Kelsey Quinn set out to trace a murder victim. Now she may become one. The dead don’t speak, but Kelsey knows their secrets. As a forensic anthropologist at the Delphi Center crime lab, Kelsey makes it her mission to identify bodies using no more than shards of bone, and her find at a remote Philippines dig hints at a sinister story. When Kelsey’s search for answers puts her at the scene of her ex-fiancé’s murder, only one man can help her. The same man who broke her heart just months before, and who is also a prime suspect. Faced with an ultimatum— Kelsey or his job—Gage Brewer did the only thing a Navy SEAL could . . . but that doesn’t mean he stopped wanting Kelsey. Now Kelsey is running for her life and Gage is her last line of defense. As the threats escalate, Kelsey realizes this conspiracy goes deeper and higher than they could have guessed. With the clock ticking down on a madman’s plot, the slightest misstep will have unthinkable consequences. . . .
Why I Read this Book: I was following a Twitter chat for author Laura Griffin a while back and talk of a ‘body farm’ caught my attention. Forensic science fascinates me and I love reading romantic suspense so I knew I had to try this series.
What I Liked: The conflict in Kelsey and Gage’s relationship was real and I’m satisfied with the way things turned out. There’s one thing that broke up Kelsey and Gage that keeps them apart: Gage being a SEAL. They love each other but Gage’s line of work keeps them apart geographically and also causes Kelsey to worry. Both have important jobs that they enjoying doing so there’s no easy solution for them to be together. He’s a SEAL who’s stationed in San Diego but is constantly sent on missions overseas and she’s a well-respected forensic anthropologist at the prestigious Delphi Center in Texas. The way things work out between these two characters was believable and it worked for me.
Derek Vaughn, Gage’s SEAL buddy, was a fun character. I like the possibility of a romance between him and Elizabeth LeBlanc. Derek’s an outright flirt and is pretty direct with Elizabeth about what he wants. I want more of them!
This was not a clear cut mystery. The author gives you just a taste of what’s part of a bigger problem. It kept me on my toes while I was trying to piece everything together. And even though Scorched is book 6 in this series, it can totally be read as a stand alone novel. This is actually the first book in this series I’ve read but I’m definitely going to go back and read books 1-5.
What I Didn’t Like: There were a few things that left me scratching my head. (1) Why doesn’t Gage try calling Kelsey on her cell phone when she first goes missing? Instead, he hits the road and happens to know exactly where she is. It was not only too easy, it was questionable for him to know where she was considering Kelsey lives in Texas and Gage lives in California. (2) Kelsey contradicts herself. During one conversation, Kelsey tells Gage “why would I want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane” then later on, in the very same day, she tells Gage that she might actually like to go skydiving. (3) Who falls asleep outside in the desert in 50 degree weather, naked mind you, when there are people out to see them dead? Kelsey and Gage do, that’s who.
The love scenes left me feeling short changed. I was expecting more passion, more heat, considering the past between Kelsey and Gage.
There was quite of bit of military jargon. Good thing the dictionary on my Kindle recognized most (but no all) of the acronyms.
“Clearly your brain is warped. It’s from being around too much macho all the time.”
Overall Impression: Scorched was a good multi-layered romantic suspense novel, even with the gripes I mentioned. What it lacked in smexy times, it made up for with edge-of-my-seat suspense. Karen Rose fans will love the attention to details when it comes to the intricate case at hand.