January 28, 2011 § Leave a comment
I did it, I read another Diana Palmer. See, when I saw this book for a dollar I figured why not try it out. The little blurb seemed interesting enough and since the male lead happens to be the brother of Cash, from Palmer’s Renegade whom I liked very much, I figured I might as well give it a go.
Garon Grier, FBI agent and new ranch owner, and Grace Carver, small town girl, meet under unfortunate circumstances. Grace’s grandmother needs to be admitted to the hospital and so Garon helps her out when she shows up in the middle of the night asking to use the phone. But that’s really only the beginning.
Lawman is a romance with a bit of a crime thriller thrown in. Garon is approached by a police officer asking for help to look into a case of child murder. He suspects that the man is a serial killer, but his superior doesn’t want to believe it so he, Marquez, goes to Garon looking for help. And so Garon gets involved in the case looking for a serial child killer. That’s taxing for anyone. At the same time, as he helps out his neighbor Grace, he starts to realize that even though she doesn’t look like the women he goes for, he is still attracted to her. Grace, while innocent and unsure when it comes to men because of events of her past, really falls head over heels for Garon. Her feelings stick even when he ends up a jerk. The two end up with something of a surprise when Grace becomes pregnant, especially when it was thought that she couldn’t conceive.
But, of course, this is a romance. So there is, without question, the happy ending. The child killer is found out, Garon and Grace overcome their issues and end up deep in love. Say it with me now, “Awwww.”
Where to start… There were aspects of Lawman that I liked and parts that had my hackles rising. I near threw the book at the wall in disgust a time or two, courtesy of our male lead Garon.
First I’ll say this: The one thing I noticed when I read a few of Palmer’s books last year was a lack of character variation. Unfortunately that carries over into Lawman.
Once again we have an innocent woman who experienced a trauma in her past that leaves her weary of men. A woman who is over a decade younger than the man she wants. Again, said shy woman is amazed that she could ever be so sexually attracted to a man who is so much worldlier than she. Again, we have a woman who busts ass just to make ends meet. Thankfully though there was one difference between Grace and the other women, she was not of the chastity belt wearing club, standing up to her man declaring that no way, no how would she ever spread them for a man she wasn’t married no matter how bad she wanted him. Personally, I was almost sick at the strict chaste-ness (is that a word?) of her previous female leads.
As for the man, I’ll repeat, again we have a lack of character variation. We have our strong, experienced man who wants to “take his woman” without worries of wedding bells. We have another leading man in the law enforcement field. Another man who is well to do and can afford to own his own ranch along with a couple of nice expensive cars. He’s got the tragic past woman experience that keeps him from wanting to ever fall for a woman again, he only wants women who will satisfy his needs when he has them and then send them on their way (oh, joy!). Again, our male lead is extremely tall, with big hands and feet and hairy chests (I wonder what kind of men our author is attracted to…). That being said, here is what REALLY pissed me off about Garon. He was far more arrogant than Palmer’s other male leads. Garon went and made love to Grace, introduced her to this experience that was amazing, and then he ran because he realized she was falling for him and that he could potentially fall for her (god forbid!). So he starts treating her like shit. Then he has the balls to yell at her and insult her everytime they see each other in public. Garon accuses Grace of following him and the like. If it were me, I would have punched the asshole. How difficult is it to run into someone that you don’t want to see when you live in a town of 2,000? (Shit, I live in a town of 50,000-60,000 and I run into people I don’t want to all the time!) Anywho, this man’s arrogance was astounding and knew no bounds. Then when they find out she’s pregnant he marries her because of course you can’t have a baby out of wedlock in small town Texas, and has the gall to say that we can take care of divorcing after the baby is born. At this point, I’m still really, really pissed. I’m just glad that the townspeople gave him shit for a while even though he really needed a smack.
While I could continue to talk about all the things that Garon did to piss me off, I’ll move on. As for the crime part of the story I actually really got into that part. Palmer stays true to the fact that many departments struggle with low budgets and incompetent officers while other departments are given everything they need. It is far too true that local PDs don’t always have the things that are necessary for the job. I also like that she was able to illustrate the difficulty of working on a case that involves a child murderer. Palmer stayed more true to a real investigation than NCIS or Bones (both of which I love dearly even though they are beyond unrealistic) ever will. I applaud her on that.
All in all, I can’t really recommend this as anything more than a cheesy romance read for a rainy day or something. And that’s assuming that you can handle Garon’s attitude. I have to say that I liked Renegade far more than I liked Lawman. If I’m going to read another Palmer, it won’t be for some time, I suspect.