To Trust A Stranger starts out silly but its the good kind of silly that may actually make you smile if youre in the right frame of mind. Private Investigator Mac is out on a case decked out in full drag when he meets Julie who is decked out in only a sexy nighty and sneakers (hang in, there is a reason for this). Wouldnt this be a really hurtful realization for Julie and the worst possible time to start up a shiny new romance? Mac is great, theres nothing wrong with him at all, but I couldnt stop myself from thinking there was only lust and pain pulling her towards him and that she had a lot of crap to deal with before starting anew. And then Julie went and devolved from a nice southern belle into a bit of a witch who vented all of her anger and frustration on Mac who was nothing but decent to her. Still, I liked Mac and couldnt figure out why he was so gaga over Julie. Dont get me wrong; she was strong and stubborn and I loved the fact that was a fighter who even bit a guys nose at one point but shes pretty rotten to Mac in the second half of the book. Its only because of Mac and his naughty poodle that the book gets three stars. I enjoyed listening to them talk (especially Mac) but there was one particular scene that hurt my innocent ears.
He sets out to help and protect her as unbeknownst to her she has a hit man hot on her trail, contracted by her not so loving hubby. The h only wants his help in nailing her cheating husbands ass as she is anyways clueless about her husbands shady connections but the H had his own secret agendas (read munitions for later MU). At the beginning of the book the h was in love with her husband even if he had grown distant and made excuses not to have sex with her. The book has some real funny moments especially in the beginning when the h/H meet in a shady part of town at midnight while she is trailing her husband and he is on a case- she is in husband bait slinky pjs (yes, almost a year of celibacy calls for desperate measures) and he is as Debbie, the drag queen!
That doesn't really detract much from the story, since the action and suspense come mostly from the killer stalking Julie, not from the mystery behind that. All I ever felt between these two was lust based on physical appearance, especially from Mac. A lot of emphasis is put on Julie's beauty queen looks, and I never saw Mac see her as anything other than that, which is basically how her first husband saw her. Julie is a former beauty pageant winner who pulled herself up out of virtual poverty into a comfortable life with her looks. But over the course of the book I got really tired of hearing how she was worried constantly about putting on an ounce of weight, how she starves herself, etc. Maybe it was suppose to be tongue-in-cheek, but we never hear any encouragement or positive words from anyone such as, "You look wonderful, you don't need to lose an ounce!" I guess the author was keeping everyone in character, but it seems to me that even at the end, Julie is still being cherished for her outward appearance and will have to work hard to remain beautiful all her life in order to keep the approval. Lastly, the narrator didn't work for me on this book, although I would consider listening to another book where she wasn't trying to fake southern accents.
instead, go jogging at dawn the very next day in a still-sleeping neighborhood with headphones on and carrying only mace. i didn't feel much for julie, and not just for her stupidity. i love bodyguard romances, but this was one of those stories where the hero's all "i have to protect you" against all reason.
Unfortunately, I think this one had way too much romance and way too little suspense.
I like Robards' books but somehow left this story on the To Read shelf for years.
Karen Robards is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than fifty books and one novella.