Touching Sin

Touching Sin, a suspense/romance e-book published, copyright and written by J. Saman.

Plot: The story opens with a young woman’s dilapidated auto dying on her on a lonely stretch of road in the midst of the desert. Husky, handsome hunk Jason Harris stops his truck to help. She immediately backs away from him, is quite uncommunicative, provides him with a fake name and only agrees to have him take her to the nearest town because she has no alternative. The town is Las Vegas and upon arrival she wants to go to the nearest bus station. Knowing that a woman alone at such a place would be totally unsafe, he persuades her to let him find somewhere she can stay temporarily. She is unwilling to stay anywhere she must show her identity, so he also manages to get her in contact with someone who will provide her fake identity. This person also is a ‘nice guy’. The tale continues as the reader discovers she is running from an abusive marriage in which she actually fears for her life. Gradually it further is revealed that she is from an immensely wealthy family where her abusive farther did not allow her to attend school but supplied tutors and her mother was completely uncaring. Thus, when a 29 year old handsome, charming, supposedly caring man became part of her father’s business when she was 16, she clung to him. Her parents were killed in an accident two years later and they were married while he took over the business. Finally she could take no more of his utter control and beatings and was in this predicament where she knew he would do all in his power to find and take her back, probably killing her after she reached 25 and inherited her family’s considerable assets. Meanwhile we discover that Jake, although seemingly an ambitious young man who works one strip place as a bouncer, another as a pit boss, and still another as a bartender, actually is a war veteran and highly educated at the insistence of his father who is the owner and CEO of a large chain of hotels across the country as well as several on the Las Vegas Strip. The father dies unexpectedly, and Jake now has inherited the Turner business, working all sections of the business without other than the top employees knowing.. The plot advances slowly while he, a thoroughly ‘nice’ guy, attempts to gain the skittish young woman’s trust while she gradually attempts to do so as she is greatly attracted to him. Action and suspense begin to pick up when a private investigator hired by the husband finally discovers her but has an agenda of his own, Jake becomes totally committed to her and she gradually gains a bit of trust. The suspense builds toward action packed activity and a finale all devotees of romance novels who also love suspense should thoroughly enjoy.

Conclusion: The action is slow building as is the suspense and romance. The characters are empathetically presented and the erotic portions should be sufficient to satisfy readers who assumedly expect such programming.

5* Well-written suspenseful romance.

The Weight

The Weight ISBN: 9781548323967, Serpentine Publishing, a novel in e-book by .Hubert Crouch.

The book opens with a Prologue in which Christine Connors enters a former chateau overlooking the Mediterranean that now is a 5 star hotel whose rooms start at one thousand dollars a night. She avoids identification by the surveillance cameras and proceeds to the rooms of Jamie Stein where, with a ruse of engaging him sexually, manages to have him inhale an overdose of heroin. She leaves just as unobtrusively. From this introduction, a tale of legal maneuvering, intrigue, cheating, intimidation, deceit and murder develops centering more or less in Fort Worth Texas. A sizeable number of interacting characters are involved. Most prominent are highly regarded defense attorney Jace Forman and ‘good ol’ boy’ personal injury specialist Cal Connors, who has made millions often by not quite legal but so far un-proven means, his daughter/law partner Christine, Jace’s long-time paralegal Darrin McKenzie who is in love with him, Leah Rosen, a young reporter who, with an O.K. from her editor and publisher, does an article exposing Cal’s shortcomings, Michael Randazzo hired by Cal as an ‘intimidator’, Charlene Knox, Cal’s defense lawyer, Jackie McLaughlin a former Austin cop, now a prominent PI, Reginald Cowan, a Brooklyn boy who was offered a far better scholarship to Texas for his law training and stayed on to now serve as the District Attorney when the case comes to trial. He has a history with both Cal and Jace. Another prominent character is Dr. Howell Crimm, an ‘expert witness’ used often by Cal whose testimony is in question as well as several other characters of lesser prominence in the story line.

Discussion: Attempting to offer further material with respect to the characters’ complicated interrelationships, the plots and sub-plots no doubt would be a disservice to the prospective reader. Suffice it to say this is another in the series presented by the author with a ‘carry-over’ of characters and their relationships and does not provide any ‘closure per se’ to the on-going action. Rather, it is a continuance of the series offering somewhat limited legalese and address of the legal portions of the story that leave even the reader who may have only limited knowledge of legal proceedings with questions. However, the pace is excellent providing a thriller/suspense vehicle that will appeal to many readers.

4* For legal thriller/suspense devotees; 3* for more ‘dedicated’ legal fans.