Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Razing Kayne by Julianne Reeves

For two years, State Trooper Kayne Dobrescu has wanted only one thing: to understand why his wife inexplicably killed their children and then herself. Memories haunt his days and lay siege to his nights, leaving him questioning his reasons for living.

Jessica Hallstatt became a widow and single mother the night her firefighter husband died in a fiery explosion at an accident scene. While her husband may have died a hero, he left Jessica with deep emotional scars that haven't begun to heal.

When Kayne accepted a transfer to the mountain town of Payson, Arizona, he never expected to meet anyone like Jessica. From the moment he pulled her over for speeding, he was drawn in by her whiskey colored eyes and sassy dimple. But she and her children are a forever type package, and he's vowed never to give anyone the power to destroy him again. Yet fate has other ideas, throwing Kayne and Jessica together in a fight against an unknown enemy to save the life of a child—and hopefully one another.


Razing Kayne is Julianne Reeves’ debut novel, and it’s a heart-breaking, heart-warming, heart-stopping, and sexy as hell story. It had me fighting back tears one minute, laughing the next, and kept me guessing what might really have happened to Kayne's family, right to the end.
While the plot itself is definitely exciting and intriguing, filled with twists and turns and things I never saw coming, it was Kayne and Jess who kept me turning the pages. For me, the real draw of the story is found in how deeply Kayne's and Jess's failed first marriages affected them, their attempt to leave their pasts in the past, and to make things work between them, despite the odds. In truth, while neither of their previous marriages was rosy, Kayne's was flat out gut-wrenching. I'm not sure how he was able to live those years with the demons - the horrific memories - that haunted him. He could have taken the easy way out and used his own service revolver to end his pain, but he kept on going, kept on serving, kept on existing, if not living.

Jessica is a caring, compassionate woman. Her husband died a hero, but Jess lived with the "real" man and it wasn't all that pretty. She could have become a very bitter person, but instead she focused on helping others, putting her own pain aside, and that's what I loved most about her.

The bottom line: Though not without flaws - what I felt were some unlikely coincidences - Razing Kayne is one hell of a debut novel. It's a sizzling hot, emotionally charged story with compelling characters, and even though they're both far from perfect - quick to fly off the handle, and stubborn as all get out - I found myself invested in Kayne and Jess from the start, and caring about them, each in their own right. But when they finally got together and began working through their issues and trying to solve the mystery surrounding the death of Kayne's family, that's when they became people I couldn’t help but love and cheer for. I didn't just want them to be happy, I needed them to be happy. I had to see them conquer their demons so they could have the happily ever after they both so desperately wanted – and deserved.

Nick Astenbeck's book is next in the Walking a Thin Blue Line series, and from what know of he and Sarah, it promises to an intense, poignant, and very sexy story.

3.5 stars

My thanks to Ms. Reeves for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review. It was a pleasure!

And now for your viewing pleasure, I'll leave you with this - this is the author's visual muse for Kayne Dobrescu. His real-life name is Pedro Marugan, but all we need to know is that he one fine hunk of manliness.


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