Night Shadows by Lynnette Hallberg

 Title: Night Shadows                      
Author: Lynnette Hallberg
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 1-60154-832-X
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 277
Rating:  4 ½ diamonds     
Heat Level: sensual
Reviewer: Alicia Croft
Date: 10/10/10

Jazz singer, Torey Hart, has suffered two devastating blows in the past year.  First, she loses her mother to cancer, then her childhood home burns to the ground.  To top it off, New Orleans arson investigator, Jack Stevens, suspects her father of setting the fire.  Jack is instantly attracted to Torey but knows he should keep his distance because all the evidence points to her father.

While Torey and Jack trade verbal salvos and try to deal with their growing attraction, the real arsonist, a deranged killer holding a longtime grudge, stalks Torey as part of his plan to make her father suffer.  At first he merely leaves clues to taunt and torment her, but eventually he holds her hostage and tries to burn her alive.  When that attempt fails because Jack rescues her, the arsonist makes plans to take them both out once and for all.

This story oozes atmosphere like a film noir, but in flaming color.  Every description is filled with sensual detail, and the fast-paced plot has enough twists and turns to keep the reader turning pages.  The only problem I had was with the conflict between Torey and Jack.  Their circumstances should have provided for plenty of natural conflict, but in some scenes they whip-sawed back and forth between emotional extremes in a way that made them almost seem unbalanced.  Sometimes too much high drama sucked some of the true emotional power from the story.  All in all, however, it was a very enjoyable read.  

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