Sunday, December 29, 2013

[Book Review] The Last Kiss Good-bye

The Last Kiss Good-bye
by Karen Robards
August 13, 2013
Ballantine Books
Mystery, Suspense, Paranormal Romance


Dr. Charlotte “Charlie” Stone has dedicated her career as a psychiatrist to exploring the darkest territory of all: the hearts and minds of serial killers. It’s a job she’s uniquely suited for, thanks to the secret talent that gives her an uncanny edge—Charlie can see dead people, whose tormented spirits cry out to her for the justice only she can provide. This blessing—or curse—gives Charlie the power to hunt down and catch madmen and murderers. It’s also turned her love life upside down by drawing her into a hopelessly passionate relationship with the lingering ghost of charismatic bad boy Michael Garland. 
But there’s little time for romance with her supernatural suitor when murder comes pounding at Charlie’s door in the form of a terrified young woman fleeing a homicidal maniac. Saving her life places Charlie squarely in the cross-hairs of a sadistic predator nicknamed “the Gingerbread Man,” notorious for manipulating his victims like pawns in a deadly chess game. And now the queen this psychopath’s bent on capturing is Charlie. Refusal to play will only put more innocent lives in danger. Matching wits with this cunningly twisted opponent will require all of Charlie’s training and expert skills. But even with her devilish “guardian angel”—not to mention her favorite flesh-and-blood Fed, Tony Bartoli—watching her beautiful back, the Gingerbread Man’s horrifying grin might be the last thing Charlie ever sees.

Thrilling! I enjoyed every twist and turn, and every minute of the playful banter between Dr. Charlotte Stone and Michael Garland! Definitely a perfect blend of mystery and paranormal romance!

Nothing gets me so engrossed like a great suspense-thriller book, and Karen Robard's The Last Kiss Good-bye is one great read! I have not read the first book in the Dr. Charlotte Stone Series, but that did not really affect my reading of the second book as things were easily explained early on.

Now, unto the review proper...

Story-wise, I cannot over-emphasize how much I loved the mystery bit! I've always found serial killers fascinating, and the amount of books (both non-fiction and fiction) I read about them, as well as the many crime shows I watch, is clear proof. In this story, I found the serial killer's method of killing as very unique. And his motive for doing it as also as unique. If I were one of his victims, honestly, I'd kill other people first rather than be killed. Also, I love the fact that I was stumped at every turn whenever they revealed a clue as to the identity of the serial killer. I honestly did not expect who it was!

Secondly, I also love the romance part of the story. It was hilarious to find a jealous ghost. The ends Michael would do just to make sure that Dr. Charlotte Stone doesn't sleep with Tony is just adorable. Well, if he was an ordinary person, I would no doubt say that Michael was the dangerous sort, but as a ghost, he just couldn't let up even if he doesn't exist in the human plane anymore! I found that really awesome.

What I liked about this story is that little by little, I was drawn into the story until I was emotionally invested to the outcome of the relationship between Charlotte and Michael. So while I understand that Michael has to move on to the place where things like him should move on to, I still don't want him to leave Charlotte. Their very shaky and unpredictable relationship with each other somehow affected me, too, as a reader, and it kept me on my toes. There should really be a third book in this series, just to wrap things up and gave me vindication because I just can't wait to know what will happen to Charlotte and Michael's story.

Kudos to Karen Robards for successfully mixing paranormal romance with the mystery-suspense genre! I highly recommend this book to readers who are fans of the mystery-suspense genre, as well as of the paranormal romance genre.

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