Monday, June 4, 2012

Beneath the Surface, Joya Fields

Suspense, Mystery, Romance – Beneath the Surface has it all.

Brooke Richards survived the earthquake that took her parents and most of her leg. Initially she was forced to rely on her friends and boyfriend to help her get back to a normal life. But now that she has her prosthesis, her boyfriend has left her and she has physically recovered she is determined to never need or rely on anyone again.

The story begins while Brooke is on a vacation in Florida for a new state-of-the-art prosthesis and to spend time with her best friend Linda and her boyfriend. However, the trip turns traumatic when Brooke witnesses Linda's boat disintegrating in a fiery explosion as they were preparing to go out for a quick dive.

Detective Garrett Ciavello had been scheduled to meet with Linda and her boyfriend concerning a black box that they had found lying on the ocean floor the previous day. The key for him is that the black box has red human hair flowing from it. The same color hair as his missing cousin and may contain the key to reopening her missing person case that has been dry for two months. With his curiosity peaked as to what the timing of the explosion could mean he sets out to check on Linda and her boyfriend’s status at the hospital and meets Brooke in the process.

Linda and Jeff had told Brooke where the box was. So she offers her expertise in underwater archeology both to help Garrett in his search for answers and to help find answers to why her friends were targeted. Garrett accepts her help with the investigation.

Their chemistry is immediately hot but Garrett has an overprotective side that pushes Brooke away. Since his fiancĂ©e's death years ago and the loss of his cousin he has trouble not blaming himself for not preventing their loss. As he and Brooke draw closer together Garrett realizes he will risk anything to keep Brooke safe. Brooke is fiercely independent and determined to not except help no matter how small. As they continue to search for the Black Box, Brooke becomes a target like her friends. And as the killer continues his threats against them Garrett become’s more and more protective and anxious that he won’t be able to keep her safe.

The suspense concerning the black box is exciting and their search for it very interesting as they discuss what is involved when diving and working under water. However, the killer is a bit of oddity. Occasionally, there is a paragraph or two from his point of view. Written in way that the reader can easily pick up that he is evil and leads the reader to think something big is coming. Then he makes his attempt and it is successful in scaring them but not much else. His character comes off a bit lacking. But this is a romance at heart and the relationship with Brooke and Garrett is very sweet and develops at a nice pace. They share multiple dates and significant amounts of time working together during the week that the reader is left to feel like their relationship evolves very naturally and will last. They share a fiery passion and in the end they are just what each other needed to heal their broken souls.

RATING: Four chocolate dipped strawberries.
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