Book Review: OBSESSION (Faces of Evil #1) by Debra Webb

Special Agent Jess Harris has spent more than a decade studying the many faces of evil.  In her determination to stop a serial killer, she broke the rules, and it cost her everything.  With her career in need of resuscitation and her love life dead and buried, Jess jumps at a chance to advise on a case that has the top detectives of Birmingham, Alabama, stumped.  But the case forces her to confront all the reasons she put her hometown--and her first love--in her rearview mirror.
Four young women have gone missing, and Police Chief Dan Burnett will do anything to find them before it's too late--even if it means asking for help from the woman who has spent a decade avoiding him.  Jess agrees to lend a hand and welcomes the diversion of a new case, a new life to save to make up for the victims she's lost.  But then the unthinkable happens:  the crazed serial killer from her past follows Jess to Birmingham.  The situation is becoming increasingly desperate--and time is swiftly running out... 

Eve Dallas--Meet your ancestor, Jess Harris...

I don't know what I was expecting when I picked up OBSESSION by Debra Webb.  I had read about the series in an article in RT Book Reviews and was intrigued by the premise of an FBI agent haunted by her inability to catch an extremely elusive serial killer and what her devotion to catching him cost her.  Not to mention that that obsession with him piqued his interest in her and just how much he (and his followers) enjoy tormenting Jess.  Sounded like a good set up for a 12 (!) book series.

Jess has reluctantly come home to help her ex with a series of kidnappings and to get away from the disaster that her FBI career has become thanks to her obsession with serial killer Eric Spears and capturing him.  Jess is a no-nonsense woman in her early 40s, and one hell of an investigator.  She's not afraid to step on toes and ruffle feathers if she has to in her pursuit of justice.

Jess is the kind of flawed heroine that I love to read about.  She struggles with the strong attraction she feels for her ex-boyfriend, Police Chief Dan Burnett.  She is struggling to fit in with her more domestic sister, Lily, and what being tied down in a place that she doesn't like that much means.  This heroine is not a neat, cookie cutter heroine--she is messy and flawed and it's clear that Ms. Webb loves writing Jess and playing in the world that Jess and her crew inhabits.

The true mystery in the book is a doozy and not really related to serial killer Eric Spears.  I don't want to give away the reasons why these young ladies were kidnapped, but it's creepy.  I do appreciate that Ms. Webb didn't make hunting Eric Spears the focus of the first outing.  She peppers him throughout the book, giving the reader a good idea of just how good he is at being bad and just how much he scares Jess (and the reader by association).  Ms. Webb uses the first book to give the series a strong foundation.

I highly recommend this book (and series) to fans of authors like J.D. Robb (Jess and Eve are cut from the same cloth, really.), and Karen Rose.



Book Facts:
OBSESSION (Faces of Evil #1) by Debra Webb
ISBN:  978-1-4555-2765-6
Grand Central Publishing/Forever, March 2013 (originally published in 2011)
Buy it:  Amazon  Barnes and Noble


The Authors Talk

As part of their release day blitz, Forever Romance made available a Q & A with some of the authors from the Tall, Dark, and Cowboy boxed set.  Please enjoy the following Q&A!

Q:  A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less?
R.C. RYAN- Can Jesse McCord guard his heart against Amy Parish, the only woman he ever loved and lost? Or will danger change the game? 
ERIN KERN- Would you give up your inheritance to live in the middle of nowhere? Avery Price did. And ended up getting way more than she bargained for!
KATIE LANE- A small, Texas town filled with sassy heroines, hot cowboys, and zany matchmakers whose hearts are as big as the state they live in.
LAURA DRAKE- A grieving housewife throws her cheating Ex off their ranch.  But when the sweet cowboy she married returns, can they both learn to forgive?
MOLLY CANNON- When Marla Jean's husband dumps her for an older woman, chaos in the form of hunky Jake turns the rest of her life upside down.

LYNETTE AUSTIN- When a cowboy meets an heiress...Somebody Like You—one sexy cowboy and a Harley-riding heiress, each with a secret.

Q:  What makes a cowboy, a cowboy?

R.C. RYAN- Hard, dirty work.  A love of the land.  A courtly, fiercely protective attitude toward family, women and children.  Their work makes them rough and tough, but their heart and soul, their innate goodness makes them the perfect hero.  
ERIN KERN- Have you seen a cowboy lately?? Scuffed up boots, worn jeans, callused hands, a little five o’clock shadow, slightly too long hair….shall I go on?
KATIE LANE- I think it has to do with the legend. Cowboys have always been heroes (Wait, is that a song?)—strong, alpha men who can wrangle a steer and know how to treat a lady. It’s this mixture of tough man and mannerly country boy that makes a true cowboy . . . and makes women go crazy. That, and a snug-fitting pair of jeans.
LAURA DRAKE- Old world manners, an unbreakable word, and a wild side.
MOLLY CANNON- Well worn boots

LYNETTE AUSTIN-Attitude.  A cowboy is strong and confident, and he’s not afraid of an equally strong woman. He carries in his heart old-fashioned values. He stands for his country and its flag, says yes, ma’am and no, sir, and loves his mama and daddy—kind of a throwback to a slower, easier time but with a kickass edge.

Q:  Which of your characters has been the most fun to write so far?
R.C. RYAN- I really can't choose a favorite.  I love them all.  But Jesse and Amy are special.  
ERIN KERN- I love all of my characters. Picking just one is like picking a favorite kid. But I’d have to say I loved writing Courtney Devlin (the McDermott brother’s younger sister, and heroine of The Trouble with Trouble). She’s spunky, fiery and tells it like it is. She’s not afraid of backing down from anyone and has a great sense of humor. I always had a great laugh writing her character throughout the books.
KATIE LANE- Kenny Gene. Think Barney Fife in The Andy Griffith Show. Kenny’s not dealing with a full deck, but he has a heart of solid gold and always looks at life like it’s a big package just waiting to be opened.  I just love that about him.
LAURA DRAKE- Probably Katya and Cam, the Heroine and Hero of the last book in my Sweet on a Cowboy series, Sweet on You, due out in August. A Gypsy Army Medic turned PBR Physical Therapist and a beat-up bull rider in his last season on the circuit. Lots of conflict there!
MOLLY CANNON- Hoot and Dooley-the two retired men who sit in the front of Marla Jean’s barber shop, playing Parcheesi and gossiping all day. They’ve managed to get into all 3 books so far.
LYNETTE AUSTIN- Oh, this is hard to answer. I always fall madly in love with my heroes—Cash, Brawley, and Ty are magnificent men and not just because they’re gorgeous. It’s their big, generous hearts that make them unforgettable. I love Annelise Montjoy for the courage she showed in traveling across country to save her grandfather’s life. Sophie London, with her fondness for fairies and her belief in love, really hit home with me. But it might be red-headed, hot-tempered Maggie Sullivan that was most fun to write. She put everything she felt right out there, so I never had to hold back with the emotion.

Q:  What would readers be surprised to find out about you?
R.C. RYAN- I've been singing since I was a kid, and thought about a career as a singer. I chose instead to marry young and raise five great children. And then tried my hand at my great, driving passion - writing.  
ERIN KERN- Probably that I used to be a dancer. I danced ballet for about twelve years and actually performed with the Oakland Ballet two years in a row.
KATIE LANE- I married my high school sweetheart and he inspires all my heroes. (Even when he forgets to take the Chapstick out of his pant pockets and the entire load of laundry ends up with grease spots.)
LAURA DRAKE- I’m a thrill seeker. I Love roller coasters, riding motorcycles and I’ve even skydived – until my last jump when chute didn’t open, and I had to throw the reserve. If I were younger, I’d try getting on a bull!
MOLLY CANNON- I’m really good at trashcan basketball.
LYNETTE AUSTIN- I have, at present, sixty-two pairs of flip-flops, and one of those pairs traveled to Morocco with me where I rode a camel. I can’t resist a great pair of flip-flops.

A special thank you to Forever Romance for allowing this blog to participate in the Tall, Dark and Cowboy release day blitz, blog tour and giveaway!  Make sure to follow up on these authors via the following links and purchase the box set at your favorite e-book retailer!

You can learn about Lynnette Austin at: www.lynnettehallberg.com

You can learn about Molly Cannon at:
Twitter @cannonmolly

You can learn about Laura Drake at:
Twitter @PBRWriter

You can learn about Erin Kern at:
Twitter @ErinKern

You can learn about Katie Lane at:
Twitter @ktlane3

You can learn about R.C. Ryan at:
Twitter @RuthRyanLangan



Tall, Dark, and Cowboy Box Set Release Day and Giveaway

Tall, Dark, and Cowboy Box Set from Forever Romance
Get ready for some cowboys headed your way!  Forever Romance is releasing an e-book boxed set of some of it's popular cowboy themed romances by some of it's most popular authors.

The e-books in this boxed set are all wonderful additions to any cowgirl's electronic bookshelf.  The featured titles are:

SOMEBODY LIKE YOU by Lynnette Austin:  Cash thought he had plenty of time to find the right woman-until he learns that he must marry soon or loose his family's Texas farm.  When Boston beauty Annelise enters his life, Cash wonders if she's what he's been looking for all along.

AIN'T MISBEHAVING by Molly Cannon:  After her ex-husband leaves her for another woman, Marla Jean won't settle for another lonely night.  And her childhood crush, Jake, may just be the right man to help make this good girl go a little bad.

THE SWEET SPOT by Laura Drake:  Charla Rae thought she was over her ex-husband-they'd both been through too much together.  But when the championship bull rider comes back into town and offers to help with her ranch, will he also convince her to give their love a second chance?

LOOKING FOR TROUBLE by Erin Kern:  Fleeing her rich, overbearing family, Avery makes her way to Trouble, Wyoming.  She soon tries things the old Avery wouldn't dare, like having a sizzling affair with her sexy new boss, Noah-and discovering he's just the kind of trouble she needs.

GOING COWBOY CRAZY by Katie Lane:  When Faith is mistaken for her identical twin sister in Bramble, Texas, there's bound to be trouble-especially with her sister's ex-boyfriend Slate.

MONTANA LEGACY by R. C. Ryan:  When Amy left Jesse, she broke his heart.  Now she's back in town and stirs his old desires, even as she promises to help him find his family's gold.  But under the prairie skies an unseen enemy is closing in to threaten their love-and their lives.

Forever Romance is also giving away several copies of this boxed set, so please enter the drawing to your right.  The drawing ends shortly and the winners will be notified by Forever Romance.  In the meantime, head on over to Barnes and Noble or iTunes to pick up a copy for yourself!

Coming up, hear from the authors of this boxed set!




New Reviews, Coming Soon (Part II)

I've been reading, but not updating this blog, unfortunately.  And then I had a fifteen week interruption while I was studying to become a Certified Pharmacy Tech.  I cannot wait to get back to reading more of what I want now that I passed my PTCE!

So here's a list of reviews that I'm currently working on:

1.  Firelight (Darkest London #1) by Kristen Callihan
2.  Moonglow (Darkest London #2) by Kristen Callihan
3.  Obsession (Faces of Evil #1) by Debra Webb
4.  Impulse (Faces of Evil #2) by Debra Webb
5.  Power (Faces of Evil #3) by Debra Webb
6.  Rage (Faces of Evil #4) by Debra Webb
7.  Revenge (Faces of Evil #5) by Debra Webb
8.  Ruthless (Faces of Evil #6) by Debra Webb
9.  The Wedding Favor (Save the Date #1) by Cara Connelly
10.  Mystery Man (Dream Man #1) by Kristen Ashley
11.  Wild Man (Dream Man #2) by Kristen Ashley
12.  Law Man (Dream Man #3) by Kristen Ashley
13.  Motorcycle Man (Dream Man #4) by Kristen Ashley
14.  Own the Wind (Chaos #1) by Kristen Ashley
15.  You Belong to Me (Baltimore #1) by Karen Rose
16.  No One Left to Tell (Baltimore #2) by Karen Rose
17.  It Happened One Wedding (FBI #5) by Julie James