Friday, January 20, 2017

Bit of Rant: Run from Fear

Run from Fear

by Jami Alden
Book 3 of Dead Wrong series

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  2.5 Stars

With each step she takes, he tracks her every move, waiting for the perfect time.  The perfect revenge.  Until then, he'll watch her...


More than anything, Talia Vega wanted to leave behind her harrowing past.  Moving eight hundred miles away, she succeeded . . . until the one man who knows her darkest secrets wanders into the restaurant where she works.  Now the agonizing memories come crashing back-along with an undeniable desire for Jack Brooks, the ex-Green Beret who rescued her from a sadistic monster two years ago.

Jack Brooks knows that showing up unannounced is a purely selfish move.  Talia doesn't need his protection anymore, but he can't get the raven-haired beauty out of his mind.  And when a twisted madman is hell-bent on resurrecting her torturous past, Jack vows to do anything to keep her safe-even risk his own life to save the only woman he's ever loved.

Run from Fear wasn't the worst book in the world, but it was definitely a lot less enjoyable for me than the first two books in this series... and that may or may not be a good thing depending on what you take away from my opinions of the first two Dead Wrong books.

The heroine in this third book, Talia Vega, had shown a penchant for TSTL-ism in the previous book, Hide from Evil.  Her need to keep everything a secret to keep everyone safe was already grating on my nerves, because NOT saying anything and NOT testifying against the bad guy... or even keeping the bad guy's name a secret seemed to have been doing more harm to everyone than keeping them safe.

So, to be honest, I wasn't expecting much from her in this third book.  But then we start everything off with Talia being a very changed woman--she's learning to defend herself, she's become super vigilant with her security... although I really think that was all she had going for her, because not soon after that, she ends up showing us how wishy-washy, ungrateful, and manipulative she can be.

I understand that Talia was supposed to come out looking like she just wasn't sure of herself, unable to trust other people, didn't know how to lead a normal life, etc., etc....  But the entire "woe is me' thing dragged on for so long that it started feeling tiresome for me.  And her constant hot-cold behavior with Jack made it all the more frustrating.  Because while there were definitely a lot of things Jack did that crossed several lines, it wasn't as if she made it easy for him to take the direct approach and NOT keep certain secrets from her.  I'm not excusing Jack's behavior, because coming from a different man, not as well-intentioned as him, we would call it stalking.

But when you've always got a woman who is obsessing over the fact that nobody will ever find her attractive again, or that there's no one in the world she can trust, or that she can't just have normal friends, and harping on about the unfairness of it all...  and then she turns around and pushes away everyone who tries to be her friend; and then also practically accuses Jack, not once, but several times, of being nice to her and protecting her just so he could get into her pants...  I'm not entirely sure how to digest this constant back and forth.

"Why doesn't Jack find me attractive?  I'm only an obligation to him because he feels like he couldn't protect me last time.  He's not interested in me at all and that makes me upset."  And then, as quick as the very next page, "He's obviously doing all this for me so he can collect some sexual payment later.  Everyone wants something in return for being nice and helping me.  He's only interested in getting in my pants."

This dragged on for 70% of the book, and then you can even see her practically looking for reasons to sabotage her relationship with Jack, even after they DO start getting closer.

And all the guy wanted to do was protect her.  Which was really hard to do considering how much he had to tip toe on eggshells around her all the time.  She twisted his meaning and his words at least 80% of the time they were together, and then even insulted him by comparing him to a psychotic criminal, even after everything he did to help her.

Then, on top of that, just because she was pissed at him, she pretty much ignored all of his warnings to keep herself safe and secure.  There was an exchange in the book where Jack practically shoves that point in her face:  "I know you're mad at me about what happened, but don't put yourself at risk just because you're pissed."  In which the next sentence she snaps back with, "Don't try to make me sound stupid."

Talia, honey... you do a damn good job of making yourself sound stupid, all on your own.

I found it a little hard to believe that someone as paranoid about safety as Talia wouldn't have taken any kind of possible threat to her life, or even her sister's life, seriously, if she hadn't been so caught up in her righteous anger towards Jack.  But then again, even at the beginning of the book, she had her moments of righteous anger directed toward Jack because he tried to beef up the security at her house, despite being paranoid that someone was still out there ready to get her.

So I'm not sure anymore...

Anyway, the premise of the book wasn't entirely bad.  I just found myself continuously frustrated with the characters.  Talia was frustrating, and even as great a guy as Jack was, he was also frustrating.  His co-workers at Gemini were kind of silent in the background, but Danny came off like an asshole for several chapters.  Even Rosario got frustrating, watching her continuously breaking up with, and getting back together with a guy who's kind of a douchebag... despite the fact that she keeps breaking up with him BECAUSE he's a douchebag.

All-in-all, this book could have been better.


I will be using this book for Romance Bingo 2017.

Squares that this book will fit include:
  • Too Stupid To Live - Explanations in my review above; but basically, this is the story of a woman who's pride kind of gets in the way of her and her sister's safety.  Talia had already shown a penchant for being frustratingly illogical in the second book of this series.  I had a feeling that would carry over. 
  • Love is Murder - Romantic suspense with murder and danger. 
  • Secret Billionaire - Actually, our hero guesstimates his worth around a million to half a million, but who's splitting hairs?  It's not important to this story's plot anyway... 
  • Interracial Couple - Talia Vega, based on her name and descriptions of her, I assume, is Hispanic, but it is never actually stated.

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