First I'd like to say I am an Iris Johansen fan. I have read her from when she first started in Loveswept and the early small series books, her Delaney series, you name it. I have followed her into her large romantic suspense books and feel she is an exceptional writer. With that said, I have to say I was disappointed in Dark Summer. I really liked the beginning, I was hooked and was ready to sit for a long, lovely read.
Marrok, the male lead, was very abrupt and commanding in the beginning and it was understood. Pressure, worry and trying to protect so many. Short sentences, vague referrals, not forthcoming. He continued like this to a point about 1/2 through the book and then he couldn't stop talking. He explained All the background to the mystery and now we knew what they're facing and why. He then, at some rambling point in all of his hindsight and inner musings, decided he wanted Devon, the female lead. Hint, suggest and then plain speaking that I'm going to have you and you know you want me and it's just a matter of time before we do it. He is described as going out and joining the SEALS. You don't join. You give it your all and then you give more to become a SEAL. There are other parts that grate like being on a ranch in Nevada but people come and go like it's in downtown Burbank. It's supposed to be a secret hide-out yet people drive in and fly in from all over. And cell phones that work Everywhere, even in the middle of nowhere!?
Devon, a vet that uses her dog to help with rescues, has saved Marrok's dog. He disappears leaving her a note telling her to take him home and he'd see her later. So she takes Ned, the dog, home and tries to get back to her vet practice. We are introduced to 3 very likeable characters that I personally would definitely like to hear more about, with their wit and humor. We do not get the chance. Her practice is destroyed, her home and buildings burned to the ground. Her ex-husband can call her anywhere, making threats to torture her, even admitting to killing people that have helped her, and she tries to talk to him and deny his claims? How many years has she tried this and it's never worked? And no one can tape these calls for proof that he is psycho. She can control her mask and her feelings, then boom, she can't control her mask or feelings. First this way and then that way.
Both the main characters seemed dis-connected. I never got the attraction between them. There was no sexual tension building, or pull, or love. He wanted. NO she didn't. Then again, boom she decided she did want. After he kept telling over and over it's going to happen, she decided, okay, lets get it on, Now. Ugh. The sex scenes were short and clinical yet this was supposed to rock their worlds. "It was great for me, was it great for you?" "Yeah" "Are you ready for another go?" "Yeah." Really???
If this had been the first IJ book I had ever read, I would not rush out to get another one. I loved the dogs in the story and felt they were key to the glue that kept this story going. The secondary characters were very important adding to the context but deserved more. There was a little paranormal but it also helped not hindered.
I know Ms. Johansen can write a great book but this was okay, not great.
At first I didn't think I wanted to read about dogs but into just a few pages and I was caught up in a mystery surrounding the dogs and the owner, Marrock. It turns into a good sizzling mystery along with a enough romance thrown it but not enough to choke you.
Adventure/mystery with a somewhat supernatural/mystical twist to it.
Devon Brady is a vet who works with Search & Rescue teams. While on a mission a man brings his injured dog to her. Soon she finds herself in extreme danger from people who want the dog. The dog's owner Jude Marrok is fighting to keep the dog and several others all of whom appear to have unusual talent. People are dying and Devon isn't sure who to trust. She finds herself with no where to turn so Jude and his mysterious pack of dogs it must be. He has secrets but are they worth dying for? Interesting story with a touch of the paranormal.
Once again, Iris Johansen keeps readers on the edges of their seats. This book is about a veterinarian, Devon Brady, who treats a dog left in her care while on a search and rescue mission. The owner trusts her to get his dog home after he disappears and thus involves her in a deadly game to obtain the dog at any cost. Devon becomes involved with the dog's owner, Jude Marrok, and learns that the dog has special powers. And he's not alone. There are four others that must be protected from a billionaire who will stop at nothing to gain control of the dogs and do them harm.