Under a Turquoise Sky is Christian Romantic Suspense, usually my favourite genre, but this really didnt gel with me. I found the characters too stereotypical, and the plot verging on melodramatic. It didnt help that I kept being pulled out of the story by writing glitches (I was reading an unproofed version of the manuscript, but it wasnt typos and spelling mistakes that annoyed me, but sentences that didnt makes sense. I dont mind the advance review copy having a few typos, but the writing should still sing. This didnt).
It didnt start well. In fact, it started three times: Kailyn meets Rafe/Aaron at a party; Kailyn watches her best friend get murdered by her drug lord husband; Kailyn in witness protection where her care is entrusted to Aaron. I didnt like Kailyn as a character, and that didnt help. I cant exactly pinpoint what I didnt like, but I think it was that I didnt see any depth to her. She came across as somewhat dim.
Aaron was a more complex character, a half-Navajo child whod been mistreated by his white stepfather then adopted by a white family. He had rejected God, but this is a Christian romance, and we all know that means the hero and heroine both have to be Christians by the end of the book. This was another big failing for me: I didnt see any development in Aarons faith journey throughout the book, which made the inevitable conversion seem unrealistic.
What was good? I really liked Aarons Navajo grandmother. She was brighter than she let on, with a wicked sense of humour and large doses of tribal and Christian wisdom, even if it tended to be delivered as clich dialogue. But the good wasnt enough to make up for lacklustre writing and a main character I was unable to empathise with.
As an aside, this book illustrates why I no longer pay any attention to author endorsements. Under a Turquoise Sky has been endorsed by DiAnn Mills, who says, only lightening can strike faster than the action in this thrilling romantic suspense. Yes, the same novel I found slow and predictable. I wont be reading any further novels by Lisa Carter, and I might think twice about DiAnn Mills as well.
Thanks to Abingdon Press and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
This is the second in Carter's series taking place on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico but reads well on its own. Aaron is a federal agent who is assigned to protect Kailyn, a beautiful woman who witnessed a drug lord kill his wife. When their location is repeatedly compromised, Aaron decides to take Kailyn to the reservation, a place he left years ago without looking back.
The first part of this book has plenty of action, as does the end. Much of the book deals with the troubled relationship between Aaron and Kailyn. She is a southern bell and he is a no nonsense guy. Frustrations on both sides abound. I liked Kailyn. Even though she preferred her heeled shoes and southern society, she is a gutsy gal. Aaron is a troubled fellow. He had a rough childhood that still pervades his personality.
The fireworks are continual between Kailyn and Aaron. One minute it is flaming anger while the next it is explosive passion. Both are quick witted so the dialog is between them is great.
The strength of this novel is life on the reservation. Aaron returns to people he alienated and has ignored for years. His grandmother is precious and wants him to find his faith in Christ. His father is now sober and wants to renew a relationship with his sin. Aaron has much he must work through before that can happen. Other characters living on the reservation help flesh out what life is like there.
The books starts out with lots of action but slowed in the middle with the repetitive troubled relationship between Kailyn and Aaron. The end, however, has a twist and a resolution that is worth waiting for. A good novel.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
Kailyn witnesses a friends murder in North Carolina. She has to disappear in the Witness Protection Program. Leaving her old life isnt so hard. The grandmother who raised her after her parents died saw to it that Kailyn didnt believe she was good at anything.
FBI agent Aaron Yazzie has been undercover in Latino gangs for three years when his adoptive marshal father summons his help. His father is murdered by a turncoat marshal, and now hes responsible for Kailyn.
He takes her, and her ugly dog he names Taco, to his birthplace in New Mexico, the Navajo Nation. They pose as newlyweds. He thinks shes high maintenance, but she readily accepts their rustic life.
More danger exists in New Mexico than theyre aware of, and they cant relax. Kailyn finds comfort in her faith, but Aaron cant believe. Not after the cruel abuse of his stepfather. His fledgling relationship with his birth father, and new danger from the vengeful stepfather, help redirect his thinking.
Filled with humor that lightens the darkness of drug cartels and child abuse.
Extraordinary! An edgy romantic suspense that starts out all gritty, page-turning, read-with-your-eyes-closed good and then the author lulls the reader into a false sense of security when Kailyn and Aaron reach the Navaho Reservation until suddenly...Wham! Pow! Bam! Reader shell shock during the hair-raising conclusion.
Definitely grittier than most Christian romantic suspense novels, Under a Turquoise Sky addresses a number of social issues and the author doesn't pull any punches. She writes with unflinching honesty laced with compassion. That's really evident in her tough-as-nails hero, Aaron. Probably one of the most amazing character arcs I have ever read. His faith journey alone is worth the read.
By contrast, Kailyn comes from a family of wealth and power but that doesn't make her any less lost. The two together are explosive! Some of the best parts of the book are their arguments. Infuriating and funny all at the same time. Outrageous accusations, snappy comebacks, biting sarcasm -- whew, these two know how to keep a reader on her toes. But when they see eye-to-eye, oh-la-la, it is absolute toe-curling goodness.
An extraordinary host of secondary characters bring even more depth to this incredible story, and honestly, the rez has a character all of its own too. A fascinating read from beginning to end. My first by Lisa Carter, but it won't be my last.
My thanks to Abingdon Press and Net Galley for a review copy of this book.
UNDER A TURQUOISE SKY is not what I expected. A romantic suspense. Quiet. Filled with passionand not so much fear. Filled with love. Filled with hope and family restoration.
This is a romantic suspense unlike any Ive read beforeand I have to say I loved it. I loved Aarons rough edges. I felt his hurt, his pain. I longed for him to find his place in the world. I also felt for Kailyn, rejected by her high-society grandmother, trying to find her place in the same world that rejected herrejected Aaron.
UNDER A TURQUOISE SKY is so tightly written that under most cases Id say that all life was seeped from it. But in this case, most of the time, it wasnt. If you read romantic suspense youll want to read UNDER A TURQUOISE SKY. Highly recommended. 4.5 stars.