by Dorothy Garlock
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Page Count: 480
Release Date: May 1, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
How got: personal library; via BookMooch
First attention getter: time period and description
Molly barely noticed the sedan that pulled up in front of her family's store. Minutes later, a hail of bullets rained down on her parents. Hod Dolan, the federal agent knows she can identify the gunmen, and soon proposes a trap that uses Molly as bait.
Star Rating - 3
I’m a bit mixed on this book. I liked certain aspects, the aspects that are most important to a historical romance, so guess that’s good. But other areas of this story seemed very overblown and unrealistic. I know one is supposed to suspend reality a bit when reading this genre. However, there’s only so much suspending that can go on before a book becomes un-enjoyable.
I liked the leads and the romance. Molly and Hod were immediately likable and seemed to click quickly. Molly was a strong personality that wasn’t afraid to face danger to get justice for her parents. She’s able to slap down unwanted advances easily, yet she has a very vulnerable side as well. I liked that mix. Hod was a fantastic, protective hero that balanced out Molly’s vulnerabilities. I liked that as protective as he was, he also gave her the room she needed to grow as an individual and come to the relationship on equal terms.
The timeframe the author chose to set her romance in was also a nice change of pace. I’ve not come across a romance set during the Depression era often (I can only think of one right off the top of my head). The hard economic times and the escalation of organized crime activities added a nice spice.
However, I found the overall plot to be misleading and just too overblown. The book’s premise, start point, is Molly acting as bait to catch the mobsters who murdered her parents. The book starts out strong with this. However, very soon, the plot swerves into a completely different direction and the whole mobster thing peters out to nothing really. The big bad actually has nothing to do with the criminals at all.
And that big bad?? I hated him. I thought he was far too theatrical and over-the-top to be enjoyable. He was very Sniddely Whiplash-like in his approach to his crimes and obsessions. I couldn’t see him getting away with what he did, for as long as he did. Only close family members could see him for what he was; the rest of the town thought he hung the moon. I rolled my eyes at his antics far too often to enjoy his portion of the book.
The romance, Molly, and Hod were great. I was invested in their characterizations and relationship. The setting was also an added bonus. However, the actual plot and antagonist really brought my enjoyment levels down. I’ll probably still read this author’s other books, but I’m not actively hunting them down.