Kathleen McSwain has been the bridesmaid seven times without walking down the aisle once for herself. But she can’t turn her friend down when asked for an eighth time even if it means being in close proximity to Jake Frasier for a while. They share a history, and not a pleasant one, but Kathleen is determined to prove that as a woman she’s nothing like the insecure schoolgirl she’d once been. But when they’re out shopping in the mall Jake and Kathleen find themselves trapped in a storage closet with a mad gunman on the loose, beating on the door. Everything boils down to an undeniable fact. Jake and Kathleen still have plenty of unresolved feelings, and nowhere to hide from them.
I enjoyed the tension this book opened up with. While there’s the weight of unresolved history between Jake and Kathleen the three people they end up trapped with are also well drawn characters. Their discussions add to the tension and realism of the situation. Without actually having ever been caught in a crazed gun-man situation, I feel as if the scene Ms Agnew wrote could easily have been how people could react in such circumstances. Then the after-effects of such an emotional scene also seemed to roll on in a logical and wonderfully emotional manner. The author has a real flair for action packed, tension filled romance. I really felt for both Jake and Kathleen, for the complexities of their situation and the massive ball of emotions they are. Complex, multi-layered characters are a soft spot of mine and this book really filled that need for me.
If you’re a sucker for a man in uniform like I am, and enjoy character-driven stories I’d recommend this read. There’s not much external plot, but I didn’t really even notice that, instead I was caught up in Jake and Kathleen, their emotions, their reactions and the situation they’ve found themselves in. There is a “Happy for Now” ending which I still found to be quite satisfying. This is the fourth of fifth book of Ms Agnew’s I’ve read in recent times and all of them have been well worth the time with varying stories that always suck me in. She’s now an auto-buy for me and this book lives up to my every expectation. Recommended.
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.