Deadly Gift by Heather Graham (‘Flynn Brothers’ trilogy Book #3)


Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages - Publisher: Mira (December 1, 2008 ) - Language: English - ISBN-10: 077832527X - ISBN-13: 978-0778325277


Deadly Gift

by Heather Graham

‘Flynn Brothers’ trilogy Book #3

An outsider in a world of extraordinary wealth, Caer Donahue must learn who can be trusted … and who should be feared

Caer is spending this Christmas among strangers. Brought to Newport, Rhode Island, from her native Ireland to nurse ailing millionaire Sean O’Riley, she’s living a life few can imagine. But money can’t hide the tension between O’Riley’s trophy wife, his paranoid daughter, the eccentric aunt in the attic and the staff members who run the house.

When O’Riley’s business partner goes missing, family friend Zack Flynn arrives. Determined to help him solve the case, Caer becomes enmeshed in a mystery that weaves together the sins of the past with one family’s destiny … and a spirit that watches the mansion, possessing a deadly gift.

Review: Horrified to admit this one’s a bitter disappointment.

A business partner goes missing before Sean and his trophy wife, Amanda, take a trip to Ireland. Soon after landing, Sean becomes very ill and almost dies. Sean’s daughter, Kat, calls Zach Flynn and pleads with him to go to Ireland and bring her father back. She’s terrified and paranoid that, with Eddie missing, her father is next.

Caer has been guarding Sean in his hospital room, determined that no more harm comes to him. It’s her mission to keep him alive. But there’s a mystery to Caer; in all appearances, she’s a nurse. However, appearances aren’t always what they seem.

Zach knows that something’s off, but can’t put a finger on what it is. While his instincts tell him to that he can trust Caer, he doesn’t understand why those same instincts are telling him that she isn’t saying the entire truth of who she is either.

But as things begin to happen (ex: more apparent murder crimes scenes with no bodies), and no clues, Zach is feeling the pressure of catching whoever is after Sean. But will he figure it out before it’s too late?

Caer is sticking to Zach like glue, knowing that he’ll be able to figure out whoever it is. But she’s fallen in love with him. But she can’t stay, and knowing she can’t stay, especially with Zach, hurts unbelievably. But she’s determined to help find who it is that means Sean harm, regardless of her feelings for Zach.


OMG! I don’t think I’ve ever been as disappointed in a Heather Graham novel as I am in this one.

First, there’s a typo that sticks in the reader’s craw; a typo that should have been seen to immediately. On the cover, the character’s name is Caer Donahue. In the story, it was switched to Cavannaugh. Incidentally, Cavanaugh is Rowenna’s last name (heroine of Book #2). While I think it could be just a simple mistake, it’s still a huge no-no, and I wasn’t impressed. I think it wouldn’t have been so bad if it had been a different name, but using one that had already been used… Not good.

The mystery plot was unoriginal; it’s been used before (very similar to two of her other books – The Vision and Eyes of Fire). Right down to how the plot has actually two perpetrators, not just the one. The animosity felt between the women of the household was typical; dad remarries to a completely shallow idiot who’s only five years older than his daughter – daughter believes the new wife to be a gold-digger – they have nothing whatsoever in common – daughter is just your typical spoiled brat and should grow up”. While the animosity is typical, it’s one that’s been overused and I wish that the author went with something else. I was getting to the point where I wanted to shout to the female characters to grow up.

Then there’s the hero and heroine. I liked Zach. An ex-cop now private detective with a love for music and helping musicians, he immediately moves to aid his friends, people that he cares about deeply that he’s known most of his life. Sean had been a friend of Zach’s father’s, and that friendship moved on to Zach and his brothers. Strong, self-reliant, you can see that he understands a cop’s life and that he respects them, knowing what they go through. And throughout, he refused to accuse anyone of anything until he knew exactly who, what, and the why of it all.

As for the heroine, Caer (pronounced Kyre) could have used more work. The whole paranormal angle used, the folklore of Ireland stating that Banshees, the spirits that help guide souls to cross over, can sometimes take human form, was the wrong one to use. I came across as … as … silly! And then you understand why the elderly aunt passes away in the story – only a true-to-heart soul can take the place of a banshee that is in human for so that banshee may stay in human form.  Caer is first a nurse in Ireland, watching over Sean, and is sent to Rhode Island with him as a ruse to keeping track of his recovery, when she was there to guard him and keep him alive, to figure out who and why someone would want him dead. And yet, how is she supposed to do any of that when her ‘credentials’ show her only as a nurse? Of course she’d stick to Zach like glue, and we only see her actually investigating only once? What was up with that?

We’re made to believe that Caer is attracted to Zach even before she meets him in person; it was his eyes in the picture that Sean had in his hospital room that first attracted her. For Zach, he felt a pull the second he walked into Sean’s hospital room to see Caer there. I saw a bigger inner battle with his brothers when it came time to the women that I saw with Zach. And of course he wouldn’t believe her when she told him the truth, that she was a banshee in human form whose mission was to keep Sean alive. I wouldn’t have believed it either, and even after I finished the book, I thought it was ridiculous. I could understand why she fell in love with Zach. I could understand why Zach fell in love with Caer. But I still didn’t feel a true attraction, that pull that makes the reader truly believe in their HEA. It felt like it happened because it was supposed to, that the author just threw them together for the hell of it.

The only thing I actually liked about the book was the fact that there were two perpetrators and not just one, and why. The simple greed of it, but that there was a partnership in it and it wasn’t solely one character. Other than that, the entire thing felt rushed. There was never another attempt directly on Sean’s life, but there were actions taken against the entire family, purposely to throw attention on someone else. That part was intriguing, but that’s about it. I’m really surprised, as I’d never read a Heather Graham novel that felt rushed, that was just pushed out there without another thought. Truly disappointing, especially from one of my fave authors. My heart breaks at the thought of not being able to give this one a higher mark, but I’d be betraying my feelings on this book if I gave it more.



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