I love a good romantic suspense! Did this one deliver in both categories? Read my review of Keep Her Safe below!
To be published by Atria on January 23, 2018
Source: eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis from Goodreads: Noah Marshall has known a privileged and comfortable life thanks to his mother, the highly decorated chief of the Austin Police Department. But all that changes the night she reveals a skeleton that’s been rattling in her closet for years, and succumbs to the guilt of destroying an innocent family’s life. Reeling with grief, Noah is forced to carry the burden of this shocking secret. Gracie Richards wasn’t born in a trailer park, but after fourteen years of learning how to survive in The Hollow, it’s all she knows anymore. At least here people don’t care that her dad was a corrupt Austin cop, murdered in a drug deal gone wrong. Here, she and her mother are just another family struggling to survive…until a man who clearly doesn’t belong shows up on her doorstep. Despite their differences, Noah and Gracie are searching for answers to the same questions, and together, they set out to uncover the truth about the Austin Police Department’s dark and messy past. But the scandal that emerges is bigger than they bargained for, and goes far higher up than they ever imagined.
My Review of Keep Her Safe:
I think your opinion of this book will depend on a few things: Are you a K.A. Tucker fan? Are you a reader who needs a lot of steam heat in your romance? Do you love books with page-turning suspense?
If your answers to these are yes, no, and no, you should be good.
(Mine were sometimes, no, and yes.)
For me, Keep Her Safe is a book that fits a bit awkwardly in any category I try to put it in. It features late-teen to early-twenty characters and focuses enough on their parents that it kind of feels like YA, but it’s not. Nor is it angsty, sexy NA in the vein of Tucker’s Ten Tiny Breaths. I guess I’d call it NA romantic suspense, if there is such a thing. Why not?
There were things I liked about it, so let’s start with those. I think that Tucker is a talented suspense writer. In fact, my favorite of her books is probably Burying Water. I thought the two main characters were really appealing — Noah, the white son of a police chief, and Gracie, the biracial daughter of a cop. Noah’s mom and Gracie’s dad were friends and served as partners on the force until something went terribly wrong and Gracie’s dad ended up dead and disgraced. Years later, Noah finds something that he thinks Gracie needs to see, so he sets out to find her and make things right.
But then there were things that bothered. me. First, I felt that there should have been two kinds of tension in the book – romantic tension, and the tension between Noah and Gracie as a result of their parents’ conflicting interests. Ideally, a suspense book should have escalating tension, but in Keep Her Safe, I felt like the tension sort of came and went. I also felt that the guilty party in the story was really, really obvious.
As for the romantic tension, this was a sweet and very, very slow burn romance. Just when the two characters would start to get hot and heavy, something happened – the doorbell rang, etc. That happened several times in the book. I don’t mind PG level romance, but since many of Tucker’s books don’t shy away from graphic romantic scenes, I was sort of perplexed.
I also thought this book felt very long at almost 450 pages. It includes a lot of flashbacks to 2003, when Gracie’s dad was killed, and I’m not sure those added very much to the story. As much as I appreciated the attempt to draw the reader back to the past, I think I’d have preferred more time spent on amping up the suspense and the romance in the present-day part of the plot.
In short, if you’re expecting steamy romance or unbearable suspense, you might feel let down by this one. But you love romantic suspense, definitely check this out.
Have you read this or other K. A. Tucker books? Let me know in comments!