Sunday, August 2, 2015

Drawing Fire by Janice Cantore {review}

People, an amazing thing has happened.

I liked this one.  

I know, right?!  Me, of the snarky opinions on practically all Christian fiction romance!  But 't'is true--I really did enjoy this 'un.  Now, admittedly, that shouldn't have been such a shock to me, since I have enjoyed some CFR before (i. e. Linda Chaikin's Heart of India).  But since it's been rare, I guess it sort of threw me a little.

First things first:  synopsis (taken from the back cover):

With a possible serial killer stalking elderly women in Long Beach, California, homicide detective Abby Hart's best lead is Luke Murphy, an irritating private investigator who saw a suspect flee the scene of the latest homicide.  But as she works with the handsome PI to unravel the serial killer case, she must also confront the spark between them.  When Abby discovers that the most recent victim is related to the governor, she's anxious to talk to him about a cold case that's personal to her, one Luke is interested in as well.

As she learns more about the restaurant fire that took her parents' lives years ago, Abby discovers why Luke is so invested in finding the ones responsible.  With everyone else telling her to walk away from this case, Abby and Luke search for evidence buried beneath years of deceit…and soon realize that someone will do anything to make sure this case remains cold.

Now, I don't read criminal stories.  I just don't.  I don't really watch them, either, because to be honest they disconcert me too much--I realize that these things actually happen, and that makes it a heck of a lot scarier to me than say, Shelob *ahem*.  I'll admit, this story took awhile to grow on me, but by the time the second half rolled around, I was drawn in.  Part of that, I think, was due to the fact that the story wasn't centered around the romance *"Hallelujah" chorus*  There were the typical stomach-flutterings and banishing-of-annoying-thoughts-of-attraction, but Abby and Luke were mainly drawn together by their mutual interest in the case, so every other page wasn't dripping with the allure of her eyes or the strength of his muscles, if you get my drift.  (That did happen a leetle at first, but it got better as the story progressed.)

The characters were all well-done (Ethan is p'raps a little stereotyped, but mayhap that'll change), and Abby and Luke's relationship, though at first not my favorite, ended up being soooo sweet.  That ending, though…  I was happy, particularly because they didn't even kiss!


I know, right?!  In a CFR book, the hero and heroine didn't kiss!  (Well, okay, she kissed his cheek on the last page, and I'm pretty sure they'll kiss eventually in one of the other books, but you know what I mean.)  It's really quite ridiculous how ecstatic this makes me.  Understand, now, I have no real Biblical objection to a couple kissing prior to marriage (though I understand that some of you may and I completely respect your conviction!), but…well, let's just say, if you've read a lot of CFR, you're pretty happy when an author finds it within her capabilities to craft an engaging relationship without constant fantasizing and/or kissing.  It's just nice, hehe.  

The writing wasn't absolutely flooring, but it was "adequate" (wow, how much more condescending can I get?), and improved the more I read (I liked the reference to Casablanca as a comfort sort of movie;D).  Plus, the story definitely made up for any slight deficiencies.  Speaking of which…

Peeps!  There's a sequel!  'T'is a series (which I really should have picked up on earlier), and I have to say, by the time I got to the last page and realized it was the last page, I felt cheated.  "Wait--what?  How--what just happened?"  BUT then I turned the page…and saw the advertisement for the sequel, and suddenly all was well again;)  I can honestly tell you all that I am looking forward to the release of the second installment (and very much hoping it'll become available for free review on one of the sites!).  In fact, when I finished and found out that the next chapter wouldn't be coming until 2016, I got that antsy, "but I want it now" feeling--which in turn delighted me, because I realized how much I'd  become invested in the lives of the characters.  I actually sort of walked around in a happy daze for a little while afterwards.

So, in closing, yes, I liked it!  It was a good story, and I'm greatly anticipating the next segment!

I tip my hat to you, Ms. Cantore.

[I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review.]


21 comments:

  1. Yay! A good book! This must be celebrated! Because I know how rare it is to get a book for review and actually LIKE it. ;-P I've gotten, like, eight or nine over two years and I only really liked one. In fact, I didn't even read the last one they gave me, so I'm not sure exactly what's going to happen to me for not reviewing it...I figure the worst Bethany House can do is take me off their list, which is okay with me. :-P I just hope they don't sue me or something.

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    1. I know! Hehe, you understand ;-P It definitely is extremely rare. Haha, really?! That's funny:D Yeah, I'm sure they won't sue or anything...one would hope...haha, which one did you get last? I know, I'm actually thinking about finishing the most recent book I got from Bethany House and reviewing it, and then somehow unsubscribing. Because I've got two other sites I review for now, and they have a more, shall we say, varied collection, so it almost seems like a waste to keep using Bethany House's resources when I practically never like them:-/ What do you think?

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    2. The last book I got was called Irish Meadows...I can't remember who it was by; I traded it in at a used bookstore! (Which was actually pretty awesome -- I traded in three books that I didn't like and got two new ones for free.)

      Yeah, I'd say if you haven't gotten anything you really like, just drop it. Do you tend to like Tyndale books better? Oooh, what's the other site you review for?

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    3. That's a shame, especially since the title sounds really cool:) But yeah! Three unwanted books for two wanted ones?! That's a great deal;)

      Yup, that's what I'm leaning towards. Well, I've only technically gotten one book from Tyndale as of right now, hehe, but so far they seem to have a more varied selection of books, so overall, I'd say yes:) The other site I review for is Blogging For Books. The first book I got from them I didn't actually finish, because it got a little sensual, but they also have a good variety.

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  2. I know exactly what you mean about the kissing part--it's not (at least IMHO) that kissing before marriage is WRONG in itself. It's just that if the characters are doing it all over the place--and before they're even engaged, mind you--then Something is Not Quite Right.

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    1. Exactly, Jessica! I mean, a couple needs to have a little more upon which to base their relationship.

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    2. Yep. FIRST you find out if you actually like the person and are compatible with them and have a serious interest in someday marrying them. THEN it will be time enough to think about kissing. :-)

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    3. Absolutely. I agree. Time for kissing will come later;)

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  3. Good review! Do you have a Goodreads account?

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    1. Thanks, Meredith! I do have a Goodreads account--I don't use it too often (usually just for rating and keeping track of the books I read), but my account name is Graceofthevalar:)

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  4. THEY DIDN'T KISS!?!?! IT'S A ROMANTIC NOVEL, AND THEY DIDN'T EVEN KISS?! Gahhhhhhhhhhh!

    (Sorry that you had to witness the raging of a romantic...)

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    1. NO THEY DIDN'T!!!! Haha, it's okay, I'm a bit of a romantic too;) But frankly I was happy about it, for the reasons I mentioned in the review XD

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  5. Ooooh! I love mysteries, and this actually sounds... fairly good. I'm cautiously optimistic? Looks like my library has it, and several other books by this author too.

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    1. Yes! The first half sort of slogs along, but things start to really pick up in the second half, and I ended up really enjoying it:D Cool! Well, I'd say go for it!;)

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    2. I'll see if it, or another of her books, is in this afternoon :-)

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    3. This one wasn't in, but her "Critical Pursuit" was, so I got that instead. Plan to start it soon!

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    4. Okie dokie! Can you let me know what you think of Critical Pursuit? I was considering trying out a couple of her other books, and another opinion would really help:D

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    5. I'll try to remember to pop back here!

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    6. Well, I have decided not to finish "Critical Pursuit" and try one of her other books instead -- CP isn't bad, but it's about abducted and molested children, and a cop who works finding them, and it's simply too emotionally draining for me, as a mother, to read. Even though there's no description of the molestation, my imagination fills in too many blanks and I realized I'm not only not enjoying it, I'm actively working to keep my emotional distance from the characters, and what fun is that?

      So I think it's rather good in many ways, especially how Cantore clearly knows the ins and outs of police work, but I'm not enjoying it. The library does have a bunch more of her books, so I'm going to see if any others are in next time I'm there.

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    7. Oh, yikes. Thanks for warning me! I'd imagine that would be especially hard as a mother, yeah:(

      Cool! I hope some of her others are a little more congenial:)

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