Sunday, July 10, 2011

Before the Witches by Karina Cooper

Posted first on The Romance Reviews

Karina Cooper brings us a story full of pain and suffering, yet exploding with sensuality and a searing sexual tension that takes your breath away. Ekaterina Zhuvova known as Katya is one of the many young women forced into a life of depravity, giving her body to men with little care for where or who these young women are. Nigel Ferris is an undercover officer trying to bust the man behind the human slavery ring ready to rescue these women from their fate. But Katya has another secret as well, one that could very well get her killed.

As tensions increase, all hell breaks loose when an earthquake begins to shake the building. Having been through a few in the Seattle area in the past, Nigel is nevertheless surprised. Using his own body to cover Katya, trying to save her from harm, further fuels the flame of their desire. Leaving the building for his own sanity as well as further instruction, the land continues to rumble as the fault continues shifting. Creating traffic difficulties and deaths, the danger surrounds the area, creating hazards and casualties at every turn. Finally making it to the station, Nigel reports his recent finding to the department. Looking for the kingpin in this organization, he is having trouble with the Station Chief. She does not necessarily believe they will find the man behind the atrocities.

Finally getting agreement, he heads out to find further clues when he is directed to an area of disaster. It appears to be coming from the very brothel where he had just left Katya. As he approaches the building, he finds that the structure is crumbling, and all the young women are outside, all that is, except Katya. Hearing a gun shot, he enters to find Katya in dire shape, and even as he begins her rescue, the earth continues to shift. The quakes are coming faster and destruction more wide spread. The whole area is set to implode and they must make their escape. Knowing he must not let her out of his site, he allows the others to go their own way, but Katya must remain.

Karina Cooper builds a story of destruction that is eminently believable. The landmarks are real and the possibilities of volcanic eruptions in the area are not without some background. The Characters are very strong and exciting. The young women in the brothel are not yet beaten down by their profession and yet they are used to the expectation of pain. It is both uncomfortable and unnerving.

The passion and sensuality are riveting, the heat between Nigel and Katya, is a force of its own. She has weaved in an endearing quality in both characters, making them very likable and extremely human. The story is quite wonderful; it builds and creates an unbelievable tension. As friends and family, begin to die in the endless madness, you look for answers. What is happening and where will it all end?

The buildup is exceptional and quite creative, and yet I was disappointed on how it all worked out. Confusion seemed to ensue, and the story did not bring the pieces together for me. The story line was a good one creating high hopes from the beginning. It began with an explosion and yet did not hold true to the ending.

Rating 3/5
Before the Witches

This Book was received as a free down load through Net Galley. All opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding of the material.

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