Sunday, May 10, 2009

Free Falling Review

What a beautiful review! I send my thanks out to BD Whitney!!

Title: Free Falling
Author: Sandy James
Author’s website:
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand, Inc.
Release Date: April 2009 ISBN: 1606013076
Length: Novel
Format: Electronic
Genre: Contemporary Suspense
Sensuality Level: 2.75
Rating: 4.75

Reviewed by: BD Whitney

Dr. Laurie Miller may have been born into money, but she has dedicated her life to counseling and helping the less fortunate. She promised her parents that she would take over her parents’ charitable foundation when she turned thirty, but the last thing she wants to do is give up the free clinic and the patients who need her so much. Her gift of sensing other people’s feelings has made it difficult for her to get close to anyone, but when she meets Ross Kennedy, she knows that they are meant to be together. Because Laurie can’t read Ross, and there is a saying in her mother’s family: “Wed the one who cannot be read.”

Ross is an attorney who puts in hundred-hour work weeks. Having come from a poverty-stricken background, he is driven to succeed beyond all else. His chance meeting of Laurie during a Montana snowstorm changes his life, because he has never met a woman who affects him as deeply and immediately has she does. Knowing that Ross has nothing but disdain for people who inherit their wealth, Laurie doesn’t tell him about her moneyed background. Unfortunately, this is a falsehood that will come back to haunt her.

As Laurie and Ross strive to overcome the obstacles that her money and dissemblance have placed between them, their lives are turned upside down. Laurie is being targeted by a stalker, and his threats are escalating at an alarming rate. He wants something from her – a diary from the days of Prohibition that he believes that it will lead him to a treasure cache lost for generations – and he’s willing to go to just about any length to get it from her. Ross and Laurie find that when faced with the attentions of a madman, the differences between them are perhaps not as important as they thought.


Heads up, romance lovers, because I’ve got a good one for you. If you enjoy a little something extra in your stories, Sandy James’s novel Free Falling may be just what you’re looking for. This novel combines romance, suspense, and just a dash of paranormal into a very readable and enjoyable package, and I think it will please the most discerning of readers. I certainly enjoyed it.
The romance portion of this story is very appealing. It mixes a little reverse snobbishness on the hero’s part with mistaken identity and falsehood to create romantic tension between the two main characters. Ms. James has injected this story with emotion and tenderness, but she hasn’t neglected the differences of opinion that couples – even couples as much in love as these two – all have.

A thread of mystery and suspense is woven throughout Free Falling. It is less evident in the first half of the story, which focuses mostly on the development of the interpersonal relationship between Ross and Laurie, but as the novel progresses, the tension grows. The diary entries at the beginning of each chapter are meant to pique the interest of the reader, but it is not until we are well into the story that we understand where they are headed. I’m going to admit that I found them a little puzzling at first, but as the characters themselves became involved in the mystery, I appreciated having the opportunity to discover the answers along with them.
One of the most outstanding attributes about Free Falling is its characters. Ms. James has developed a wonderful cast and has breathed enough life into them to make them almost jump off the page. Ross is very much an alpha male, but he is also obsessive-compulsive and a little bit snobbish. He has a lot of emotional baggage from his childhood, and it is up to Laurie to teach him how to relax, have a good time, and let the past go. Laurie is very insightful, especially regarding Ross’s hang-ups, but for all that she is a counselor, she has low self-esteem due to her size. Ross has to show her that the beauty she has within her radiates outward and makes her absolutely stunning.

But it is not just the primary characters that make this story. The secondary characters are equally appealing. They are well-rounded and developed fully enough to make them distinct and memorable, and they give the plot additional depth.

I found Free Falling to be a very pleasant surprise. It is the second novel in Ms. James’s Damaged Heroes series, but it is not necessary to read the first story to enjoy this one – it is completely self-contained. Of course, now that I’ve read Ross and Laurie’s story, I’m probably going to have to go back and read the previous novel. If it is anywhere near as well-written as Free Falling is, then I’m in for a very pleasurable experience.

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