‘Dangerous Vows’ by Ava Parker is a romantic thriller. It follows Lucy Walker, an undercover cop who has just come home after being wounded during an assignment. When a man is murdered down the beach from her home, Lucy’s best friend reveals the affair that got the man killed. Now Lucy and her new handsome neighbour, Gabriel, must keep Caroline safe from the husband who turns out to be the opposite of a Southern Gentleman.
I haven’t read much in this genre, but it’s one of my favourite types of movies. I refrain from calling ‘Dangerous Vows’ a mystery, as Parker lays everything out on the table from the get-go. There’s nothing left to the imagination. We’re told right away who the murderer is, why he did it, and what he plans on doing next. The only thing we really get to discover is how Lucy and her friends deal with the situations. Overall, it’s an interesting story. I enjoyed the small additions to the plot which made it slightly more complex. It wasn’t simply a husband scorned by his adulterous wife. There were quite a few more layers to him which I enjoyed reading. Unfortunately, there were other aspects of the novel I felt were forced and made me angry. Lucy is introduced as a cop who had recently been underground with a Miami drug cartel, but the rest of the novel she is described as moderately useless and in need of saving. At least, that’s how the people around her treat her, which is pretty aggravating. Even Gabriel, an ex soldier and military police officer, seems to have a hard time seeing her as much more than an attractive woman. I concede she had been wounded, but there was just something about their interactions that made me want to blare ‘Girl on Fire’ by Alicia Keys, just to give Lucy some support.
Overall, Parker has written an entertaining novel and keeps true to many of the genre’s characteristics. After all is said and done, you’re left happy and satisfied. Much like after an encounter with Gabriel. Perhaps the best part of the novel was Lucy’s relationship with Gabriel. After living undercover, she learns to open herself, body and soul, and learns what it’s like to have true intimacy after a hard life. It’s sappy, but beautiful and powerful and makes me grateful for the love I have in my own life. Lucy is a relatable character for that reason, and if the plot wasn’t as interesting, she is the reason I would recommend this novel. And while Lucy learns to be intimate, through Caroline we learn that love truly is blind. In a just as powerful message, we are given a powerful message that is often overlooked in today’s society. It is not your fault. If you are abused, hurt, or if someone you care for is hurt, it is not your fault. But you can do something about it.
‘Dangerous Vows’ will be available March 3, 2015 but you can pre-order it now on Amazon.