Friday, January 28, 2011

Love Me To Death by Allison Brennan (Giveaway Included)

Synopsis From Back Cover:

Six years ago, Lucy Kincaid was attacked and nearly killed by an online predator. She survived. Her attacker did not. Now Lucy’s goal is to join the FBI and fight cyber-crime, but in the meantime, she’s volunteering with a victim’s rights group, surfing the Web undercover to lure sex offenders into the hands of the law. But when the predators she hunts start turning up as murder victims, the FBI takes a whole new interest in Lucy.

With her future and possibly even her freedom suddenly in jeopardy, Lucy discovers she’s a pawn in someone’s twisted plot to mete out vigilante justice. She joins forces with security expert and daredevil Sean Rogan, and together they track their elusive quarry from anonymous online chat rooms onto the mean streets of Washington, D.C. But someone else is shadowing them: A merciless stalker has his savage eye on Lucy. The only way for her to escape his brutality may be another fight to the death.

When I was first deciding on whether or not I wanted to read/review this book, I really payed attention to the synopsis and it had me hooked.  On that alone, I decided this was a book for me.  What I did not know at the time was that this is considered a "romantic suspense".  I'm still not sure what the hell that means, but if I had seen that in the beginning, I probably would have passed on this one.  I'm really glad that didn't happen.

The problem is that when I see the words "romance", "romantic", or even "love story" used to describe a book or the genre, I prejudge what I'm going to get.  I picture lots of either steamy or tacky sex scenes that are used to fill out a rather pointless and generic plot line.  Now I'm not saying that that picture in my head is fair, it probably isn't.  I'm sure someone will point out a well written romance to me after this, but as a guy, that's what I think of when I hear "romance" used to describe a book.

Quite honestly, I'm not sure why this book needs to be classified as such.  If that's the case, books like The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie would have to be considered "romantic suspense".  Both books have a likable, strong female lead that is capable of keeping a reader interested in what happens to her.  They both link her with a strong, attractive male that she can't help but be attracted to.  They both featuring amazingly complex plots that takes the reader through some amazing rides of thrill and emotion.  Both books draw the reader into the mystery/suspense, they both make it tactile in such a way that you can feel it coming off the page. Simply put, both books are a ton of fun to read.

Before I get yelled at by the Agatha Christie purists, I'm not saying this book is in that league.  I will still take an Agatha Christie book over this one.  What I am saying though, is that in many ways they are similar and if publishers/authors/readers feel a need to keep insisting on labeling books into very narrow genres, readers will keep miss out on some wonderful reads.  A good mystery, is a good mystery.  Why do we need to break it down into subcategories that by the nature of the "title" will turn off certain readers?  Anyway, that is the end of my soapbox, so I appreciate you reading this far.

My final thought on the book, if you couldn't tell from the above, is that I really enjoyed.  It had everything I look for in a well told mystery.  I'm now going to have to go back and read her books in order, because even though this can read like a stand alone novel, there is information and characters from her previous books.

Now for the fun part, the publisher has very graciously offered an extra copy of the book to one lucky winner.  All you have to do is leave a comment with your email address and you will be entered.  The giveaway will last until 2/11/11 at 11:59 PM, CST.  I will email the winner, who will then have 48 hours to email back or a new winner will be picked.

I would like to thank Lisa at TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to review this book.  If you would like to read other thoughts on this one, please visit the tour page.  On the tour page you will also find links to the author's website, twitter page, and Facebook page.

Challenges:  M&S


Zoë said...

sounds like a great book, I'd love to be entered for the giveaway!


GeishasMom73 said...

The back cover copy really draws you in. I love intense stories like this. Please enter me in the giveaway!

GeishasMom73 on twitter

user1123 AT comcast DOT net

Jill Buck said...

I think readers do miss a lot of books because of the way they are labeled and put into genres. I absolutely love Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. In most bookstores it is with romance books but it is so much more than a romance. That wouldn't be the first place I as a reader would look for it. Because it is labeled as such my husband refuses to even think about reading it even though I know he would enjoy it if he gave it a chance. Do you think it has to do with it being written by a female author? I've wondered about that more than once.

I'd love to be entered in the contest: buckfamily at

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean. Chick lit is the one I avoid. I'm sure I'm missing a lot of great books, but there you have it. As for "romantic suspense" it can cover such a range, from ones that are full of sex scenes to ones where the romance is barely there.

Marce said...

Only some thrillers/mysteries are done well with romance attached, so understand completely.

I want to read this one also.

Marce said...

Would love to be entered.


Anonymous said...

"What I did not know at the time was that this is considered a 'romantic suspense'. I'm still not sure what the hell that means, but if I had seen that in the beginning, I probably would have passed on this one."
It's all in the labeling isn't it? The best books have a little of various elements to keep me interested. A mystery/love story/history, when well done, has me raving. But I agree with you about certain labels, which may excite others, leave me disinterested. For instance, if The Historian had been labeled and marketed as a paranormal book - I'd pass on it, despite the fact that it's a technically applicable label.

Carol N Wong said...

I agree, I avoid those steamy or ranchy books like the plague. If I see romance as the type, I may be missing some great ones. At least with the suspense part I am more likely to look at the book. The picture gives away some of the books that I don't even try.

Please enter me for this giveaway.


Staci said...

I think this has been a great tour book for Brennan as I for one will be reading her works for the first time. I'm glad that you didn't know about the "romance" aspect ahead of time and that the book turned out to be a winner!

Anonymous said...

Ohhhhh, this looks like an intriguing read! Count me in:

Dr. Mary Kennedy said...

This is a wonderful review. Allison is a terrific writer and she goes to great lengths to "get it right" when she's researching her books. The whole "genre/labels" issue is an interesting one. I think her books are shelved under "thrillers/mystery" in bookstores, but I could be wrong. If they have a "romantic suspense" sticker on the spine, some bookstores might shelve them in romance.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Sounds like a book I would enjoy, count me in!

Simcha said...

I decided that this year I'm going to try to branch out a bit in my reading and try some mysteries. I've already downloaded a Sherlock Holmes audio book, figuring that would be a good place to start. This book also sounds pretty intriguing so perhaps I'll add it to my list.

If this giveaway is International I'd love to be entered.

LisaMM said...

Well, I for one am very thankful that you missed the "romantic suspense" labeling!! And I agree that when a book is so narrowly classified, people who would otherwise enjoy it tend to miss out. I'm glad you did not!! Interesting review.. thanks so much for being on the tour!

Ceri said...

Wow, Ryan. I absolutely love the sound of this book. This would be something I'd definitely read. To be honest, I'm exactly the same as you - if I read "romantic suspense", I'd probably be put off too. But, thanks to your explanation and review, I really want to give it a go. :D

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

RYan, I would love to be entered to win!
I could use a little suspenseful romance!!

Anonymous said...

Will read your review after reading the book. Please enter me into your giveaway. Thanks.
2much2reid {at} comcast {dot} net

bookmagic said...

This sounds like a great book! Definitely enter me

I agree, i would skip a book labeled romantic suspense. I have read some books that I have loved that are probably considered romantic suspense, or even romance, when they are actually good mysteries. That is why reviews from bloggers are so important, so we don't miss great books!