Review

Shiver

by Karen Robards

The story has been repeated time and again. Kids having a good time, doing what kids do, and then suddenly...kids having kids. And, as in most cases, the girl is left with the responsibility while the sperm donor simply left. But Samantha Jones accepted the responsibility and is doing whatever she has to in order to take care of Tyler. She works with a repo company, hooking cars to her ancient tow truck, delivering them in exchange for a $70 fee. With what little money she could put aside, she is also taking classes to become an EMT, hoping to get certified before Big Red ends up in tow truck heaven.

"[W]e don't have to read the last few pages to find out that there will be a happy ending. Discovering how it all comes about is what makes reading romances so much fun. SHIVER is a fast-moving, uncomplicated and enjoyable read for fans of the genre."

While out on an assignment, Sam hooks up a BMW and gets ready to tow it when she discovers an injured man in the trunk. Danny Panterro, an undercover FBI agent, has run afoul of the Zeta cartel, a very vicious gang that will stop at nothing to get what it wants. And right now, it wants Danny to tell all he knows about the location of money that belongs to them. Of course, the thugs do not know that Danny is undercover; they think he is Rick Marco, a former gang member who has gone into witness protection to testify against his former cohorts. But before Sam can figure out how to help Danny, she is grabbed from behind and thrown into the trunk behind him.

And all this in the first 20 or so pages! The action doesn't slow down, and the reader is quickly drawn into the lives of these essentially likable characters who find themselves in a dangerous situation that neither of them expected. Robards has a talent for rapid-fire action, whether it be threats from the Zeta gang getting closer to Sam's home and her son, or from Danny and Sam discovering an unlikely attraction to one another that neither of them welcomes. There is never a dull moment.

Fans of romantic thrillers may be a bit surprised at some of the violence that ensues as the killers get closer to their quarry. But there are no surprises in the friction between the U.S. Marshals, tasked with protecting their star witness and the FBI agents who are concerned that one of their own may be in over his head. Fortunately, those sworn to protect and serve usually come around and make the right decisions.

Those of us who love a good romance expect some friction between the romancers in question. In this case, Samantha has sworn off seeking companionship in favor of taking care of her son and getting her EMT certification so she can quit the dangerous repo job. Meanwhile, Danny has no doubts about the impropriety of having anything but professional contact with a woman in his care. Besides, she thinks he really is a drug dealer and has no interest in getting involved with such an unsavory character. But we don't have to read the last few pages to find out that there will be a happy ending. Discovering how it all comes about is what makes reading romances so much fun. SHIVER is a fast-moving, uncomplicated and enjoyable read for fans of the genre.

Reviewed by Maggie Harding on December 7, 2012

Shiver
by Karen Robards