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28 August 2013

Review: 'Finding Justice' by Rachel Brimble (2013)

Sergeant Cat Forrester lives by her own set of rules. When her childhood friend is murdered, Cat's world is thrown into chaos. Especially because Jay Garrett—a man from her past—is a suspect, and he needs her help to prove he's innocent. After all they once shared, how can she say no?

The attraction flares between them, and getting involved with a suspect is a huge risk. But the more time Cat spends with Jay, the stronger the tug on her heart. He is the same caring, irresistible man she remembers. Yet she can't let her emotions interfere with the case—solving it is top priority. And as she digs deeper, she discovers Jay has secrets that may jeopardize any possible future together.

Almost every chick lit or romance fan has heard of Harlequin novels; small pocket books with a romantic tale inside. Over the past few decades, these books have been immensely popular and have obtained a particular status. ‘Harlequin’ is often automatically associated with book covers with a half-naked handsome man staring longingly at a beautiful woman, and it’s been said that these novels are really about the romance, not the plotline. When Rachel Brimble contacted me about reviewing her debut novel ‘Finding Justice’, part of the Harlequin Super Romance series, I was curious to try my first Harlequin novel. The blurb promised an appealing and entertaining story, and as a sucker for everything to do with romance, a Harlequin novel couldn’t possibly disappoint, right?
Cat Forrester works as a police officer; a job she obviously has a strong passion for and does well. From the outside, Cat presents herself as a strong and independent woman, but behind this front, she is dealing with some heavy emotional baggage. When she was younger, her father was killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Since his death, Cat’s mother has turned to alcohol herself in order to deal with her own heartache. Because of these circumstances, Cat was forced to make some important decisions in her life, including leaving her best friend Sarah and first love Jay behind. Out of the blue, Cat receives a phone call: Sarah has been murdered and Jay is one of the main suspects. Suddenly, Cat finds herself travelling back to Templeton Cove to track down the person who killed her best friend. She knows she can’t let her emotions interfere with the case, but as soon as she sees Jay again, old feelings come back to the surface...

I was surprise to find out this is actually Rachel Brimble’s debut novel. She has a great writing style that flows naturally and keeps the reader interested. I liked the storyline (I loved the fact that there was a murder mystery to solve, something to keep me wondering and guessing) and the characters (Cat is a strong and independent woman, and seeing how she acts around the charming and kind Jay, re-discovering her feelings for him, was great). In a way, it reminded me a bit of the TV show ‘Castle’ (which I love), which focuses on a strong-minded female police officer called Kate Beckett, a character which Cat Forrester definitely reminded me of.

As soon as I sat down with this novel, I was taken in by the story and managed to forget everything around me. Even though the story deals with a murder investigation, it was a truly relaxing and enjoyable read. The mix of romance with the element of suspense and a touch of mystery was great, and I think that is what makes the Harlequin Super Romance series really interesting for any fans of romance who haven’t picked up a Harlequin novel before. The basic recipe for a romance tale is there, but combined with a bigger storyline and a dose of intrigue. I definitely will be picking up other Harlequin Super Romance novels in the future, and I really hope people who will read this will also give the genre a chance. Next to that, I also can’t wait to read more of Rachel Brimble’s work; a promising new author on the scene!


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