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Friday, October 19, 2012

A Case of Fatal Attraction by K. Dawn Byrd

A Case of Fatal Attraction by K. Dawn Byrd
Zoe Mack Mystery Series Book Two
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (61 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Zoe is thrilled when she lands her first paying case until she learns she'll be going undercover at a local blood bank. The fact that she faints at the sight of blood makes working there more than difficult. Who would steal blood and what would they do with it? Is her creepy vampire-like coworker using it in a cult ritual?

When Zoe learns that Nate will be working undercover with her, she's overjoyed. She soon finds that the gorgeous Rikki's attraction to Nate is too distracting and considers throwing him off the case. Zoe questions his loyalty even as Nate proclaims that she's the only girl for him.

Nothing is as it seems and Zoe has no clue who can be trusted. Who's stealing the blood? Is it the director? The vampire-like guy with the fangs who wears all black? Or, her gorgeous co-worker who has a thing for Nate?

Can Zoe really be objective where Nate is concerned?

Zoe is thrilled to have her first official case until she finds out she’ll be facing one of her worst fears: blood. On top of that, Rikki, one of Zoe’s prime suspects, flirts shamelessly with Nate. Nate doesn’t think Rikki is guilty. However, Zoe is sure Rikki is up to no good, but is her judgment clouded by jealousy? Can Zoe overcome her fear and remain objective long enough to solve the case before someone gets hurt?

I truly enjoyed getting to know Zoe in the first book and reading the second installment was like visiting an old friend. Zoe is still the same spirited girl who dreams of being a detective. With her grandpa opening a detective agency, Zoe is one step closer to making that dream a reality. Zoe knows she’ll have to work hard to build up a reputation, and I admire the fact that she perseveres with her investigation at the blood bank even though she is terrified of blood. She’s one tough cookie. Zoe also takes a few more risks this time around, which I imagine is a necessary step forward in her chosen career. However, there is one time in particular when Zoe took a serious risk that had me shaking my head and racing through the pages wondering what would happen next.

Zoe and Nate’s relationship continues to blossom in this story, but the road they travel has a few bumps. Zoe’s jealousy of Rikki is completely understandable and makes her an even more realistic character. Zoe isn’t afraid to call Nate out when he’s made a mistake, but sometimes she comes off a bit harsh. However, Zoe is also mature enough to realize when she’s being unreasonable. Nate is more than a match for Zoe’s strong personality. He listens to what she has to say, but I like the fact that he stands up for himself as well. The honest communication between Zoe and Nate keeps their relationship free of misunderstandings.

I truly pity Zoe where her parents are concerned. Her father seems like a nice man, but her mother is a snob in the truest sense of the word. Zoe’s mother strongly disapproves of Zoe’s relationship with Nate and makes it clear she doesn’t think Nate is good enough. This leads to a brief, intense, and heartbreaking confrontation between Zoe and her mother. It would be easy for Zoe to simply acquiesce to her mother’s demands, but Zoe is nineteen and more than capable of making her own decisions. Zoe demonstrates amazing strength of character when she stands up to her mother without disrespecting her. She’s certainly a young woman of admirable principles.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Case of Fatal Attraction. While this is the second book in the Zoe Mack series, it is a gripping romantic suspense that can stand on its own. I’m definitely looking forward to solving more mysteries with Zoe in the future.

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