Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Review: Did You Miss Me? by Karen Rose

Yay, I managed to complete this review!! Woohoo! Because obviously, I didn't manage to write a few posts ahead of time this week-end ^_^; I tried and tried on Saturday, but it just wouldn't come. Then, on Sunday, it was curling the whole day. We lost both our games by a very big margin (14-2 and 10-4, yikes!), but I don't care because I played really well and totally out-curl my opponent :) And there was more curling yesterday evening... We have an in-club event going on the whole week and I'm going to try to share it with you in a post soon. In a few short words: it was fun, I curl okay, we won and therefore are moving on! Yay!

Okay, now back to books :) I'm really glad to have the review for Did You Miss Me? by Karen Rose up today since it's the North American release day! I got the UK edition of Did You Miss Me? which came out back in November and was planning to have my review up during the holidays. However, with the impromptu trip to Europe, I got behind on my reviews.... but isn't perfect that my review ends up being posted on the North American release date? Funny how things have a tendency to work out well :) In any case, hope you enjoy the review!

Did You Miss Me? by Karen Rose
published by Headline in November 2012/New American Library in February 2013
Baltimore prosecutor Daphne Montgomery pulled herself out of a damaged past to build a solid life for herself and her son. But after she helps to convict a killer, her confidence is shattered once again by the news that her son has been kidnapped.

Daphne believes it’s connected to the recent high-profile trial, and at first FBI special agent Joseph Carter agrees. But together they find the reality to be even more troubling, and it runs deeper than Daphne fears. With her son’s life in jeopardy, she must unlock a dreadful secret about her past—and confront a truth that will change everything for those closest to her. And, if she survives, threaten the lives of everyone she loves.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Baltimore, Book #3

The Story: Life has not been easy on Daphne Montgomery. She went through a traumatic event as a child which resulted in her father walking away. Then, she got pregnant at the age of 15 and for the next dozen years, became a trophy wife, trying to please her husband and mother-in-law. She finally got a divorce, but at the same time, learned that she had breast cancer... However, she survived and persisted and finally achieved her dream of becoming a prosecutor. She is currently in the midst of her first big, mediatic trial... and life is about to throw her another curve.

When Daphne's son Ford disappears, she believes the White supremacists that she is prosecuting are behind it... and so does FBI special agent Joseph Carter. However, when he learns that Daphne was also a victim of kidnapping as a child, Joseph wonders what are the odds that mother and child are both victims and starts believing this is a lot more personal. Either way, Joseph has a personal stake in this investigation as Ford is Joseph's father's employee and his crush on Daphne is the reason he is back in Baltimore.

My Opinion: There are a few authors whom I love unconditionally and who are on my forever auto-buy authors list and Karen Rose is one of them :) I love, love, love her books and can't get enough of them. So it'll come as no surprise that I was thrilled when I found out the release date for Did You Miss Me? - two in a year, awesome! - and that I highly enjoyed it :)

At first, when I read the blurb of Did You Miss Me?, I was surprised that Daphne and Joseph were the H/H as I was expecting Clay and Stevie's book, but I quickly recovered and was quite excited because I liked the glimpses we got from them in  No One Left to Tell :) As it turned out, there was a lot more to Daphne and Joseph than meet the eye. Both had quite a tragic past, one that still haunt them and definitively shaped who've they become. Honestly, I felt that both pasts were a bit over the top... especially in the case of Daphne - just so much happened! You start wondering if life can dish out even more at her? ^_^; I think Ms Rose could have cut back a bit, but there's no doubt she had achieved creating an interesting and different heroine. Reading Did You Miss Me?, I admired Daphne for her strength, her determination, her courage and accomplishing her dreams. And I liked the realistic side of her, the one that was a bit egoistical and worried how the truth would have repercussions on her career. As for Joseph, I think I'd have liked more development in his character. In the case of Daphne, all the past had a hand in creating the woman she is today, but she is comfortable with whom she's become and for the most part, has dealt with her issues. In contrast, Joseph hasn't and that's why he's been staying away from his family. What happened to him plunged him in a dark place and it's upon meeting Daphne that he's gradually getting back in the light. The unrequited feelings and crush between Joseph and Daphne worked and made the romance believable. However, I feel it was a bit too simple an excuse for Joseph to emerge from his dark place. To want to, yes, but to completely do it... That's another story and that's why I wished for a bit more development, fleshing it out more... Then again, given the timeline of the story, it was impossible. And as I said about the romance, it was believable. Joseph and Daphne have been dancing around one another for month and really just needed something to bring them together for them to confess their feelings.

As usual, the suspense in Did You Miss Me? was well-done :) The book is action-packed, edge-of-the-seat exciting and the villain was so very smart. He planned it well and seriously, it'd be scary to have such a vendetta against you ^_^; Overall, I thought the plotline was pretty tight and Ms Rose built the anticipation and revelations well. My only complaint and it's quite minor is the timeline. As usual, it's very short and it feels to me like it should be longer. I know there's 24 hours in a day and under such circumstances, people don't sleep... but nonetheless, I find it hard to believe that everything happened in such a short time-frame. I'd like her to either extend it or make it less jam-packed ^_^; Although I have to say, what Ms Rose does well is show us that even during important investigations, normal life continues... time doesn't stop and there are things that go on...

For fans of Clay and Stevie who were disappointed that this wasn't their book, you'll still want to read Did You Miss Me? because things happen in their relationship. I can't figure out if it's progress given the circumstances, but there is an acknowledgement of their feelings and what could be and it's clear Ms Rose is setting up for their book :) In addition to Clay and Stevie, there's a full cast of secondary characters that are making their appearances in Did You Miss Me? Some are new such as Ford and Novak, a colleague of Joseph; others we get to meet again such as Alec. One thing I can say is that all of them are interesting and have potential... and I love, love Ford!! Seriously, Ms Rose has a knack at writing likable young adult characters and I hope that along with Tom, Ford gets his own book :)

My Grade: B+. Honestly, I don't now how objective I am when it comes to Karen Rose books ^_^; To me though, Did You Miss Me? was another solid romantic suspense novel. Good suspense, nice romance, interesting characters... but a bit too much going on which is why I'm not giving it a higher grade.