Friday, March 19, 2010

REVIEW: Breaking Daylight by M. J. Fredrick


ISBN 978-1-60504-869-7
Genre: Romantic Suspense
(c) 2010, Samhain Publishing
M. J. Fredrick's website

Rating: 3.5 stars

Buy Links (ebook): Samhain Publishing, Barnes and Noble Ebook

"All the ingredients for a good romantic suspense are here! A sexy, tortured hero, a drug lord villain and the beautiful, gutsy heroine."

On a mission to hunt down drug kingpin Santiago Saldana, Alex Shepard instead rescued Saldana's mistress, Isabella Canales. His orders were to keep close to her in case she led him to Saldana, but Alex found it hard to ignore the attraction that flared between them. Yet he fought it, because he believed her to be the same as his mother, a woman who put pleasure over everything that was right and decent.

As for Isabella, she had been Saldana's prisoner for over four years, but Alex didn't believe it. His words and the way he thought of her hurt, but she forced herself not to care, not if it meant getting out alive and being able to retrieve her most precious possession.

Because of what Isabella had been over the past four years, it wasn't easy to like her at first. She whored for Saldana, not because she was willing, but because she was essentially trapped. In a sense, we are seeing a woman who would do anything to survive and to protect her own. As I read, I thought of the women who were probably in the same situation--trapped because they had no other way of making a living, of making it through to the next day except to sell themselves. And it made me uneasy.

However, Isabella also proved herself to be strong, courageous and smart in the face of danger, willing to do anything to get what she wanted most. (Sorry, can't say what, as it would be a spoiler. I think.) She did have her TSTL moments initially, especially when she and Alex were still in the jungle. When a ranger (Alex) tells you to be quiet, he has a reason. When he tells you to stay put, he has a reason. You don't go talking just because you can't stand the silence and you don't go barging into unknown potentially dangerous situations, especially when in the previous village you came to, all the people were shot dead by Saldana's men. I'm glad to see though that she wised up over the course of the story and even learned to hold her own against the bad guys by thinking what Alex would have done.

Alex is a man mired in his past, which was the basis for his rejection of Isabella. I like that he has a good relationship with his adopted father, and that he didn't hesitate to open up his problems to his parent.

M.J. Fredrick's writing is understated, which is both good and bad, in my opinion. Good because she doesn't dumb down the reader. She describes the action and a little bit of the character's emotion and lets the reader fill in the rest with her imagination. On the other hand, this kind of writing creates a distance between the characters and the reader. For example, I would've loved to know more of what Alex was feeling when he finally realized he was in love with Isabella rather than just reading that he grinned and threw his hands up in the air. I get that he's happy, there are the outward signs after all. But what was he feeling inside? Was his happiness a joy that expanded his heart and overflowed? Or was it a gentle, quiet one that brought peace? Also, the action/suspense scenes could do with a little more excitement, especially the last one, since it's the biggie scene with the bad guy there and all.

Note that I'm not a writing expert, but merely a reader who tries to articulate what she felt while reading. That said, there's a solid plot here, with an unexpected villain and real emotions. There were also unexpected moments of humor that I appreciated. I would definitely want to read more of M.J. Fredrick's works.

Buy Links (ebook): Samhain Publishing, Barnes and Noble Ebook

*Note: This review copy is provided by the author.

14 comments:

Erotic Horizon said...

I have been looking forward to your thought on this one...

Romanctic suspense is my fav genre...

I like the held against her will for 4yrs concept - I do like a bit of edge to my reading even if there is TSTL in there ...

I am going to pick this one up...

If you are looking for a edge of your seat Rom/Sus try Rebecca Vickery - Surviving With Love... I read it last year and it made a big impact on me...

Thanks for your thoughts..

E.H>

Thanks

Shana said...

Thanks for the rec, E.H> Will go take a look at Rebecca Vickery! :)

I've also been wanting to try Roxanne St Clair's and Cindy Gerard's books. Heard they're good. Have you read them? Really need more time...

Erotic Horizon said...

Hey Shana..

I do have a series of St. Claire books - but not read anything yet. I got them on a recommendation..

Cindy Gerad is really good - I rate her with Sharon Sala, Suzanne Brockmann & Beverly Barton...

They are author for me.... Most of their work are either series, or ties into each other...

But they all three have fantastic styles to their writing...

E.H>

Silver @ The Raving Readers said...

Oooh, great! I haven't read Sharon Sala and Beverly Barton as well! More authors for me to try.

Re Suzanne Brockmann, I like her early books, but the latest ones, not so much. The last one I liked was Alyssa's and the guy's story (forgot his name). So I stopped reading her.

Erotic Horizon said...

I agree with you about Brockmann..
her earlier work is just grand... the more recent stuff feels like crowd pleasers to me...

Not liking them at all...


Karen Rose is not bad for consistency - she does tension really well and her protags are solid...

E.H>

Silver @ The Raving Readers said...

Oooh, Karen Rose! Another name to try. Those authors should thank you for all these recommendations, E.H>

Shana said...

Thanks, E.H! Silver and I are romantic suspense fans, and we haven't had Sharon Sala and Beverly Barton on our radar before now. LOL

Silver's the one who recommended me St. Clair and Cindy Gerard, which is why they're on my TBR list. I've gotten St. Clair's Kill Me Twice (first book in the Bullet Catchers), which if I love, I'll move on to the next book. If not, I move on to Cindy Gerard. LOL

I did love Suzanne Brockmann's works before, but Silver and I have the same feeling about her latest books. I actually felt her writing style became different...

Erotic Horizon said...

Rom/Sus is my fav - I read it soley for a couple of years until my mom swore I was becoming a heartless bitch...

So I started erotic reading - I dont think she wants to see what corner I am moonlighting on at nights (LOL)

I have that Bullet Catcher sereis as well - I might just drag it out so I can chat with you ladies when you read it...

I do hope you like Gerard and the other authors - They write old school suspense - so loads of build up, nice background description and sometime the heroine are TSTL - but I can live with that... they have spunk all in all...


E.H>

Shana said...

Oh we like lots of build up. I hope we get to guess who the villain is. That's the fun part for me about romantic suspense.

We'd love to discuss the books with you. We can even do a conversational review, like what some of the blogs are doing. How'd you like to try something like that? *grin* No pressure though.

Erotic Horizon said...

Pressure Much.....

That would be great - Let me know when you want me to pick up the book....

Thats the beauty of blogging - the difference and the fact that we dont have to like the same thing, or we might just surprise ourselves and both like the same book...

E.H>

Shana said...

Yeah, I know. I never thought I'd have this conversation, for one. LOL

I'm still finishing a book right now. Will let you know when. Maybe April?

Erotic Horizon said...

I always have books that I must read yesterday or last week...

But when we get together we do... Might be something to plan for...

Make an event of it and ask other bloggers to participate...

A few months down the line and that can fill an entire week for you...


Let me know if you need cool blog ideas... I didn't start blogging for any of that... so I dont do contest and giveaways and interviews...

If a book really did it for me - I might ask an author about it - but it's not a blog feature...

E.H>

ErotRomReader (Janna) said...

Wonderful review, Shana. Although I like this genre I'm not sure if this book will do it for me... I hardly can stand the TSTL kind of heroine ;)
I enjoyed your chat with EH too, cool idea! :)

Shana said...

E.H> Obviously, you know about this more than me. :) I think I tend to get excited then jump off the gun. Sure, would love to hear your ideas. And I think it's a good idea to involve bloggers and other readers. Maybe a book discussion type? We can discuss this further, if you want. My email addy is shanareatrr(@)gmail(.)com

Janna, thanks! Maybe you'll come and play with us too, when the time comes. :)

 

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