Wednesday, May 16, 2012

TBR Challenge 2012: True Vision by Joyce Lamb

Ouf, I made it!! Yay! I've been aware of the TBR challenge day was coming and that I needed to write my review, but lately, I'm having difficulty managing my time. I don't know what's happening, where time is going, but it seems I've been quite busy ^_^; My reading and blogging are both going so slow :( I can't wait for both to pick up, but I don't think it'll be any time soon :( Sigh.

So this month, it was my turn to get the theme wrong ^_^; I thought it was "How Did This Get Here? (a book you can't remember how/why you put in your TBR!)" month, but turns out that's in July ^_^; By the time I realized my mistake, it was too late for me to read another book. Lucky for me, the themes are optional LOL. As a result, you get True Vision by Joyce Lamb :)

True Vision by Joyce Lamb
published by Berkley in June 2010
Newspaper reporter Charlie Trudeau is living an ordinary life, until witnessing a fatal hit-and-run accident gives her an intense psychic power she has no clue how to handle—and brings a Chicago police detective to her doorstep...

Noah Lassiter wants nothing more than to find the driver who killed his good friend. But his only lead is the beautiful Charlie Trudeau, who gets prickly when he starts nosing around town. Charlie’s clearly hiding something, but Noah needs her help unraveling the mystery of his friend’s death—even if the electricity between them complicates things.

But the more Noah and Charlie uncover, the more they realize they’re looking for a desperate killer—and the more danger they’re in. And if Charlie can’t gain control over her psychic powers, they may not survive long enough to explore the full sizzling potential of their desire...
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: True trilogy, Book #1

The Story: Charlie Trudeau is a reporter and is working for the Lake Avalon Gazette, a newspaper owned by her father. She is also very idealist, believing that a reporter's job is to help the population by reporting the truth, bringing down the bad guys.

One night, while Charlie is leaving the office, a woman calls after her. Next thing Charlie knows, she's witnessed a hit and run. It's only when Chicago cop Noah Lassiter shows up that Charlie learns the woman was her cousin on her mother's side. Noah was a good friend of the victim, Laurette. In fact, the two worked together from time to time as Laurette was a psychic who helped him in some investigations... and perhaps, if the stars had aligned, they would have been a couple. When he learns of her death, Noah decides to come down to Florida to push the investigation... and he believes the key is Charlie. However, Charlie is reluctant to offer help. First, she knows nothing of her mother's family and the two women are on bad term. Second, she has to deal with the fall out of her article in the newspaper... She's also being overwhelmed with her empathy power which seemed to have received a boost. Her attraction to Noah is just one added complication she doesn't need at the moment... But she's glad the man has been around after he saved her from a few attempts on her life. Slowly, doubts start to creep in and Charlie and Noah both wonder if Laurette was indeed the target... or was she mistook for someone else?

My Opinion: A few years ago, I was browsing the bookstore, looking for new authors when I stumbled upon Ms Lamb. They had a few things going for them: the covers were pretty and caught my eye, the genre was romantic suspense and you can never have too much RS and the publisher was Berkley, one that I usually enjoy. I decided to go ahead and buy Cold Midnight and True Vision. Hey, at least I read one right away! LOL. And now, True Vision qualifies as my TBR entry :) So win-win, right?

I knew when I picked up True Vision that Charlie was a reporter - one of my pet peeves, but I was hoping it'd be offset by the fact that she was also psychic. Unfortunately, it wasn't. I kind of liked the psychic aspect of True Vision - the way she got flashes - but I was expecting a bit more... and the situation in which Charlie found herself in was a bit weird. Charlie's always been an empath, but her power wasn't that strong until she witnessed her cousin's death. On one hand, she's not new to the power, but on the other one,, she has no clue how to deal with it once it became supercharged... So Charlie finds herself stuck in the middle and never really moved from it. She never learned more about her power and never embraced it :( And what really rubbed me the wrong way was the fact she scoffed at the psychic her grandmother recommended Charlie to go see before her death. Seriously? I hate it when a character's a psychic and doesn't believe in other's powers. As for Charlie being a reporter, sigh, I rest my case. What I can say is that Charlie wasn't as annoying as I expected. It was nice to see someone with conviction and learning that sometimes, what you believe and reality clash and it results in a bad outcome. While Charlie wasn't as annoying, it didn't stop her from having TSTL moments though. There was one particular scene where they suspect someone is after her, but she sneaks out nonetheless to go meet someone at a cafe. They sit outside in the open... The thought of it being a bad idea does cross her mind, but instead of moving inside, she thinks "But if I'm killed, there'll at least be witnesses." Again, seriously?!? So yeah, I find that Charlie was a hard character to like... and to understand.

As for Noah, I liked him better than Charlie, but I didn't get him either. At the beginning of the book, it was mentioned a couple of time how "dark" he was, how he had demons... and that side of him was never really explained - or, I completely missed it. However, I did like he was a good friend and took the trouble to come to Florida to investigate Laurette's death. Also, he had much more sense than Charlie. As for the romance, it was too quick to my taste. I didn't see any connection between the H/H - not enough for them to be in love at the end of the book. I saw attraction and lust, but beyond the physical, I didn't even get why they liked each other ^_^;

Something else that didn't work in True Vision's favor is I felt I was missing a chunk of background story. Charlie's past with Mac, her ex-best friend... and Logan, one of Charlie's cop friends, and Charlie's younger sister Alex. It's kind of funny because Lori read True Colors which is the next book and said in her review: "while I could tell that important things happened in the first book (for example, the h/h - Alex and Logan - already have a well established friendship/almost relationship), I didn't have any difficulty jumping right into this one." Here I am, reading the first book and still feeling puzzled ^_^; I felt the readers never really got a good explanation. Also, there was the relationship between Charlie and her mother that was never really developed nor resolved :(

At the end, what saves this book from being a dud is the suspense and the writing. True Vision wasn't actually thrilling and I was able to guess who was the villain fairly early on, but I kept reading to find out his motives. As for the writing, I enjoy Ms Lamb's voice and style. That'll be the main reason for me to pick up Ms Lamb again :)

My Grade: C-. Basically, True Vision was a passable book for me and I believe my mood, when I read the book, didn't help matters either. While I believe Ms Lamb has a lot of work ahead of her, especially when it comes to characterizations and relationships, I'm most probably going to give her another try because I also believe she has a lot of potential :)