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by Rebecca York

P.I. Mack Steele had loved Jamie Shepherd from the moment he'd met her…but she'd always been off-limits—until her frantic phone call reached out to him in the dead of night….Jamie couldn't deny her fear when her "gift" returned. Her disturbing dreams were too real—trapped in a macabre fun house, a woman needed her help. Nor could Jamie deny her forbidden attraction to her dark, sexy protector. Lured back to the hometown she'd long ago escaped, Jamie had only Mack to save her from her dreams…and the very real, very twisted killer who'd lured her into his game. But would Mack be enough?
Download Solid as Steele epub
ISBN: 0373695233
ISBN13: 978-0373695232
Category: Literature
Subcategory: United States
Author: Rebecca York
Language: English
Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue; Original edition (January 11, 2011)
ePUB size: 1119 kb
FB2 size: 1919 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 372
Other Formats: txt lrf doc rtf

I have never before read a Harlequin Novel, or anything of the genre. I was induced on this occasion as the setting of the book, "Gaptown," is actually my hometown of Cumberland, Maryland. My book club decided that since it is not every day authors descend on our town's doorstep to make us the setting of a novel, we might as well take a gander, also Rebecca York is apparently coming back for a public meeting this weekend so it seemed only polite to give it a perusal.

My thoughts on the book are as follows: if you like somewhat trashy, short novels with weak plots, shallow characters and predictable outcomes, by all means read it. I was not enthralled, but I also did not expect to be.

My main interest was of course how the author portrayed my hometown, and for the most part, she seemed to nail it. I was particularly taken by the main character's remark on pg. 10 "...Gaptown, Maryland, the small city in the state's western mountains where she had grown up. She'd made what she considered her escape, and she'd vowed never to return to a place where she'd hated her life." I certainly couldn't agree more!

York did very little to disguise anything about the town, from its location to actual landmarks, and the town paper properly called "The Cumberland Times News". The renaming of the town undoubtedly comes from Rocky Gap, the state park just east of town. Westside (one word, not two as she wrote it, pg. 111) elementary school is real (I went there), as is Washington Street and the eclectic Victorian architecture, is well eclectic, although I feel she was a little harsh in describing the main branch of the public library (pg. 83), perhaps if she had known it had its origins as a school she would have been a bit softer. The murderous "fun house" that is ultimately revealed to be on Washington street, and the consensus of my book group is that is the house next to the one colloquially known as the Tower House. (although I do feel that it is too far up Washington Street to be able to hear the train whistle as she says on pg. 52)

In a few places, York ventures (somewhat condescendingly!) into local politics, and clearly must have been reading the local paper while she was here researching/writing. She mentions the new hospital, which opened with much controversy in November, 2010. On pg. 87, she comments on one of the current local hot topics about re-opening part of Baltimore Avenue to traffic and parking, which has been closed to traffic for use as a pedestrian mall since that late 1980s/early `90s. On pg 52 she also comments on the Footer's Dye Works which is something a local landmark, though has fallen into a state of disrepair and is possibly beyond repair. The back half of it was removed last year, which is what she is commenting on. On the same page, the Italian Restaurant is Ottaviani's, and the place where you can get crab cakes and barbeque ribs is The Crabby Pig, which despite her crack on pg 59 about it being a "weird combination" is an excellent place to eat (as is Ottaviani's). The hotel on pg. 54 is the Fairfield Inn, and the second hotel they move to is the Holiday Inn in the center of town. The coffee shop on pg. 87 has to be Café Mark (as there's only one coffee house in town). I'm also quite pleased she did not turn the ministers of Emmanuel Episcopal parish into the murder culprits (pg. 88). I like Bo and John too well to ignore them in prison...

Here ends my evaluation, I'll be interested in seeing what York has to say here this weekend.
This is such a good book. I was not able to put it down. Rebecca York has done it once again!
Baltimore private investigator Mack Steele has loved Jamie Shepherd from the moment he'd met her, but she was married to his partner Craig. Now a widow, Mack still keeps his distance from Jamie though is there for her if she needs anything.

Jamie suffers a frightening nightmare in which a woman Lynn Vaughn trapped in a deadly funhouse needs help immediately; her gift has returned in the one place she preferred not to be, her home Gaptown. She calls her late husband's place of work Light Street Detective Agency wanting to speak with her friend Jo O'Malley. Mack responds instead. Jamie and Mack drive to Gaptown where her estranged mom Gloria and her mother's boyfriend Clark greet her with contempt and deny sending a letter to her. As Jamie falls in love with the protective Mack, a killer has already set in motion her death plot to add to those already murdered by this diabolical psychopath.

The latest 43 Light Street thriller (see Guarding Grace) is a terrific paranormal investigative mystery starring two likable leads and a powerful support cast. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Jamie calls the agency and never slows down as a serial killer stalks Gaptown. The key is the romantic subplot is developed enough, but never intrudes on the prime story line of a predator murdering people with the two Baltimore residents on the top of the killer's list. Solid as Steele is a solid psychological drama.

Harriet Klausner
Well, when I heard Cumberland, Maryland was the setting for this book, I was thrilled. I am not usually a reader of the Harlequin Romance genre, but it was fun finding references to the local restaurants, hotels, etc. The book follows the basic format of any romance "beach read", boy & girl are thrown together in a dangerous situation, boy & girl take a fancy to each other, always nice if there is a reason forbidding the union (creates tension), boy & girl have hot sex, boy & girl vow to resist each other only to have the whole cycle begin again. The addition of a serial killer in the plot makes the story better.
All told, I liked the book for what it is . . . Don't expect it to be something more than it's genre, if you expect more you will be disappointed. If you like Harlequin Romance novels, you'll enjoy this book!
This novel was actually scary at times because it dealt with a man who was emotionally and mentally unstable. I liked the fact that the author tied all of her plot strands together in the end. I did have some problems with Jamie, the main female character, and her behavior, but otherwise thought this book provided good escape. Hopefully, it won't give me nightmares!!