Friday, January 27, 2006

Standing in the Shadows by Shannon McKenna

I was drawn to reading this story after reading Rosario's review, especially seeing as this was the only McKenna book that my library had.

I have to, is it hot in here or is it just me! Phew! The sex scenes in this book are just hot, hot, hot! I have to admit to not having read much romantic suspense so for me these scenes were probably the hottest scenes I have read in a very long time, if not ever. And yet there was still plenty of story in there.

Connor McCloud is a man who has been on the edge for a very long time. An ex cop, Connor's partner was brutally murdered, and Connor very badly injured. Since then he has really been letting himself go, doing PI work for his older brother, existing.. not living. Then he hears that his former enemy, Novak, has escaped from prison, and he just knows that he will be coming for him, and his former associate's daughter Erin Riggs. Connor has been obsessing over Erin Riggs for over 10 years, and will do anything to protect her.

Erin's father is cooling his heels in jail, and she is busy trying to keep her mother and sister from falling apart completely, but there are lots of things that aren't going well for her either. She's lost her job as an art expert, she's barely scraping by, especially seeing as she keeps on having to bail her mum out of financial trouble. There is however a light at the end of the tunnel. A reclusive millionaire has been asking her to evaluate some pieces, giving her enough cash to help her out.

As soon as Connor hears that Novak is free he assigns himself as bodyguard to Erin, regardless of whether she wants him to or not. In the course of protecting her, Erin and Connor stay in an out of the way hotel, and here the seduction starts. The police are soon telling Connor that Novak has been killed, but why does he still feel as though someone else is pulling all the strings. Maybe he is going mad, but maybe he isn't.

First the down sides of this book. Connor is a bit of a jerk at times, and very controlling most of the time. Also, in terms of the bad guys, it was almost as though we were given little vignettes of what was happening with the bad guys - a murder here, another person who is no longer required killed there before finally we reached the conclusion where all the protagonists were in place. I am also not sure how much of the backstory was told in the previous book, Behind Closed Doors, which may have enhanced the reading of this book further.

About those sex scenes - I think that in a large block of the book we just moved from one sex scene to the next, with not much plot development. Fortunately the rest of the book made up for it, but I was wondering for a little while!

However on the good side, we did see tenderness for Erin by Connor, and I do think his attitudes were pretty well explained by the author. Erin managed to hold her own against his pushiness sometimes, and played a crucial role in the climactic final sequences of the book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this foray into romantic suspense, and I will definitely be looking forward to reading more of McKenna's books.

Rating 3.5/5


  1. Marg, I'm glad you liked it, and I agree with the downsides you mention. And yes, you're right about there being lots of backstory to the suspense subplot from Behind Closed Doors. _And really, even having read BCD, I was a bit lost at times, because I just didn't remember every single detail!

  2. I'm a fan of McKenna's (although not a big enough fan to pay trade prices anymore) and while I quite liked this one, I liked Behind Closed Doors even better.
    And I took awhile to come around to RS too, but now that I've arrived, I really like them. If you are looking for rec's (other than Dreaming of You *grin*) than Tara Janzen is a most excellent author too try. And wowzers!!!! does she have hot sex scenes in her books too - that fit in very well.

  3. Okay...Dreaming of You. Sounds familiar. Who's that by again??

    I'll check out Tara Janzen. Thanks for the rec

    BTW, Just kidding about Dreaming of You. I remember who it is by!!