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Primal Obsession by Susan Vaughan
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Primal Obsession

by Susan Vaughan

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Primal Obsession is a well-done combination of romance and suspense thriller. There is a delightfully spunky, intelligent herione, Annie; there is the 'hero' Sam: a has-been Boston Red Sox player, no longer able to play due to injuries and who is now a Maine wilderness guide; there is "The Hunter"- a bad bad dude if there ever was one, and there is a beautiful setting - the Maine wilderness, which can make any book a delight to read. Ms. Vaughan writes as if she has definitely been there and makes the reader feel and hear and smell every tree limb, lake shore, campground and pine tree Sam and Annie see.

Vaughan manages to artfully weave several stories at once:

* There's Annie's tale: she's a newspaper reporter who first made the connections between the killer's various victims, who is now receiving threats from him; at the same time, she is mourning a friend who was a victim of the serial killer and has actually gone on this wilderness expedition to fulfill a promise to her dead friend to spread her ashes in the woods.
* The pshycho thriller story-- a very nasty serial killer stalking his prey (Annie) and the law enforcement types trying to find him before he kills again; one of the lawmen is Annie's brother who thinks that 'parking' her on a Maine wilderness adventure will keep her safely out of the Hunter's reach.
* Sam's attempt to stop drinking to drown his sorrows at not playing baseball anymore and prove to himself and his family that he can be a successful wilderness guide; as things start to happen on the adventure, he finds himself tested - can he truly live up to his and everyone else's expectations?
* Sam and Annie's almost stereotypical romance: Girl meets Boy, boy meets and immediately likes girl, girl rebuffs boy and refuses to acknowledge the attraction; boy and girl suddenly are faced with the physical threat to girl from the killer and boy must save girl.

The writing grips the reader from the beginning, and the book becomes a good old-fashioned page-turner. Ms. Vaughan has done an excellent job of taking what could have been a garden variety romance or a standard ho-hum thriller and combined the two into an exciting, vibrant, well-plotted story with well-drawn (if unsurprising) main characters, and enough plot twists and other characters to hold the reader's interest to the end. Even while changing point of view often (something I normally find distracting in a book) she manages to hold our attention and keep the story moving forward. I only wish the romance had been less cliched. I could already figure out exactly what was going to happen, and when this kiss would lead to that, or what Sam was going to run through his mind while watching her in a wet tee-shirt, etc. Probably the reason I don't read too many straight romances. The suspense action saves the book. It's real, it's thrilling, and it goes right to the end.

I'd strongly recommend you try this one if romance and/or thrillers are for you, and especially if you love the Maine woods. You won't be disappointed. ( )
  tututhefirst | Aug 24, 2009 |
"Susan Vaughan writes an intensely romantic thriller.... This is an excellent tale of people at their best and worst learning to work together through adversity." - The Romance Studio
"Primal Obsession is a first-class thriller with the author successfully throwing suspicion on all characters. The twists in the plot were both unpredictable and believable and will keep the reader riveted from the very first page....a class apart. A definite MUST READ!" - WRDF Review
"PRIMAL OBSESSION is a title that works on several levels: a serial killer compelled to find women and kill them in a horrible manner, a former baseball player embittered over the loss of his career and a reporter who can't give up the search for the man who stole her best friend from her....From the first word to the last, PRIMAL OBSESSION held me captive.... Along with Sam and Annie and the other full-blown characters in PRIMAL OBSESSION, is another character--the Maine woods themselves. Ms. Vaughan paints them so that I felt I was there... Thanks, Ms. Vaughan, for such a wonderful read!" - Romance Junkies.com ( )
  SusanVaughan | Jul 14, 2009 |
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