Dying to Please
Ballantine, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD, e-Book
Reviewed by Martina Bexte
eing a professional butler is a job Sarah Stevens loves - as much as she's come to love and respect her employer. Retired federal Judge Lowell Roberts is a man who still has a few enemies who'd like to see him dead. For the judge's devoted children, Sarah's
skills only make her more appealing - she's an expert markswoman and experienced in martial arts. Late one night Sarah thwarts an attempted robbery, and when the news leaks to the press she becomes an overnight celebrity. Within a matter of days she catches the attention of prospective employers intent on hiring her away from Judge Roberts.
he also catches the interest of Detective Thomas Cahill, a man who's sworn off love after a messy divorce. Also in the background lurks another shadowy figure who's determined to win Sarah's devotion in any way possible. When Judge Roberts is found murdered a short time later Sarah is crushed. While suspicions, and Detective Cahill's attentions, turn to her as a possible suspect, her alibi is airtight. Just as Sarah begins putting her life back together with a new job and a budding romance with Cahill, her new employers are murdered. The police wonder if it's horrible coincidence or if Sarah really is ruthless killer.
arah's a strong, interesting and likeable protagonist with an intriguing job, yet Howard puts her into a plot that's so easy to figure out it teeters on clich9. And while the personal interaction and romance between Sarah and Cahill is enjoyable and, without exception, very sexy, Cahill '
' does not always shine. He's so busy trying to get Sarah into bed he overlooks some obvious clues presented early on. Even Ms. Howard's villain is a disappointing and overused stereotype whom readers have met in countless mediocre thrillers. As a light romance
Dying to Please
satisfies, but as a summer thrill ride the story unfortunately presents very few highs or lows and runs out of steam well before the sputtering climax.
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