Prey of Desire
By JC GatlinGenre: Mystery-Suspense, New Adult
Published: February 2014
They said the disappearance of two high school students over 25 years ago was mystery that couldn't be solved.
No one ever said it shouldn't be. Following the abrupt end of a relationship, college student Kimberly Bradford finds comfort in the friendship with her over-the-top neighbor, Mallory. And, Mallory encourages her to get back out there. She would of course if it weren't for the thrilling little love notes and gifts she's been receiving. Kim thinks they're from her ex-fiancee, not realizing he's been murdered. Worse, whoever is sending her all the extra attention is not only in her inner-circle, but has a connection to that unsolved murder some 25 years ago. That connection puts her life in danger, and exposes secrets better left buried around her closest friends and family.
JC Gatlin lives in Tampa, Florida. In addition to regular fishing trips, he wrote a monthly column for New Tampa Style Magazine, then began penning several mystery/suspense stories. He also maintains a blog about the art of spinning a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat mystery yarn.
Coming from a large family with five brothers, JC grew up in Grapevine -- a small Texas town just outside of Dallas. He moved to Tampa in 1999, and most of his stories feature the rich landscapes of Texas and Florida as backdrop.
First thing first: Does that cover model look like Jessica Khoury or what? Jessica, did you pose for this?
Now, on to the review.
I downloaded this book from my email and decided to start the first chapter before bed. Mind you, I had no one with me and the house was dark. So I started, having thought this was a cutesy little scandal-type book (I had just read a synopsis for that). And at the end of the first chapter, someone gets stabbed. WHAT?! Yeah. I almost had a heart attack. And then I still had to get some sleep.
I actually ended up reading this for two nights and then the rest in a day. It was that good. Phenomenal, really. The characters were definitely realistic and I enjoyed the mystery behind the notes. And let me tell you, JC Gatlin did the best job of keeping the reader in the dark. I loved that. I knew as much as Kim knew the entire time. Nothing less, of course, and not too much more. Sometimes the narrator hinted at things, but they weren't too big (except for one time. The exception proves the rule.).
The plot. Wow. This book was EXTREMELY well-plotted. Everything flowed perfectly and had a reason for being present. Kim goes to places not because it's simply part of her routine, but because they affect the entire story.
Pacing was well and the characters were beautiful. The setting worked really well with the story and each character was important in some way. Which I don't want to describe anything in detail because this is a SPOILER-FREE zone.
I was very excited about this book and I wasn't disappointed. From the start to the end, I was enticed. And on that subject, the ending? You can't put the book down during that part. It's impossible. I had to know what happened and the scene was perfectly paced out, a really difficult task I've found for fight scenes. The ending had somewhat of a cliffhanger, but more to the point of you can assume what happened but you aren't sure.
Oh, and Mr. Gatlin? If you are reading this (so flattered), may I inquire what happened to Michael and Grampa? Michael especially. You can't leave me hanging like that! (Haha, everyone else! You have to read the book to find out who I'm talking about!;) )
My Rating: 5 stars
I think I'm seriously lucking out with review books; I haven't given any under a four-star yet. They're just that good! And a HUGE thanks to Sage's Blog Tours for letting me review, and for providing a free review copy. I promise this is an honest review.