Read with: iBooks for iPad
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Hero: Vince O’Mally
Heroine: Holly Newman
Date of Publication: August 11, 2013
Started On: March 21, 2014
Finished On: April 25, 2014
Gingerbread Man by Maggie Shayne is one of those reads that took me by surprise by just how captivating the story turned out to be. Like any reader, I am quite hesitant when it comes to trying out new authors, but then again, a girl has got to take a chance every now and then and see whats out there. I think I first stumbled across Maggie’s name on a post by Anne Stuart and later on one way or the other I stumbled across this book on Amazon. I picked it up for one main reason; I wanted to read a dark and gripping romantic suspense novel that could actually deliver on what the blurb promised. And it turns out, Maggie Shayne can certainly do a mean romantic suspense!
Gingerbread Man is by no means a light read. It deals with a serial child killer, a killer who sexually assaults his victims before killing them off. There’s no way to remain detached from what’s happening, the raw emotion that at times seeps through the story to practically throttle you with all feelings that the story invokes in you. I believe that’s what makes a romantic suspend stand out and perhaps in the process give you a nightmare or two as well.
Detective Vince O’Mally is riding hard on a case on child abduction when the circle of events spiral into the sort of nightmare there is no getting out of. Vince is ordered to take a leave of absence to sort himself out, but Vince is like a dog with a bone with his inability to give up on finding a man who he believes has been preying and killing for far too long.
A lead takes Vince to Syracuse where he meets Holly Newman and finds out the hard way that even a burnt out detective who is cynical about the affairs of the heart can find himself in the precarious position of being in love. Holly is a woman who has gone through her own special brand of hell, a nightmare that she hasn’t ever fully recovered from. And when Vince storms into her life and turns it completely upside down by opening up old wounds that had continued to fester and never healed, Holly finds herself on the brink of falling for the man responsible for the upheaval, a man who let’s her know in no uncertain terms that forever is not for the likes of him.
Maggie has a surprise or two up her sleeve as the story goes along, the chill factor involved in the novel which doesn’t lessen as the story proceeds. Holly is one of those heroines that you cannot help but admire. Her inner core of strength is testament to why she had survived and made it through, but that doesn’t mean that life is a walk in the park for her. She continually battles with the psychological scars left behind and that is one reason why Vince aims to steer clear of her – because he has a tendency of wanting to take care of ‘needy’ women. But then again, Vince has never met anyone the likes of Holly and Maggie certainly does a swell job out of creating the sizzling variety of sexual tension and delivering on it which raised the story’s rating by that much.
If you are a fan of dark romantic suspense novels the likes of which Cynthia Eden creates, Gingerbread Man is definitely for you. But if you do not like dark subject matter, perhaps this might prove to be a tad too much. Otherwise I heartily recommend that you pick this up and just go along for the ride. Totally and definitely worth it!
Final Verdict: A haunting & gripping read that fans of dark romantic suspense must read!
He didn’t answer her, so she rolled again, onto her side, facing him this time, and she pressed her mouth to his mouth. His lips were stiff and unresponsive. She slid her arms around his waist and pulled her body closer to his. Then she nipped his bottom lip with her teeth, suckled it just a little, and slid her tongue along the inner edge of his lips.
He shook a little, and his arms closed around her hard and fast. Finally he kissed her back. He kissed her like she’d never dreamed of being kissed.
His eyes were hungry when they probed hers. “I’ve told you I don’t have anything to give, Red. This is here and now. That’s all.”
“I’m not asking for anything else.” She reached for the bottom of his T-shirt, and lifted it, slid her hands over his belly and up to his chest, and dragged her nails over his nipples.
He closed his eyes, gritted his teeth. When they opened again, his eyes blazed.
He moved her backward until her legs hit the couch, then gave a push so she was sitting down. Peeling off his shirt, he dropped it, and knelt, and his hands went around her, palms flat to her back, arching her toward him so he could bend and suck her breasts. He sucked them hard, bit down with his teeth until sweet pain jolted through her, then licked the sting away with his tongue, and did it all over again. Each time he bit a little harder, and each time she liked it a little better.
He didn’t take his time. Didn’t ease her into this, just spread her folds and touched her. Rubbed her. Fingers pushed up inside her without waiting for an invitation. He lifted her a little, his fingers still in her, and held her around the waist with a free hand, and she stood there, barely balanced with her legs wide and her knees bent.
When she started to melt into his mouth, he drew his head away, and she almost cried. But then he was on her again, his cock was pressing into her, stretching her wider, pushing inexorably deeper until she didn’t think she could take any more, and then still more.
She saw his face, watched the waves of pleasure wash over him as he began moving, too, thrusting in hard, fast, deeper, until he pushed her to the edge. She came, and she heard herself scream his name as she did. And then he drove into her once more, and went stiff as he held her and poured himself into her.