine knows that she is involved with someone right from the beginning. Unfortunately she doesn't know who that might be because she wakes up with amnesia and covered in blood. 

After my complaints about the previous book I was a bit worried about starting this one. In Sleeping With Fear the SCU agent is a woman - Riley Crane. When the book starts she wakes up alone in her bed but covered in blood and with no memory of the previous weeks. She also seems to have lost her psychic abilities... Unsure about what has happened to her and who to trust Riley tries to hide her memory loss from everyone else. But the fact that she may have been involved in a crime and that she knows that she is in a relationship but not with whom will keep her guessing for a while.

I really enjoyed this one. There was less psychic stuff going around and Riley is a sensible and level headed woman who does her best to discover what really is going on without the help of her paranormal gift. I wasn't totally happy with the final disclosure of who the bad guy is but I did  like the step by step investigation and I even enjoyed the fact that Riley has to work alone when usually there are 2 SCU Agents working every case.

I also liked the romantic plot. It was interesting to see how Riley dealt with the fact that she didn't remember her lover but, once she did find out who it was,  didn't want to reveal that to him and had to cover for that. They certainly had an intense relationship and I was worried, for a bit, where Hooper was taking them. But I was quite happy with how she worked things out. I just thought the ending was a bit abrupt and I wasn't ready to close the book yet. Now I am wondering if they will show up in the next books of the series. It's one of the things I like best about series but Hooper hasn't let us see many glimpses of the past characters.

Grade: 4/5

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