I’m struggling with how to present a positive review of this book. So, please bear with me.
“Road Rage” by Scarlette Hunt is described as “Fiction (Adult)/Romance” and as an “off kilter southern thriller”. Thriller might be a bit of a stretch. Even if that was the author’s intention it doesn’t quite hit its mark. The “off kilter” part is somewhat more descriptive because the characters, are numerous and often unbelievable.
The protagonist, Miranda “Rand” Phillips, is a psychologist/therapist. in Aiken, SC. The story opens with her at the wheel of her ‘69 Mustang in a ditch. She was on her way to California, all the while either chasing or being chased by one William Prince who was trying to kill her. Prince had shown up in Aiken a couple of weeks ago and within just a few days, knew everyone in town and all their secrets. On the surface he was affable and even charming but he gave Rand the heebie-jeebies. It seemed to her he was following her, especially when he kept popping up unexpectedly in unlikely places. Then came the day he showed up at her office for an appointment as a client/patient. Rand tried to get rid of him but he overpowered her and held her against her will, even torturing her. But Rand managed to escape and as she was driving away, Prince detonated firebombs he’d set all over town and she could see the town of Aiken in her rear view mirror in a full-blown conflagration. Over the course of her drive she has flashbacks that partially explain some of her backstory but it jumps around willy nilly with little or no segues or transitions. I spent way too much time trying to figure out the time and location leaps. Early on in the story she gets rescued (one of several times) by Brax Hollows, an FBI agent. Naturally they eventually fall in lust/love which is where the romance comes in. Does any of this sound plausible to you? Nah, not to me either.
While I’m kvetching, I have to mention the author’s all too frequent use of “ya” and “yer” for “you” and “your”. I was born and reared in the deep south and I don’t ever recall hearing those terms used. I’m being kind when I say that much of the dialogue was equally inauthentic. As for the storyline, it jumped around with too numerous to mention characters that popped up like so many ducks in a shooting gallery. I needed a scorecard to keep track of the players. By the time I got to the 80% mark (Kindle edition) I just wanted it to end so I skimmed the remaining 20% because I didn’t honestly care what happed to whom.
I don’t recall a time when I had to struggle this much to come up with even a single positive remark but there it is. The plot premise showed promise if it could’ve been corralled instead of being allowed to wander off. Maybe a good sheepdog would help. They’re good at rounding up the strays and getting them back to the herd. If the stray threads of this story could be gathered up and woven together it could be salvaged but it’d be a gargantuan task. So I’m ending this with two stars. One for the promise of a storyline that didn’t quite make it and one for effort. That’s the best I can do.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own. My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity. #Roadrage #NetGalley
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