Blood Ties

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Expected Release Date: January 22, 2010
Publisher:  Random House
Imprint: Bantam
Author’s Website: http://www.kayhooper.com/ 
My Source for This Book: Public Library
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 12, Bishop/Special Crimes Unit
Series Best Read In Order: Yes
Steam Level: Chaste

Official Blurb:

A series of grisly murders has left a trail of blood across three states, bringing the Special Crimes Unit to a small Tennessee town. There, two more brutal killings lure Noah Bishop and the SCU into what may be the ultimate trap, and lead Special Agent Hollis Templeton into a dangerous attraction—and a serial murder investigation that turns very, very personal. In her time with the SCU, Hollis has shown an uncanny ability to survive even the deadliest attacks. But what she can’t know is that this killer intends to destroy the team from within. As the body count climbs, and Bishop and his agents race to uncover the true identity of their enemy, not even their special senses can warn them just how bloody, and how terrifyingly close, the truth will be

What Worked For Me:

  • I loved the concept of a special division of the FBI that is made up of psychics, mediums, and the like.
  • The identity of the killer left me gasping. I thought I had it figured out, but the author surprised me, and honestly, that doesn’t happen very often in romantic suspense.
  • The pacing was perfect, with just enough down-time between the action to give a bit of a breather, without ever letting things stagnate. This also gave the perfect amount of time for the two main romances to develop organically, without feeling rushed.
  • Speaking of the romance, while I would have preferred a little steam, I loved the intensity and devotion that Hollis and Diana got from their men. There’s just something delicious about having a man so completely focused on his woman like that, and his refusal to give up on her even when everyone else around her has.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

  • As hard as the author tried, it was pretty much impossible to jump into this story without having read some of the previous installments. There were just too many characters, too much backstory, too much history to keep up with on top of the action going on with this story.
  • While I appreciated the tidbits of romance in the story, I was admittedly disappointed with the lack of heat. A minor point, as I didn’t really go into this one for the smut, but still, I’m the kind of gal who likes a little lovin’ action to go with my suspenseful action.
  • SPOILER ALERT SelectShow Spoiler

I snagged this one from the library right before I left for vacation, and while I realized it was part of a series, what I didn’t realize was that it was book 12.. Unfortunately this meant that it was a little hard to keep up despite the author’s best efforts to provide everyone’s backstory, and it left me floundering at times trying to keep the vast number of characters and their powers and their relationships straight while still trying to keep up with the main storyline.

That said, the mystery and suspense was beautifully paced, and while I of course was disappointed to the lack of smut (heh), there were two rather satisfying romances on an emotional level.

I DID like that there were notes at the end of each chapter marking references from previous books. An author’s note indicated that this was something new with this installment, and it did seem like it would be helpful, were I to want to go back and read up on a particular incident, or refresh my memory had I read some of the series up to that point.

3half3.5/5 Stars
(though it would probably have been higher were I more familiar with the series going in)