Saturday, 5 November 2011

Standing in the Shadows by Shannon McKenna

Title: Standing in the Shadows
Author: Shannon McKenna
Series: McCloud Brothers (book #2)
Previous in series: Behind Closed Doors
Next in series: Out of Control

My rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis: Former FBI agent, Connor McCloud has been in love with Erin Riggs for years. Unfortunately, he is responsible for putting Erin’s corrupt father in prison and knows that he can never have her. Now an enemy from their past has returned and Connor must put his feelings aside in order to protect Erin from a devious killer bent on revenge…

Review: Standing in the Shadows is closely related to the first book in the series, Behind Closed Doors, so it is important to read the books in order for the backstory to make sense.

The buildup to Erin and Connor’s relationship is sexy and intense. Their doubts and insecurities about each other contribute to their unfolding chemistry. However, they seem to lose momentum once they get together and their connection is reduced to little more than steamy sex. Thankfully, the story picks up again in the last few chapters and they turn out to be a lovely couple.

Connor is a typical alpha male with the need to dominate (even though he does have his sensitive moments). He can be overbearing at times but Erin has a definite backbone and is quite capable of putting him in his place, which leads to some explosive encounters.

The plot is clever and the climax of the story plays out well and has some exhilarating moments. There are, however, some illogical circumstances and points that are not followed through. For example, Novak tries to undermine Barbara Riggs’s sanity but no one seems to realize that he is doing the same to Connor. In addition, Connor asks Seth to check up on Mrs. Riggs’s television but the latter never puts in an appearance.

The secondary characters are interesting and well developed from the seriously disturbed yet ingenious villain and his female sidekick (who turns out to be the most compelling character of all) to the geeky boy in love with Erin’s sister.  

Overall, this book is an improvement on the first but it is not the best example of the romantic suspense genre. Nevertheless, I’m curious enough about the secondary cast to continue reading the series.  


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