Trust Me by Brenda Novak (‘The Last Stand’ trilogy Book #1)


Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages - Publisher: Mira Books (June 1, 2008) - Language: English - ISBN-10: 0778324125 - ISBN-13: 978-0778324126


Trust Me

by Brenda Novak

‘The Last Stand’ trilogy Book #1

Four years ago…

Skye Kellerman was attacked in her own bed. She managed to fend off her knife-wielding assailant, but the trauma changed everything about her life. As a result of that night, she joined two friends – also survivors – in starting The Last Stand, an organization to help victims of crime.

But now…

Her would-be rapist is getting out of prison. Skye knows that Dr. Oliver Burke hasn’t forgotten that her testimony cost him his reputation – and his freedom.

Sacramento detective David Willis, who investigated her case, believes Burke is a clear and present danger – and guilty of at least two unsolved murders.

And now Burke is free to terrorize Skye again. Unless David can stop him. Unless Skye can fight back. Because Oliver Burke has every intention of finishing what he started. And that’s a promise. Trust Me.

Review: When’s it safe to start living again?

Four years ago, a masked assailant broke into Skye Kellerman’s bedroom window with the intent to rape and murder. But with animalistic sense of survival, Skye fought back, grabbing a pair of scissors that she’d left with her cross-stitch on her night table and stabbed/cut him in return. With DNA testing, it was proven it was Dr. Oliver Burke’s blood, but he insisted she was the one who attacked him, claiming that he went home with her and she turned violent on him, suggesting she was on drugs. The judge didn’t buy that, however, and Burke was sentenced to 8 to 10 years in San Quentin. However, after becoming an informant, and for his dental services to inmates, Burke is getting out in 3.

Burke is obsessed with Skye; if it hadn’t been for her, he’d never had been caught, would never have spent time in prison, losing his reputation as a great dentist, would never have lost 3 years of life with his wife and daughter. He plans on getting back at her for that, and making sure she’s dead this time.

Detective David Willis is convinced that Burke is also responsible for three other rape/murders, but there’s not enough evidence to bring charges against him. He was the one who had to break the news to Skye, and he’s worried that Burke will get his revenge when he gets out. Not only has Willis fallen in love with Skye, he’s determined to make sure Burke never gets to Skye again. But can he hold that promise?

Not without a lack of trying. Skye Kellerman was an account executive with a carpet company, someone who hadn’t a care in the world, with a blind-eye toward crime and violence. All that changed the night she was attacked by Burke. With two friends, Sheridan and Jasmine, women she met at a victims of violence support group, they started The Last Stand, and hoped to help as many victims as they could. Skye wanted to fight back, exercise, self-defence classes, guns and ammunitions classes, and became a good enough shot should she ever need to be. Now she teaches those classes, and takes cases for victims who need help. Strong and self-reliant, she still suffers from insomnia and anxiety attacks, especially at night, when she feels the most vulnerable.

David Willis has had strong feelings for Skye since the night she was attacked, when he met her in the hospital and took her statement. Only, his wife was diagnosed with MS, plus they have a son, and failure wasn’t an option. Divorced, reconciled, separated, David wants to be able to work things out with his wife, but he hasn’t loved her for a long time, and knows there’s no use trying for another reconciliation, especially after his wife suggests he find another job – that it was his job as a homicide detective the came between them.

And while the sexual tension between Skye and David mounts, both know that it’s only a matter of time before Burke comes after her again.

Skye is a strong woman, still vulnerable even after three years of Burke’s incarceration. She wonders if there will ever be a time were she will be able to lead as normal a life as possible. You can feel her vulnerability, her anxiety, and how she handles herself is nothing short of spectacular. David has fallen for Skye, and now knowing that he and his wife can never be together again, accepts that failure, and believes that he and Skye could have something beautiful together. He’s worried about her, and I believe it. While I do feel tension between them, I think it could’ve been heightened a little more, maybe adding a little more romance to what is supposed to be a romantic suspense novel.

And just when you’re sure it’s Burke behind recent attacks, phone calls and notes from toward Skye, a sub-plot adds a twist that I actually should have suspected and didn’t see coming. That was well played.

I thought Ms. Novak excellently wrote victims feelings. The actions of one person can destroy so many lives, and you get a lot of those feelings through Burke’s wife, Jane.

Plus, you get background information on her two best friends and co-founders of The Last Stand, Sheridan and Jasmine, setting up the next two novels beautifully, understanding them already before their own books are released.

A great read, I would recommend it to any romantic suspense lover.



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