Mean Streak by Sandra Brown
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Published on August 19th 2014
Genres: Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
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Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.
While police suspect Jeff of “instant divorce,” Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won’t even tell her his name. She’s determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.
Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the center of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can’t turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law.
As her husband’s deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer.
I’m going to keep the information about the book fairly brief, because not knowing what to expect is half the fun with this type of read. I didn’t read many reviews before going into this, just looked over ratings and I’m so glad because I had no idea where the story would lead me in the end.
Dr. Emory Charbonneau is an esteemed pediatrician, a philanthropist, and is very wealthy. She’s been married for a few years but their relationship is a bit rocky at the moment. When training for an upcoming marathon gives her the opportunity to get away into the treacherous mountains of North Carolina for a couple days, Emory jumps at the chance, ignoring her husbands concern.
Emory wakes up in a stranger’s home, with a head injury and no recollection about what happened or how she got there. The man taking care of her is a complete mystery. He’s cryptic and broody and won’t give Emory any information about who he is. His actions and reluctance to answer even the simplest of questions about himself leave Emory wondering what his intentions are and if he saved her or if he’s the one who is putting her in danger. I loved his character and was dying to find out even the smallest bit of information about him!
His casual dismissal of her situation astounded her. It frightened her. It also made her mad as hell.
“You never told me your name.”
“That’s right,” he said. “And I won’t.”
This book had me on the edge of my seat from the very beginning. After reading the synopsis, I felt fairly certain about where things would end up in the end, but I had no idea. The story has so much more going on than just Emory being secluded with a secretive stranger in harsh conditions. There is some romance there, but it’s secondary to the suspense aspect. With that said, I loved how everything played out. The danger and sexual tension was addicting and even though it was subtle, it was enough to keep the romance lover in me thoroughly satisfied.
He kissed her like he meant it, like this kiss was going to be the last thing he ever did on earth, and he was going to do it right, thoroughly, and leave nothing wanting.
The story is so layered and many characters come into play that I hadn’t anticipated. It is told in third person and we see what is happening from multiple angles including Emory, her husband, the police investigating her disappearance, and someone from our stranger’s past and even knowing what everyone is thinking at different points, really nothing is as it seems. A few things I guessed, but there were MANY things that I didn’t and I loved that this could surprise me the way it did. I stayed up until 5am to finish this, even knowing I’d be getting up with an infant shortly after and it was definitely worth it! I loved how everything played out, with one exception. View Spoiler »I thought it was bizarre how Hayes acts like he’s a fugitive on the run. I understand wanting to stay off the grid and being reclusive after what happened but to go to the lengths he did was weird. Burner phones, multiple residences, backup plans, no names, barely speaking to family… I dunno, just seemed a little much. « Hide Spoiler I can over look that one thing because there was SO much going on in the story and it wasn’t focused on just one twist or mystery.
Overall I really enjoyed reading this book. This was my first Sandra Brown novel and it was so smart and well written. I can’t wait to try some of her other books because I am completely impressed with this one!