Pros: Fun action; tension; mystery; enjoyable heroine; interesting family dynamics
Cons: Annoying hero (sometimes); some issues too easily solved
Rating: 3 out of 5
Mark Callahan and Annabelle Monroe, once members of the same military unit (and now estranged spouses), are forced to come back together to discover who’s killing off members of their old team. Of course passion flares up once again between the exes, and they find themselves in a race against time to protect not only themselves, but their families, from a killer bent on revenge.
The biggest flaw in Geralyn Dawson’s Always Look Twice is its hero, Mark Callahan. At times he’s an enjoyable character, but when he isn’t, he’s so obnoxious that there were times when I had to struggle not to put the book down and stop reading. Much of the time I didn’t even want the lovers to get back together at all, and that’s never a good thing in a romance. It’s also in sharp contrast to those times when Mark is being reasonable enough that I did want things to succeed for him and Annabelle. I detest characters who display an attitude of “I’m not going to give you a relationship, but I’m going to be rude and jealous any time there’s a hint of friendliness between you and another guy.”
The serial killer plot is interesting and sufficiently complex to hold attention. There’s action and tension aplenty—that’s one of the better aspects to the book. Both Annabelle and Mark’s families put in appearances, and the family dynamics are fantastic. Sisters and aunts who appear for only brief moments have vibrant personalities.
A couple elements of the story wrap up a little too neatly. Part of the serial killer mystery is handled off-screen, in an anti-climactic fashion. One family issue has too pat and easy a resolution. The romantic leads have lots of chemistry, and there’s plenty of sex to keep things lively. In particular I also like the role an enemy of Mark’s plays in things, and I hope to see more of him in other books by Dawson.
This isn’t my favorite romance, but it was certainly an enjoyable read.