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Best-Kept Lies Best Kept Lies by Lisa Jackson released on Jun ,is available now for purchase Lisa Jackson ends her McCafferty series with Best Kept Lies, also issued under the title Randi, it has been a while since I ve read such a good series under Harlequin moniker Well worth the time and effort to track this series down to purchase or look for in book sales, pbk swap or bookmooch. I read this book in an anthology with Slade s story and that was a mistake for a couple of reasons 1 The books are extremely repetitive with regards to Randi and her situation It s said dozens of times throughout Slade s book that someone is trying to kill Randi and that she s refusing to name the man who fathered her child, etc It was very frustrating to read the statement someone is trying to kill you over and over and over So then when I got to Randi s book, and the author started in a I read this book in an anthology with Slade s story and that was a mistake for a couple of reasons 1 The books are extremely repetitive with regards to Randi and her situation It s said dozens of times throughout Slade s book that someone is trying to kill Randi and that she s refusing to name the man who fathered her child, etc It was very frustrating to read the statement someone is trying to kill you over and over and over So then when I got to Randi s book, and the author started in again with all the repetitive explanations it had me ripping my hair out 2 Randi was such a reckless, self centered, idiotic brat all through Slade s book that I went into this one pretty much hating her guts And nothing about this book changed my mind on that score view spoiler Randi is a complete brat with no regard for other people As we were ENDLESSLY told throughout both books, someone is trying to kill her She is very, very aware of this fact since everyone keeps bringing it up She should also be aware that this puts her baby, her brothers, their wives and their children at risk should the stalker try again And, in point of fact, both Thorne and Slade are nearly killed by the stalker And yet she refuses to answer the questions that might help them figure out who is behind it all And she does this FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON.All throughout Slade s book they demand Randi reveal who fathered her baby because that s one possible avenue they can pursue to determine who is after her And Randi repeatedly refuses to give his name She pretends to have amnesia whenever anyone asks but halfway through Slade s book she reveals to the reader that she knows perfectly well who the man is but that she ll take that knowledge to her grave That makes it sound like she s got some legitimate reason for keeping it a secret That by giving his name it ll actually put everyone in even greater danger I was trying to imagine what scenario the author would come up with to justify this behavior Maybe the father was actually some mafia kingpin whose enemies would chase them endlessly if they knew he d fathered a child Maybe he was the crowned prince of some foreign country I mean, surely there has to be some really serious justification for her to endanger herself, her baby and her family by not giving the man s name, right Nope The real reason He s a philandering jerk and she s embarrassed that she fell for his crap That s IT That s the whole reason she kept his name a secret for months and months, even after her brothers were nearly burned alive by the stalker That makes her the most selfish, self centered, idiotic brat I ve ever read about And the father s identity was key in determining who the stalker was so she really was solely responsible for prolonging the danger.And she was pretty bratty everywhere else in the book too I really hate it when authors confuse strong with stubborn and b tchy Randi s brothers hire Kurt Stryker to act as her bodyguard This is something she clearly needs since, as they keep endlessly reminding us, someone is trying to kill her and they don t have a clue who it is because bratty Randi won t talk But Randi acts all put out about having Stryker around She complains about needing her privacy and that her half brothers can t run her life, etc Seriously Your privacy isimportant than your life Nearly everyone in this series doesto help catch this stalker than Randi does herself Her brothers hire a private investigator and then shell out 25,000 for a bodyguard, her former cop sister in law is calling in favors with the local P.D and chasing down leads on the car that ran Randi off the road And Stryker has his entire team working on tracking down the men Randi has been involved with, in case one of them is the father stalker Meanwhile, Randi stonewalls and runs away from everyone trying to help and protect that she can get back to her job as an advice columnist Wow Yeah, this girl s really got her priorities in order.I have a soft spot in my heart for romance novels that feature a bodyguard and his charge succumbing to passion while they fight for their lives, but ONLY when the woman isn t a TSTL brat who constantly complains about having her life protected I can t stand heroines who act like it s really just too much of an inconvenience to have this incredibly handsome man hanging around and keeping them safe from the maniac trying to kill them And as you ve probably already guessed, Randi is just such a TSTL bratty woman Despite all the things that have happened and the endless talking about how she s in danger, she repeatedly runs away from Stryker, forcing him to chase after her to keep her alive And she runs away for no reason She does it just to be a stubborn brat protesting the fact that she s being protected She repeatedly says I can take care of myself when it s been amply demonstrated that she can t And what s , she s not even TRYING to protect herself She s keeping information from the cops that could help solve the case and she s hanging out in her apartment and place of business just like always She s not altering her routine, carrying pepper spray, changing her locks, staying some place she s unknown, taking self defense class, or anything else that could possibly help She literally does nothing to try to resolve the situation and yet gets mad at everyone who does try Quite frankly, Randi is a idiot and it would have served her right if the stalker had succeeded in killing her.Which is why it s hard to understand just what Stryker sees in her Aside from the fact that she s beautiful, there s absolutely nothing appealing about her He, on the other hand, seems like a perfectly great, normal guy Why on earth would he want to shackle himself to this harpy It s pretty standard in the bodyguard romances for the couple to spend some time alone in a secluded safe house so that their passion can take place And while that did happen in this book, it was actually the opposite of romantic for many reasons First of all, their first sexual encounter happens off camera Somewhere between Slade s book and Randi s, apparently Stryker and Randi just went ahead and had sex one night when the mood struck them We find out at the start of this book that they ve already done the deed and they both claim to regret it That starts the whole situation off on the wrong foot because we miss out on the buildup of sexual tension and seeing them finally succumbing It s already happened so the first time they have sex on screen, it s not that big of a deal Second of all, when they DO have on screen sex, it s pity sex Randi is in one of her typical bratty moods and she demands that Stryker tell her what makes him tick because she d finally revealed her big secret the baby s father s name and feels that means Stryker owes her something Right, because clearly she deserves some kind of payment for finally being forced to participate in her own protection Grr, she s such a terrible heroine She says a lot of callous things about how whatever deep dark secret he s keeping can t possibly be anyembarrassing than her falling for the baby daddy s lies so he needs to just spill his guts already.After much bugging, Stryker finally reveals that he had a daughter once but she drown in a boating accident Five years later, he s still really torn up about the event, particularly because he blames himself for failing to prevent it, and having to relive it for Randi just reopens the wound Randi, feeling guilty for having pushed him and for believing that her petty issues were the worst thing that could happen to anyone, decides that the thing to do is to force Stryker into bed She starts kissing him and he tells her to leave him alone That he doesn t want her pity She keeps making sexual advances and he keeps protesting that he doesn t want the death of his child to be the catalyst for sex, but Randi won t stop This isn t about him, it s about what she wants and right now she wants him Eventually Randi wears him down and they do the deed Ick Could it be any less romantic And third, after this they apparently continue to have sex all night, every night that they re in the safe housethe safe house that the author was very careful to establish has no running water, electricity or indoor plumbing Gross How nasty and smelly were these two getting after a few days in these conditions with nights spent exchanging fluids So basically the romance didn t work for me on any level, and I was so sick of Randi s crap and hearing about the stalker that by the end of the book I was seriously hoping Randi would be killed The resolution of the stalker felt very rushed After all the time spent repeatedly discussing it over multiple books, the actual villain got almost no screen time and the revelation of who it was was pretty weak I won t say who the stalker turned out to be but I will say that it was very obvious to me that it would turn out to be a woman Whenever an author goes to great pains to avoid using any pronouns that would denote gender 99 times out of 100 the villain is a woman And sure enough, this book was not the 1 100 to buck that trend Plus I couldn t believe that neither Stryker nor any of the other allegedly super skilled detectives in this book thought to investigate this person sooner It was a pretty obvious avenue of investigation And when Stryker did finally figure it out, it was very contrived It wasn t like some new piece of evidence came up that gave him the clue he needed It just sort of randomly popped into his head when the plot required it.The final climax was weak because just when I thought we were getting into the meat of the encounter, the scene ended and next thing we know, Randi is waking up in the hospital and everything is fine Neither Stryker nor Randi actually defeat the villain or even interact with her After 4 books worth of build up the police show up and save the day off screen What a let down It definitely would have been better to cut out some of the earlier repetitive brattiness in favor of giving us a longer,exciting showdown between Randi and her stalker Not to mention that the climax was in and of itself a repeat The stalker tried to run them off the road again Been there, done that, and have been talking about it for hundreds of pages How about a different method of attack this time In summary we ve got a bratty, TSTL heroine, a repetitive narrative, a faceless villain and a complete let down of a final climax Don t waste your time on this one hide spoiler Good BookThis was a quick read but a very enjoyable I have enjoyed every Lisa Jackson book that I have read. This is the fourth in a series by Lisa Jackson I didn t enjoy it as much as I did the other books in the series because it seemed as if the development of the plot was too hurried and the characters weren t well developed After wondering through three previous books who was threatening the McCafferty s, the climax wasn t very satisfying.

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