Thursday, July 23, 2015

Review: Darkness Lurks by JL Drake

Emily McPhee has struggled to overcome her father’s death... 

It’s not easy, but Emily finally has the life she wants. She’s an A student at Orange University and has a comfortable home and a great circle of friends. She’s also in love with handsome Orange PD officer Seth Connors. He doesn’t seem to return her feelings, though, so she tells herself his friendship is enough. 

Jimmy Lasko is a psychopath, and Emily is his greatest obsession… 

Lasko knows what he wants—what he deserves—and has the deadly skills and unending patience to get it. What he wants is Emily, and he is watching and waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. That time is coming soon; he’ll make sure of it. 

A sense of unease settles on Emily, but is the danger real or imagined? 

When Emily begins hearing noises and suspects someone has been in her house, Seth urges her to get a roommate. But after a search, she realizes a certain attractive cop would be the perfect choice, and Seth moves in. 

Seth loves Emily, but fears his feelings might make it difficult to protect her. 

In all areas of his life, Seth sees himself as a protector. He’s determined to keep Emily safe, but he pushes the captivating blonde away in an attempt to stay objective. However, after her stalker makes a failed attempt to capture her, Seth can no longer deny his feelings. 

With help from Seth’s police colleagues, he and Emily set out to identify the person hunting her before it’s too late. But is it worth the risk to bait the trap with what he wants most?

4.5 Fantastic Stars!

Review by Jen Hagen 

I think it’s safe to say that tonight when I go to bed I will be analyzing every single noise I hear and I will have checked the locks on the doors about 3 times.  This story freaked me out!  It is not dark, but suspenseful with a sweet friends-to-lovers romance added in.  I was pulled in from the very first page.  Ms. Drake made me feel like I was in every single scene.  She writes with fluidity and the scene transitions are flawless, which is something that I don’t always find in every book that I read but have it on my high-standards checklist.  

Emily is 21 years old and lives in a large beach house alone.  She has a very good friend, Seth, whom she secretly crushes on.  Seth has been with the county police department for 2 years. He also has feelings for Emily but doesn’t want to act on them, as he takes his job very seriously as a police officer.

It’s easier to protect someone when there aren’t feelings to get in the way.  My heart ached for Emily.

Now would definitely not be a good time for his feelings to take precedence over her safety as Emily has acquired the attention of a stalker, Lasko.  Lasko creeps me out and we only get a brief glimpse of him with his occasional point of view.  (Seriously, I just got goose bumps thinking of how to describe him…I’m moving on…)

I need to talk sweet instead...  Seth is a great guy.  He and his friend/partner, Garrett, always have their eyes and ears trained on Emily and will do whatever it takes to keep her safe after an attack by Lasko.
There’s also Scott, a classmate who shows interest in pursuing more with Emily, although Emily has given no indication that she would like to be more than friends with him.  He seems like a nice guy (or is he???—my jury is still debating).

“Emily,” he said in a different tone that made me look up.  “I really like you, and I think you may like me, so what’s holding you back?”
What’s holding her back is the big crush she has on Seth and the potential for her feelings to be reciprocated.  Seth has shown interest with a few kisses, but then he goes and pulls the a-hole card by calling their shared passion a mistake.

It felt like a rubber band had snapped me in the heart.  I actually rubbed my skin to ease the pain.  I rolled onto my side and stumbled to a standing position.  “Your mind games are enough to drive somebody nuts, Seth.”  

I kept reading faster and faster to try to get to the ending (which some of you know I have a very bad habit of reading first but this time I didn’t!) and along the way there are clues as to who may possibly be helping Lasko.  I don’t think Ms. Drake is going to make it that easy on us and whatever seed she has planted in my mind is not going to grow.  I know she has something big planned for us as this is the first in a trilogy.  

“Seth, if anything happens to me, just know I –“
“You’re going to be fine, baby  I’m almost to you.” 

I don’t give out 4.5 stars very easily, but I did in this case because the storyline was unique to the romances that garner more attention and the author’s writing was full of depth.  If you are like me and enjoy suspense, I would definitely suggest you give this a read.  

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