Release Date: August 27, 2013
Against the Mark (Raines of Wind Canyon #9) by Kat Martin
The perfect murder is a work of art
In one catastrophic instant, Haley Warren’s estranged father was taken from her. She never got the chance to reconnect with him, so now she’s doing it the only way she’s got left: by proving the explosion that killed him was no accident.
When Tyler Brodie, the provocative and handsome P.I. hired by Haley, discovers that her father was investigating a suspected art theft, he knows his death is no coincidence. After all, tens of millions of dollars worth of stolen art could motivate a thief to go to any lengths—including getting rid of anyone poking around where they don’t belong.
As Haley and Ty get closer to the truth, the truth gets ugly: Did Haley’s dad know too much…or was he in on the take? And although Ty’s a consummate professional, he’s having trouble focusing on the facts of the case, and not the figure of his gorgeous client. The two are determined to get to the bottom of the case, even if it means they die trying.
If you are already a fan of Kat Martin’s romantic suspense novels, then you will not be disappointed with Against the Mark, the latest upcoming release in The Raines of Canyon series. Even though I have only read one other book in the series, I had no problem jumping into this book and getting immersed in the featured romance and murder investigation into an art theft ring.
Martin has written a well-developed suspense plot that complements an equally well-developed romance between Ty Brodie, an easy-going country boy from Texas and Haley Warren, a somewhat uptight socialite from Chicago. Because of his friendship to Haley’s great-aunt, Ty agrees to investigate into the supposed accidental death of Haley’s father three months ago. Although the attraction between Ty and Haley is instantaneous, their romance develops at a slower, more realistic pace.
Ty is an all-around great hero. He’s handsome, confident and as a former special ops Marine, he has the skills and experience to handle himself and protect Haley in dangerous situations. His charisma, integrity, and openness with Haley make him swoon worthy.
What I like best about Ty is that he is always honest with Haley, and he doesn’t play emotional games. He never withholds his feelings to leave Haley (and me as a reader) in a state of perpetual angst.
It took a while before I really warmed up to Haley. However, she is a dynamic character who experiences the most change and emotional growth over the course of the book. At first she struck me as superficial, a woman who places too much importance on money and appearances. Even Ty is initially put off by her attitude. Yet, as more and more of Haley’s backstory is revealed, I realized that her perceptions have, to a large degree, been skewed by her mother’s ideology and values. Although she have may started the investigation into her father’s death out of a sense of guilt, I do like that Haley refuses to stop probing into her father’s death even when the level of danger intensifies. It is when Haley puts her step-mother’s well being above her own feelings that I started to appreciate her as a heroine.
Haley hasn’t had much experience with men or with being in love. She really doesn’t understand all the hoopla about sex until she kisses Ty. He awakens a side of passion and sensuality within her that no one else ever has.
Their physical relationship paves the way for them to connect on a much deeper level. Ty is not perfect. He has a dark side that emerges whenever he’s engaged in dangerous, adrenaline-pumping situations. Instead of being pushed away, Haley knows exactly how to deal with and calm an edgy, angry Ty. Unfortunately, Haley’s insecurities and single-minded attitude about marriage creates unnecessary complications and emotional pain in the latter part of the book.
Martin has created a believable plot about art theft , and I enjoyed learning more about the intricate process of creating a forgery.
The mystery behind Haley’s father’s death becomes clear early in the book, but the author does throw in unexpected plot twists that kept me off guard.
The tension and suspense build as Ty and Haley find themselves in increasingly greater danger as they work together to uncover and capture the mastermind behind the recent stolen art. I found the scene where police are led to the ringleader somewhat anticlimactic, but, just when I thought I had the resolution figured out, Martin shakes things up so the outcome was not as clear cut as I expected.
The supporting characters all play a meaningful role in facilitating the plot and they add texture and liveliness to round out this fictitious world Martin has created. Moreover, the spark between Ty’s cousin, Dylan and Haley’s best friend, Lane has been ignited, and now I look forward to their future love story.
I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Kathleen Kelly Martin (aka Kathy Lawrence, Kasey Mars)
Kathleen Kelly was born on 14 July 1947 in the Central Valley of California, USA. She obtained a degree in Anthropology and History from the University of California in Santa Barbara. She was a real estate broker, when she met her future husband, Larry Jay Martin. A short time after the two became acquainted, Larry asked her to read an unpublished manuscript of an historical western he’d written. Kat fell in love with both the book and the author! Then, after doing some editing for him, she thought she’d try her own hand at writing. She moved on to become a full time writer.
Punlished since 1988, she singed her books with her married name, Kat Martin, but she also used two pseudonyms: Kathy Lawrence for a book incollaboration with her husband Larry Jay Martin, and Kasey Marx for her first contemporary romances. The New York Times bestselling writer, among her many awards, has won the prestigious RT Book Review Magazine Career Achievement Award. To date, Kat has over eleven million copies of her books in print. She has been published in seventeen foreign countries, including England, South Africa, Spain, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Bulgaria, China, and Korea.
Currently residing with her husband, a Western-writer and photographer, in Missoula, Montana, USA. But when they are not writing, they also enjoy skiing and traveling, particularly to Europe.
“I’ve always loved books. I was an avid reader, with any number of my own stories rolling around in my head. Writing them down seemed a logical step.”
“I love anything old,” Kat says. “I love to travel and especially like to visit the places where my books are set. My husband and I often stay in out-of-the-way inns and houses built in times past. It’s fun and it gives a wonderful sense of a by-gone era.” (from Goodreads profile)
Check out my review of Against the Storm (The Raines of Wind Canyon #4)