Back cover blurb:
A lonely houseboat on an isolated dock was not what Courtney Collins expected when she and her infant son arrived at Hidden Cove for the summer. But their cold, mysterious host was Courtney's reclusive aunt and the only family they had left.
As the days passed, the hostile atmosphere was broken only by their landlord Neil Ellsworth's charming attention to Courtney.
The sexy-but-forever-single businessman offered a strong shoulder for Courtney's uncertain fears and for once Courtney could foresee a happy future. But her dream was shattered the moment her baby was kidnapped. With few clues and a nearly spotless crime scene, could Neil hold the key to unlocking the truth?
I really liked Courtney and she doesn't really do any TSTL things. I bought the romance and HEA with her and Neil and little Jamie. Things went slowly between them and they got to know each other and I think they will continue to do that in the future.
What really, really bugged me was the suspense. You know from the very first page who the villain is and what has happened to Courtney's aunt. Yup, you're told in the very first few pages that Courtney's aunt has been murdered and another woman has taken her place. You even know that the woman is a bank robber and crazy and plans to take Jamie when she has a chance. Why oh why would an author completely ruin the suspense like this? After that, you know exactly why the aunt is acting weird, why Courtney hears talking in her aunt's bedroom that she thinks is just a radio, and the myriad other things that she just senses are off with her aunt. It just made me so mad that these things were ruined by telling the reader so soon. Why couldn't we understand that the woman was nuts after we'd realized she'd stolen Jamie? It just compeltely took all the suspense and thinking out of the story. For awhile, there are some other suspects, but you instantly know they aren't behind the actions they are accused of because you already know who the villain is!!!!!!
So nice romance, but the action, suspense, and edge of the seat thrill was completely gone from this book. I don't understand why on earth an editor for a line of romantic suspense would allow all the suspense to be completely ruined. It would have been so easy to just take out the instances where the villain talks to her dead husband and the reader would be just as in the dark as the H/h and then start them once we all know who has taken the child. Then we'd have the suspense upped again because we now know that not only has the woman taken the child, but she's crazy. Simple, but NOOOOOOOOOOOO, it's all laid out whether you want it or not.
So I definitely can't recommend anyone read Shadows on the Lake by Leona Karr if they want a good short romantic suspense because this one may have romance, but the suspense sucks big time. The fun of many romantic suspense books is figuring things out with the lead characters as you go, but that was completely ruined here. I want my time back.