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Cynthia is a former Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense. She started out writing contemporary romance, but when all her plots began to turn dastardly, she decided to stop fighting the urge to throw explosions, dead bodies, and evil villains into her books.
With her B.S. in the chemical sciences and her love of the periodic table (yes, she’s a geek and proud of it!) she finally found the perfect potent mix of love and danger to put into her stories.
on April 04, 2011 :
Grace Stevens is desperate to track down her ex-husband Mark who absconded with their son. In delving into her ex’s background Grace discovered she never really knew the man who apparently led a dual life as a high-ranking special forces agent. One thing Grace discovered was that Mark had worked closely with a man she hoped never to see again - Keith King. Keith was a childhood tormentor who had ruined her family’s life. Grace was going to have to swallow her hatred for the man and plead for Keith’s assistance in helping to find her son.
*** Author Cynthia Justlin has debuted with a fast-paced action suspense thriller that will have readers on the edge of their seat from beginning to end. In my review process I always think on a book a day or two after reading before writing and thought I’d found a major flaw in the plotting. I re-read the beginning and found to my delight that I was wrong - Ms. Justlin’s plotting was flawless!
The author created the male protagonist, Keith King to be almost as desperate as Grace in helping to find her ex-husband - yes, he would promise to help her rescue her son but selfishly he also needed to clear himself of a frame-up to save his own career. Ms Justlin also left Keith vulnerable and unaware of who Grace really was and of their long ago connection. Keith and Grace chased down every nibble of a lead and clues to find her son. Always keeping each other at arms length, even as they became more and more physically attracted to one another, Grace had to constantly remind herself of why she could never trust this man, that a leopard could never change his spots.
Justlin wrote with an exquisite amount of emotion a mother endured, as well as keeping the suspense at a fever pitch level throughout the story. The fear and emotion a mother has in finding her child, not to mention that said child was asthmatic without medication, created a heart stopping emotional pull as each clue in locating him would bring them so close only to be too late.
Justlin defined a complex man like Keith extremely well as the un-loved bad-boy teenager whose entrance into the military had been a defining moment in his life, giving him back his honor and self-respect. She also gave great depth to Grace in allowing her to let go of the past and the guilt she’d carried around most of her life with regard to her sister Becca’s frailties.
The romance was sensual, the suspense thrilling, and HER OWN BEST ENEMY is a book I can highly recommend for those who like to indulge in roller coaster, romantic suspense thrillers.
Marilyn Rondeau for www.ck2skwipsandkritiques.com
(reviewed within a month of purchase)