Labels: SBrown, Triple8Challenge08
As those that read this blog know, I'm a fan of Sandra Brown. I don't think I butter up her work and blindly proclaim that her pen cannot fail. On the contrary, I think her earlier work in romance was a disaster, so I had put off reading this one for the longest time. I eventually found it in Audiobook format and scooped it up (let's face it, on a long commute, anything is better than the early morning radio shows!). I was happily surprised that I really enjoyed this.
The story starts off on a plane crash and among the few survivors is Carole & Mandy Rutledge, wife and daughter to senatorial candidate Tate Rutledge. Mandy just has a few scrapes and bruises but Carole has been severely injured. Her face needs to be reconstructed and she is unable to communicate because her vocal cords have been damaged by smoke.
The Rutledge family is not what everyone on the outside sees, there is bitter disharmony and the marriage between Tate & Carole has been on it's last leg for a while. Yet Tate puts that aside and is a rock for Carole, hiding nothing yet supporting her in, what promises to be a long recovery.
What no one realizes is that the woman lying with her face bandaged is not Carole Rutledge but Avery Daniels, a journalist with a failing career that just happen to have been sitting next to Mandy & Carole on the flight.
During the first night in the hospital Avery overhears an assassination plan that Carole had been involved with and realizes that someone wants Tate dead. By the time she is able to speak, her face has been reconstructed in the image of Carole and she has convinced herself that she is the only thing that stands between Tate and Death. She has fallen in love with Tate and Mandy and decides to continue playing Carole until she can discover who wants him dead as well as write the expose that will put her career back on the map. What she doesn't know is that the walking in Carole's shoes will not be as easy as it appears because Carole was a really piece of work!
As always the suspense in the book really kept you glued. It was so riveting that, since I had a hard copy of the book, I would continue reading the book after I got out of the car! Midway into the book I had a good idea who was the bad guy but I would have NEVER guess who was the Mastermind behind the whole plot. Typical Brown who takes us on a voyage that leads us to the unexpected!
Bad points about the book? Avery was a bit flippy. She would act and not think things through. She even says so in the story. She backed herself into a corner where she had to carry all of Carole's sins (and she had a truckload!) when she could have been upfront with Tate when she realized that he was different with her and might have given their relationship a chance. If you can put up with Avery's superficialness (is that a word?), you will absolutely LOVE this one!