The Donovan Family by Margaret Watson
I received this novel in exchange for an honest review. This was the only novel I received in exchange for an honest review of the seven book series. You can read my review of the first novel in the series here.
Trust Me (Book 4)
Overall Rating: 4 (sXe)
Quick & Dirty summary: Raine Taylor knows who killed her sister. The problem is the police aren’t willing to investigate. With a black belt in tae kwon do, Raine has a plan to catch the killer and doesn’t need a homicide detective getting in her way. Detective Connor Donovan is surprised when a female trespasser he’s caught disappears like a ninja, but he’s not thinking about that when he meets Raine, the coach of the police department’s community outreach program. The petite high school teacher isn’t a likely suspect for a stalker, but Connor can’t seem to get her off his mind.
This novel is a lot of fun. It is very suspenseful, but without falling into the normal plot patterns. There are obvious turns, which the characters follow, and when the climax of the novel happens, it’s really a surprise because all of the different plot lines come together in an interesting way.
That being said, what I really liked about this novel is the way Margaret Watson dealt with a very touchy subject for me within the romance genre. The first sex scene is one driven out of anger and frustration. Raine says “I’m not interested” and Connor calls her a “liar” and goes about proving her wrong. The problem with this scene for me is consent. While everything in the description of the sex scene screams, I want you, I want you, what Raine says is clear. At no point in the scene does she change her mind and say yes, despite her participation in the act.
This is a very common scene with the alpha male hero. While the heroine may protest verbally, the hero knows what she really wants even if she won’t admit it. Does this legally mean it is rape? I don’t know and while for some people it’s an important point, to me the issue isn’t legal but psychological. There is nothing worse than your mind and body being in conflict. And there is nothing more demeaning to me, than someone you should trust not trusting you to know your own mind and body in return. It doesn’t really matter that the heroine secretly wants the hero—sex should be an act of mutual trust and intimacy.
So, with this being the first sex scene of the novel, I did not want to continue the novel. I have to tell you right now that I am so glad I finished it. Watson actually goes into the effects of such an interaction. Both Connor and Raine have negative reactions to this, which continues into their relationship. Raine thinks to herself that Connor “made her helpless. She’d been furious with him, and he’d made her want him. That was the most terrifying part of the fight.” That sex scene was not the kind of intimacy to build a relationship, and Connor and Raine had to make conscious decisions to move away from that kind of engagement. Connor, likewise, feels regret and shame. Watson makes it clear that there is a psychological impact with sex and while the first sex scene is full of chemistry, it may not be enough to drive a relationship forward. Watson handled this common romance scene with nuance and it won me over.
Is it worth buying? (Kindle $4.99)
This is a full-length novel romantic suspense. The quality writing and character development make it worth the slightly odd price.
Something else you might enjoy:
I can’t think of another novel with this strong of a heroine and this depth of relationship nuance. So please, suggest one of your own to me.