#Review — Saved by Karrie Roman + Giveaway — Available Now!
Author: Karrie Roman
Publisher: Nine Star Press
Publication Date: April 10, 2017
Page Count: 179 pages
Detective Jack Mitchell is not a people person. After fourteen years dealing with the monsters of society, he has learned to keep people at arm’s length. Failing is his biggest frustration, and on the case of his career, he is having no luck hunting down a copycat serial killer…or the one man who survived the original case.
Six years ago, Will Blaikie was taken by a monster who changed his life forever. Narrowly surviving, he has become a prisoner in his own home. Friendless and alone, he watches in horror as a new monster emerges who only wants to copy the murderous deeds of Will’s monster…including taking Will.
When these two men are thrown together, and the monster comes for them both, one must learn to feel safe and protected, and the other must learn to feel love and peace.
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Buy from Nine Star Press
Karrie Roman © 2017
All Rights Reserved
Will Blaikie didn’t often watch the news. It wasn’t because he preferred to bury his head in the sand about the world. More often than not, he was just protecting himself. He knew very well what happened out there, and he didn’t often want to be reminded of it. He had one television in his house, a smallish thirty-four-inch flat screen that was mounted over his fireplace. It was rarely on other than for movies or, of course, for The Walking Dead.
Tonight Will needed the background noise though. So he had left the TV on after watching a repeat of last season’s final episode before the new Walking Dead season kicked off in a couple of weeks. He would proudly admit to being a diehard fan if anyone asked. He could hear the news broadcast begin from the kitchen where he was whipping up a quick stir-fry. There was no point in elaborate and complicated meals if you were only ever cooking for one. The breaking news item immediately caught his attention and left him cold.
Hesitantly making his way to the TV, he picked up the remote and rewound, wanting to have misheard. He hit play when the giant red breaking news banner crossed the screen. Will stood listening as a flawlessly presented, heavily made-up woman, who smiled entirely too much throughout her report, confirmed his worst fears.
“Police have yet to confirm the discovery of a second body with the all-too-familiar cross carved into the chest. Having viewed the body found in a semirural field today, I can confirm that a cross was indeed carved into the deceased’s chest. An unnamed police source unofficially confirmed that this was the second body found bearing the cross. Sydney-siders will remember the Beecroft Butcher from six years ago when the city was paralysed with fear during the yearlong killing spree. Twelve men were killed before the killer, Russell Coburn, was finally—”
He only just made it to the bathroom before the entire contents of his stomach came up. Will draped himself over the toilet seat, heaving and sweating as he vomited into the bowl until nothing but bitter bile remained in him. He could still hear the low mumble from the television, but thankfully, no words were clearly audible. He’d heard enough—too much. His entire body shook, and he imagined his mind would look a picture of complete panic and chaos if he could peer inside it right now. He lay on the cool tiles, curling his body around the toilet bowl, unconvinced there would be no more vomiting. He felt a wet nose snuffle against his arm and reached back to give a reassuring pat to Henley. The furry dog took up his position, laying himself practically on top of his master. Protecting him as always, not just from physical harm, but from the mental hurt Will was now threatened with.
An hour and a half later, both Will and Henley were still curled up together on the bathroom floor. Though his body was still wracked with tremors, they were easing as was the chaos in his head. Could this really be happening again?
Saved is Karrie Roman's debut MM novel but it reads as though she's already an established published author. The story immediately hits the ground running with a copy-cat serial killer on the loose and Detective Jack Mitchell, along with his smart and keen partner, Kate Phelps, putting their investigative skills to work looking for the culprit.
Will Blaikie is the only surviving victim from the murders that happened six years ago and his gut instincts tell him—after watching the news—that his nightmares are coming back to haunt him.
Living as a recluse with only his beloved dog, Henley, to keep him company, Will is grateful that he's still alive. Through years of therapy he realizes he is a stronger person, and despite the horror he lived through, he also realizes he must try to help the police find this new killer.
For people like Jack Mitchell, the job is his only love. It consumes his waking hours so relationships have always taken a backseat because he knew he couldn't commit. When he's asked to protect Will—at his home—he starts to see a flaw in his thinking.
Both men are complicated. Will has barriers and trust issues that he struggles to overcome. Jack is a loner and doesn't have the best social skills. As these two spend time together, a friendship develops and sparks begin to sizzle... slowly. Jack is afraid to examine his growing feelings too closely for fear it may jeopardize the case.
Will was still a teenager when he was kidnapped so he missed out on dating, exploring his feelings and he remained a virgin...fear ruling his life. With Jack, he felt safe in his presence, started feeling confident in himself to open up about his life and in turn he wanted to take it further with Jack, removing the boundaries between them, and connect to the man he was attracted to.
Jack admits to himself that he's never had so much fun as he's having with Will. His own dating life was practically non-existent but Will sees him and Jack wants to explore these new feelings.
Always on alert and his senses tuned in, Jack wants to show Will some fun. Taking him to eat, kissing on the sidewalk, holding hands, allowing Will a small piece of what he's missed in his life outside the walls he's been ensconced in for so long...but it doesn't go unnoticed.
Pulling back from Will in order to put 110% of his effort into the case puts a strain on a new and growing relationship. Jack thinks it's for the best allowing him to focus on finding the killer. However, the killer is much closer than anyone predicted.
And then...their fears are front and center and it's a race against time to find and save the man Jack admits he is falling for. With little clues and no leads will he be able to find Will in time? More importantly...can Will survive the horrors again?
Saved is a thriller with a slow-burn romance in the background. It's action-packed and fast-paced keeping the reader on edge as the tension mounts. I was sucked into the story from the start and it didn't let up until the end. As the magnitude of the scenes unfolded, whether it was the ache and distress...the fear from Will as he remembers, or the race against time, I felt my emotions intensifying with each word.
The author manages to balance the intensity with humor, not only between Will and Jack but with Jack and his partner, as well as, other co-workers. Henley, the dog, added a lot of joy for me having dogs myself so I really related to Will and his need to do ALL things for Henley.
It was so rewarding to see Will realize his strength, his courage, know his worth and grow as a man. To love outside of his "much needed" self-imposed boundaries and find the same in return and heal old hurts.
Karrie Roman is definitely an author I'll be watching for and I would love to see other characters in Saved have a story in the future. If you love mystery, suspense, and a thrilling plot with a slow-burn romance that runs parallel to the main story, I highly recommend Saved.
* I was given a copy in exchange for an honest review from the publisher *
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about the author
Karrie lives in Australia’s sunshine state with her husband and two sons, though she hates the sun with a passion. She dreams of one day living in the wettest and coldest habitable place she can find. She’s been writing stories in her head for years but has finally managed to pull the words out of her head and share them with others. She spends her days trying to type her stories on the computer without disturbing her beloved cat, Lu, curled up on the keyboard. She knows reads far too much, but can’t seem to stop herself.
Saved is her debut novel.