Shades of Temptation by Virna de Paul

VDePaul-Shades of Temptation

VDePaul-Shades of TemptationI’ve been on a really weird reading kick lately – anything from contemporary romance to dark and gritty urban fantasy.  Oh and lets don’t forget some scary romantic suspense.  Shades of Temptation by Virna DePaul falls into that last category.  It has not one but two serial killers and an intricately weaved plot to tie it all together.

Carrie Ward understands dangerous men, and she’s got the scars to prove it. These days, the Special Investigations Group detective saves her risk-taking for the job. But when she’s asked to pursue a high-profile serial killer, she’ll have to join forces with the last man she wants to depend on-Jase Tyler, an ace senior detective who’s as reckless as she is cautious. And despite her best intentions, the sparks begin to fly.

As Carrie and Jase race to try to save the next victim, the passion that simmers between them ignites. But a cunning killer at the top of his game is challenging Carrie to play to the very end. Now all she can count on are her instincts-and Jase, the one man daring enough to keep her safe….

At first glance, Jase seems to be your typical good looking, bachelor detective.  He’s a ladies man and has no shame or regrets about it.  The women he dates tend to be pretty but not much more…passive to his dominance (no not Dominant, though).  You learn why he dates this way…and it’s not because he’s afraid of a commitment, necessarily. There’s more to it and to Jase. He’s not as shallow as he first seems.  At the heart, Jase is a caring guy.  I don’t know, it’s hard for me to give you much about Jase. You get to know him, but he’s just kind of a regular guy.  I didn’t love him nor did I hate him.  

And then we have Carrie.  She, too, has that certain machismo one associates with a person in law enforcement, but there’s more. She’s got a really big chip on her shoulder and some low self-esteem when it comes to actually being a woman.  I liked her well enough, but there were times I wanted to just smack her upside her head and tell her to just stop.  I don’t feel you ever really get to know why Carrie has this severe need to prove herself in a man’s world. It seemed like at any turn, whether a bias was there or not, Carrie put one there.  There were times that Jase and her co-workers were genuinely concerned…she’d been injured on the job by a perp.  Her reactions are normal and one I’d imagine any officer would have.  But instead of admitting it, she would try to deny her feelings and lash out anytime anyone showed concerned or questioned her.  As a woman, yeah, I get it. You don’t want to be perceived as emotional or inept and less able to cope than a man.  But, seriously, that chip was annoying.

Overall the story flowed pretty well.  Pacing was pretty even throughout.  There were lulls in the action, but it’s rare for a novel to have all action all the time.

One facet I didn’t really like was the discussion about how a serial killer is actually pretty rare, but yet there are 2 in Shades of Temptation.  Even without the talk of the rarity, having 2 killers  was a bad idea.  It made things less.  As in, having 2 killers detracted from the impact and the overall plot.   I really think only having one and drawing that story line out for the duration would have been better.  Figuring out the first killer was too simple, too easy.  There’s all this buildup and then it fell flat.  Now, the resolution of the first killer fed into the second killer.  But again, I think focusing on just one and not two would have made the story more suspenseful.  It didn’t lack in suspense, but I felt my focus while reading being torn and that nervous feeling that I get when reading romantic suspense never fully developed because my brain was being pulled into too many directions.  However, there was a lot of focus on the relationship development between Jase and Carrie. I enjoyed those parts quite a bit.  DePaul’s character development is very well done and she does good interplay with her characters.  They’re very believable.

If you’re a RS fan, I would recommend Shades of Temptation.  There is lots of character development and focus on the relationship between characters.  Shades of Temptation is not my favorite RS on the market, as I believe the full potential wasn’t met. However, DePaul’s writing style is very good and Shades of Temptation is an enjoyable read.  Definitely something to pick up on a rainy day when you have time to sit and relax and read.

Read Order:
Shades of Desire
Shades of Temptation
Shades of Passion

About Nicole 146 Articles
Attorney by day, Publicist for Barclay Publicity and reviewer/LE (assistant) editor by night. I'm a huge book nerd and love to read. I have 2 dogs, both Labrador retriever mixed breeds, who are very rotten and think they run the house. Let's not lie, they totally do, I just can't them know it ha ha! My usual genre is romance or urban fantasy. I love all things having to do with paranormal, with the occasional good contemp/BDSM/erotica thrown in to spice it all up.