Reviewed by Tori
Samantha Jones never thought her life would change when she answered a call for a repo. A young single mother who works and lives for her young son, Sam does what she can to try and make a better life for the both of them. When she pops the truck on the BMW and sees a man inside, beat up and shot, she has no time to react and finds herself sharing the tiny space with him.
Daniel Panterro is convinced this is his last stand. Kidnapped from protective custody and beaten within an inch of his life, he is shocked when a beautiful young woman opens the trunk and joins him in his mobile grave.
When Daniel and Sam escape, Daniel knows that the vicious men who kidnapped him won’t stop hunting them until they’re both dead. He grabs Sam and “persuades” her with the help of Smith and Wesson to get to safety. Sam is furious to be dragged into his situation and only wants to get to her son.
Now Sam, Daniel, and her son are on the run. Sam isn’t sure she can trust Daniel, but her heart wants this dark and dangerous man who seems intent on protect her and her son from even himself. Can Sam trust her heart, or will Daniel prove a fatal attraction?
I’ve always been a fan of Robards. She is one of those authors whom I don’t auto buy but know I can pick up just about anything of hers and be satisfied. Karen Robards Shiver is a strong character driven romantic thriller that is predictable in the set up and outcome but provides a few twists and turns in the journey to the end. A smooth flowing storyline that, perhaps unintentionally, focuses much more on the characters and their romance than the main conflict. I found myself guessing the ending halfway into the book. Plenty of action and tension lends to the main conflict’s storyline but it can’t maintain and isn’t able to compete with the characters. Well written dialogue and definite antagonistic chemistry between Daniel and Sam is what held my interest in the story.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” She growled in self defense.
“What do think I’m doing?”
“It’s obvious, isn’t it? Copping a feel.”
“If I was copping a feel, my hands would be inside your pants.”
Daniel was a mixture of contradictions. What we see is not what we get. Seemingly laid back and mild mannered, it’s only as the story progresses do we see exactly what he is involved in and just how deadly he can be. He has many sticks in the fire and while you know his lies will eventually trip him up, you know that everything he is doing from the time he meets Sam is protect her. Sam is not impressed with him in the beginning though. Threatening her with a gun and taking her from her child leaves a heavy mark against him. As with any smart female, it takes her awhile to warm up to him.
Sam was equally as enjoyable as Daniel. Intelligent, resourceful, and brimming with common sense, Sam is no pushover. Abandoned by her family and her son’s father, Sam relies on one person-herself. And everything she does is for her son, Tyler. I found her attitude towards Daniel to be spot on and I loved her sarcasm.
“We’d both be better off if I have the gun.” His tone was even, reasonable.
She snorted, “I don’t think so.”
“How about if I give you my word I’m not going to shoot you?”
“How about if I give you my word I’m not going to shoot you?” She paused. “Unless you deserve it.”
The romance is slow to build, more sexual tension than actual scenes. We spend a majority of the story watching them internally ruminate about each other and their attraction but the chemistry resonates throughout the story and it’s believable in its unfolding.
I enjoyed the heavy inclusion of Sam’s son into the story. He is a viable presence and provides some comic relief and a bridge to help facilitate the relationship between Sam and Daniel. Other secondary characters are seen more through Sam and Daniel’s points of views and we don’t get a lot of direct interaction with them. The main conflict is intriguing but stays firmly in the background. The beginning is explosive but quickly settles and the focus switches to our protagonists. It’s only in the last quarter of the book does the action reinstate itself and we finally get the reasons for the actions that started everything. I was a little disappointed by how quickly everything wrapped up. I expected more interaction with our villains in the story.
All in all, Shiver wasn’t a bad book but it wasn’t an explosive one either. It’s a steady but predictable read. I was also disappointed in Daniel’s attitude. We are told he is dangerous but I never really felt it from him. His mild mannered facade worked too well and I could never make myself really think he was a bad ass. The excerpt gives the impression he is dangerous but he could never convince me of that and it left me feeling ambivalent.
Overall Rating: C-