Monday, 3 September 2012

Lethal Legacy by Irene Hannon

Back Cover: A determined daughter. A skeptical detective. A deadly secret.
The police say her father's death was suicide. Kelly Warren says it was murder - and she has new evidence to prove it. Detective Cole Taylor doesn't put much credence in her claim, and nothing in his case review suggests foul play. But when he digs deeper and discovers startling information linking her to a long-buried secret, the danger escalates. Is history repeating itself? And who wants Kelly silenced?

Review: I have been looking forward to this novel for months now, and I am glad I finally got to read the latest installment of the Guardians of Justice series. As always, Irene Hannon writes a great romantic suspense - the emphasis in this novel though was certainly on the romance. Unlike her previous works, I felt that Lethal Legacy depended more heavily on the romance to carry the story forward rather than the suspense/crime. Don't get me wrong, I still really enjoyed the book, but I felt that the crime aspect could have played a larger role.

The story begins with Cole, a St. Louis County Detective, who lives life in the fast lane much to the chagrin of his fellow law-enforcing, Church-going siblings. Alison and Jake, Cole's sister and brother, are determined to usher their wayward brother into the happy world of martial-bliss and Sunday church services, but Cole has sworn off all relationships - God included.

Not surprisingly, Kelly Warren - a gorgeous, smart, Christian girl - enters the scene. In the space of a couple of chapters, Cole goes from only wanting shallow flings to having the sneaking suspicion that Kelly is the woman he wants to marry. He begins to attend church, he opens up to his siblings, and he talks to Kelly like he's never talked to anyone before. This for me was a bit hard to swallow. How can a girl that he barely knows change him so much? And why the sudden change in heart towards God - is it just to impress Kelly or is it genuine? For whatever reason, Cole totally switches mind-sets upon meeting Kelly, and the romance that follows is sweet but predictable. If Lethal Legacy was just a romance, I would say that it did its job well: it's entertaining, Cole is the perfect honorable hero, and Kelly the endearing but worthy heroine. However, I have a high bar for Irene Hannon because I know how well she can craft a story. This is a good read - and I honestly could not put down the last quarter of the book - but she has done better.

That being said, one of the greatest parts of this series is the relationship between Cole, Jake, and Alison - and it held strong throughout this book. The comradeship, the trust, and the "I'll have your back no matter what" attitude mixed with their prank-pulling, teasing, and mischievous goading is awesome. I also really like how the heroines in Irene Hannon's novels are always strong women. They are independent, smart, focused on God, classy, and when the time comes - really tough. It drives me nuts when the lead women in stories are incapable of looking after themselves and do things that any woman with half a lick of sense would know not to do - Kelly, Alison, and the others definitely do not fall into this category.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel and would highly recommend the entire series. I read the first two books in this trilogy in the space of a couple of days - they were that good! I am really looking forward to "Vanished" from Irene Hannon's new series "Private Justice" that is coming out in January - the excerpt is awesome!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

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