Talia Vega is now living in Palo Alto, California where her 18 year old sister Rosario goes to school at Stanford. After nearly dying at the hands of Nate Brewster, aka the Slasher, Talia went into hiding and moved away from Seattle. Once known as David Maxwell’s mistress, or whore, Talia is now working as a bar manager for Suzette's Bistro while helping her sister through college.
Talia isn’t a character I can get behind or cheer for. She’s a cold fish and really makes me want to shake her and tell her to get over herself and let others help her. She lashes out at the wrong person after she discovers that he has spent his own money in order to protect her and Rosario from further harm. For a person who spends all her free time training against being hurt again, it’s all for naught.
Jack Brooks works for Gemini Securities as a security consultant but Talia has never been out of his mind. The last time we saw Jack, he was nearly one of Nate’s victims after allowing him to sneak up on him, and take Talia.
Jack eventually set up a special scholarship for Rosario at Stanford, and also was instrumental in getting Talia her job at Suzette’s because he failed to protect her from Nate Brewster and his attempt to kill her and Megan Flynn.
Jack is also one of the good guys. He gives plenty of money to organizations that help and treat battered woman and kids. Jack’s past is fraught with being the son of an abusive asshat and a mother who just didn’t find a way to say stop to the beatings she took.
For me, Jack is the story behind this book. He is fiercely loyal and protective of both Rosario and Talia. He spends his own money not only to upgrade Talia’s security at her home, but to ensure that Grayson-Mitchell stays away from Talia. He is willing to give up his job in order to remain by their sides and ensure they are allowed time to heal and be happy.
As with the previous installment Hide from Evil, there is no mystery as to who the killer is or what he wants. We learn right off the bat that the bad guy of the story is a psycho copycat serial killer named Eugene Kuusik. Gene, as he is called, has an obsession with Nate Brewster and his methods of torturing women. His obsession is crystal clear: Talia Vega and not allowing her to escape his wrath.
For me, this story wasn't as good as the first two books. There was way too much sexual tension between Talia and Jack. Talia dances around too much emotionally and pushes away the one person that loves her as much as life itself. When they do get together, Alden spends way too much time conversationally between the two characters instead of just allowing the characters to explore each other sexually.
I would offer that the first 2/3 of this book was pretty damn boring. The last 1/3 was okay but expected since we already knew who the killer/rapist/serial asshat was and what would eventually happen. Alden truly does believe in HEA's and doesn't leave her characters hanging in the end.
I would totally recommend Beg for Mercy if you are looking for an example of Alden’s writing.
*ARC recvd 01/30/2012 via Netgalley.com ~ Releases March 1, 2012.
Title: Run From Fear
Author: Jami Alden
Release Date: March 1, 2012