Monday, January 26, 2015

Against the Sky by Kat Martin

The Basics:

Against the Sky by Kat Martin

Book Two in the Brodies of Alaska series
Romantic Suspense
Published January 27, 2015
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Kobo Goodreads

Why I picked up this book:

I'm a Kat Martin fan - I've read a few of the Raines of Wind Canyon series and really enjoyed them.

In America's last wilderness, there are no limits to what a man can do.

For detective Nick Brodie, that means keeping the perps off the streets of Anchorage 24/7. Nick has never backed down from danger, but after the horrors he's seen, he's definitely in need of a break.

Samantha Hollis never thought she'd meet anyone like Nick, especially in a place like Las Vegas. But after one reckless, passionate night, she discovers the charismatic stranger is everything she wants in a man. But can he ever be anything more than a one-night stand?

When Nick invites her to Alaska, Samantha decides to find out, never guessing the depths she'll discover in him or the tangle of murder, kidnapping, and danger about to engulf them both...
My thoughts:

I'm a fan of romantic suspense. Well-written, it can be super-charged contemporary romance with all the action and mystery and danger! That said, we all know that a crisis, which these books usually represent, isn't really the best condition under which a romance should begin. Right? We know this, right?

Against the Sky gives us a romance that starts out with a hook-up in Las Vegas spurred on by some crazy chemistry. When an opportunity presents itself for Samantha to spend a couple of weeks with Nick in Alaska, she can't resist. But almost immediately this trip is hijacked by a mystery that unravels in a very dangerous investigation that puts everyone at risk.

On paper, it sounds good. We've got the glitz of Las Vegas giving way to the gorgeous wilderness of Alaska. We've got manly man Nick whose a born hero, determined to protect everyone, and we've got petite and feminine Samantha, who is sweetly naive but tough as nails in a crisis. For me, the match-up was a little bit of a throwback with Samantha at home cooking and decorating and such, and Nick off fishing and hiking and investigating. This is definitely an oversimplification, but there was definitely an element of that old stereotype of marriage about these two. 

I felt very meh about the outcome of these two. I didn't feel invested at all, and I think that's because, for me, the book read as pretty superficial. I didn't feel a deeper connection between Nick and Samantha at all - they didn't share a lot of common interests, Samantha didn't like Alaska and Nick made it clear that he wouldn't like San Francisco (Samantha's home). While the investigation and the common desire to get the bad guys brought them together, and they had some good sexual chemistry, this was not a couple that made me grin or smile or really care about at all.

There are some sex scenes in this one. For me, they walked the line between explicit and fade-to-black. There was some heat to some of them, but it all read as superficial to me, going through the motions. This is probably because of my failure to connect with the characters and their relationship.

The investigation itself had some depth to it, which I appreciated. There were some twists and turns, plenty of action and some legwork that rounded everything out. I think this is the strength of the book, personally. 

Bottom line:

Against the Sky was a bit of a disappointment for me. I found it to be a bit superficial and I didn't buy into the romance at all. Overall, my reaction was pretty 'meh'. That said, I liked the suspense component and I think that for a reader who did get hooked on Samantha and Nick together, this book could be quite good.

3.5 stars
For fans of Kat Martin, romantic suspense, manly men

But don't just take my word for it! I grabbed a few links to other blog reviews of Against the Sky:

Paulette's Papers

Books and Benches with MK McClintock & Friends

Cat's Reviews

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