Friday, March 21, 2014

Book Review: Primal Instinct by Janie Crouch

Man, I love Harlequins. I’ve been reading them since I was like 8 or 9 years old, when both of my grandmas would save them and sneak me grocery bags full on the Sundays when we came to visit. Those first Harlequin Romances were the reason I wanted to be a romance writer! So when Janie Crouch offered me an ARC of her debut title Primal Instinct, a Harlequin Intrigue, I said “Yes, please!” and can’t tell you how glad I am that I did.  

Book: Primal Instinct
Author: Janie Crouch
Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue
Genre: Category Suspense
Rating:  [  [  [  [  ]  (4 out of 5 hearts!)

About the Book:
A killer stalks the city streets, and one FBI agent is determined to bring him down in Janie Crouch’s Primal Instinct.

On the crowded streets of San Francisco, a serial killer watches and waits. Known only as “Simon Says,” he lures his next victim while the FBI grasps for answers. Desperate, they turn to Adrienne Jeffries. Adrienne has an uncanny talent for getting inside the city’s most dangerous minds. But first she’ll have to get past agent Conner Perigo. Skeptical of Adrienne’s abilities, Conner begrudgingly enlists her help…unprepared for the powerful attraction that could jeopardize their focus. With little time, and everything to lose, they must work to find Simon’s next victim—before he does.

My Thoughts:
I have to admit, being a freshly-minted writer myself, I was rooting for Janie before I started Primal Instinct. Getting a bad review on your first book sucks (been there, done that) and I don’t like handing them out. But I didn't need to worry—after reading Janie Crouch’s first novel, I am very happy to say that she didn't disappoint me in the least.

Primal Instinct grabbed my attention first because of the cover. I liked the film noir/Alfred Hitchcock vintage vibe that it had going on. And then I started reading… very quickly, actually, because Janie threw me right in to FBI agent Conner Perigo’s frustrating case and it caught my interest. He’s desperate for any lead that will help him and his partner catch a serial killer that’s terrorizing San Francisco and thumbing his nose directly at the FBI at the same time. But when his boss tells him to basically blackmail Adrienne Jeffries, the former FBI “Bloodhound” with some bigtime special skills, into helping out with the case, he’s less than thrilled.

Like flint and steel, Conner and Adrienne strike sparks off each other right away, even though they’re the angry kind. Their relationship has a big element of friction, which I liked, because you know that they’re going to make up for all that animosity later on. I also thought that Adrienne’s personality was appealing—she was no shrinking violet and she faced the frightening aspects of her gift with gritty determination. And I’m a sucker for a protective alpha, which Conner definitely was. They made a great team without either of them having to be at all wishy-washy.

I also enjoyed the twists that Janie put on what could have been a familiar storyline. The side-effects of Adrienne skills were realistic and frightening, and the effect that their relationship had on things was really interesting and unexpected. And, while I’ll admit I did figure out whodunit (I’m good at that, though—ask my often-annoyed husband why he doesn’t like watching movies with me…), Primal Instinct’s resolution felt solid and satisfying and I enjoyed it immensely.

My final verdict? I’m giving Primal Instinct and Janie Crouch lots of love. If you like Harlequin romances like I do, I highly recommend this one. Can’t wait to see what this shiny new author has in store for us next!  
About the Author:
 Janie is a member of Romance Writers of America, Virginia Romance Writers and KOD (Kiss of Death – the Romantic Suspense Writers Group). When she’s not listening to the voices in her head (and even when she is), she enjoys traveling, long-distance running, movie-watching, knitting and obstacle course adventure racing. Most of all, she loves to laugh and smile. And she’s tremendously thankful she has so much to laugh and smile about. (For Janie’s full bio, go here.)

Connect with Janie Crouch:

Buy the Book:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Primal Instinct from Jamie Crouch, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. 

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