Thursday, July 14, 2011

Living Out Loud

Life Out Loud [Salem Nights 1] (Siren Publishing Classic)Life Out Loud is the first book in the Salem Nights series but it’s far from the first of Gabrielle Evan’s books I’ve read. It was more heavily romance than suspense – I enjoyed the romance but was left craving more suspense. The characters were endearing, including the solid cast of secondary characters of which I’m hopeful we’ll see more in future books of this series. But the lead characters stole the show in Life Out Loud with their chemistry. If there is such a thing as a perfect couple, the author created it with Quinn and Zach.

Quinn Harper has returned home to Oregon. It’s been five years since she left to settle in Virginia, finish school and recover from a broken heart. Now that she’s getting her life together, she comes to discover her feelings for her friend Zach are more than she’s ever admitted. Entwined in their family, Quinn needs to let go of the past to claim her future. Quinn is strong – having dealt with the death her parents, the loss of her first love and the burden of being very wealthy. Her perseverance and strength makes her a great heroine deserving of an HEA.

Zach Jenson has returned home to Oregon too. He left his job as an FBI agent to settle down and start a family in the rural town where he grew up. When he learns Quinn is also back, he knows it’s time to tell her how he feels. He’s charming and handsome but it was the gentle care he showed for Quinn that won me over (and the sex was hot too!). Though a bit possessive at times, he’s considerate and thoughtful which makes him a great hero.

Not everyone is happy about Zach and Quinn becoming a couple. Little notes and creepy gifts arrive for Quinn, her car is vandalized and her lawn is set on fire. The mystery of Quinn’s unwelcome admirer was woven into the storyline well and it was a surprise to find out just who the villain was. The author also keeps a morsel of her signature m/m love in Life Out Loud and deals with hatred and prejudice head on. I admire her tenacity in bringing real life issues to the page; and it’s great that it could be there without taking away from the romance. The author put a realistic twist into her story that kept readers waiting until the very end to find out the truth.

While Life Out Loud is not my favorite of Gabrielle Evan’s books – I prefer her paranormal stories better – the story is interesting, the characters endearing and if there was just a little more suspense, it may have been just right for me. RATING: 4 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries.

My review of LIFE OUT LOUD by Gabrielle Evans  is also posted at:
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