Lethal Allure by Olivia Jaymes (2020)
Lethal Allure is the first book I have read by Olivia Jaymes. I’ve had the book sample on my kindle for several months now, and I finally decided to give it a try. To be honest, by the time I got to the end of the sample, I wasn’t completely sure I wanted to keep reading. Because the book is part of the Kindle Unlimited library, I decided to go ahead and click through and keep reading. More honesty—I got to chapter six and really thought about stopping. I did keep going though (mostly because I was too lazy to search for something else to read) and made it through to the end. If you’re trying not to break your book budget and don’t have a KU subscription, I would say skip this one and spend your book dollars elsewhere. If you do have a KU subscription and want something that is good enough to hold your attention and keep you entertained for a few hours, go ahead and give this one a try. I didn’t love Lethal Allure, but I didn’t hate it either.
This is the story of Shaw and Luke. Shaw is a social media personality with a channel where she posts videos on relationship advice. One of her recent videos is about setting boundaries with people, whether they be friends, family or co-workers. Not surprisingly, Shaw has her own problems with boundaries. Her relationship with her mother is strained and though Shaw repeatedly tries to draw boundaries, her mother repeatedly crosses them. Shaw also has a stalker, and discovering his identity and capturing him is the suspense plot that moves the novel forward. Luke is a former cop that now works as a law enforcement consultant and specializes in hunting serial killers and stalkers (convenient, right?). For the most part, he has a flat character arc in the story but that’s not necessarily a negative. Both Shaw and Luke are extremely career focused (also not a negative) and they keep telling each other (and us) just how important their careers are throughout the story (which is a negative because I’m an observant reader and don’t need to have the same point drilled for me over and over again). If not for Luke’s matchmaking sister, Melissa, the two characters would never have come together. Shaw and Luke are likable enough, but there’s no real chemistry or spark between them. They are together and on the road to love because that’s where the author wants them to be.
Generally speaking, Lethal Allure belongs to the category of romantic suspense. However, if you’re thinking about reading this book, you should know that the story is much more heavily weighted toward suspense than romance. For me, Lethal Allure feels a lot more like a suspense novel with a love plot than a romance novel with a suspense plot. One of the reasons I kept reading was that I wanted to know the identity of Shaw’s stalker. I couldn’t really get invested in the superficial romance between Shaw and Luke or in them as a couple. I knew they would finally get to happily ever after but I didn’t really care. The book is told in Shaw and Luke’s alternating, third-person POV, with the occasional scene told from the POV of the stalker. The most vivid supporting characters in the novel are Shaw’s mother, Julia, and Luke’s co-worker, Ryan (who one has to guess will be getting his own story in this series). The other thing to know about this book is that it is a (mostly) clean read. If you’re not the reader who enjoys explicit sex scenes or graphic language, this book will meet your reading preferences.
Lethal Allure is very much like another book I have reviewed here recently, Ruthless. In addition to the romance plot feeling forced and leaving me mostly unsatisfied, the story is painfully slow. It takes a long time (too long) for both the romance plot and the suspense plot to get going, and that’s why I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep reading when the sample ended and also why I nearly put the book down at the end of chapter six. If you’re going to read Lethal Allure, then you’ll need to be a patient reader.
I’ve said before that I’m a big fan of the romantic suspense category. That being said, it’s difficult for me to find books in this genre that I absolutely love and can rave about. Lethal Allure will appeal to readers who read for the suspense and like to see a romance as one of the subplots. It’s also a relatively short read. I started this book on a Sunday afternoon and finished right before it was time or dinner. Ultimately, Lethal Allure wasn’t a satisfying read for me and I’m not rushing out to read or buy another book by Olivia Jaymes.
What do you think? Have you read Lethal Allure or any other books by Olivia Jaymes?