Merciless by Diana Palmer
It’s no secret to those who’ve read my past blogs that I’m a sucker for romance novels; they truly are my guilty pleasure. While reading a romance novel, I usually put them on the Nora Roberts scale, as I consider her to be the pinnacle of all things romance. It’s very rare for someone to come close to her, but I try to give all the popular romance authors a go. In the process, I’ve discovered I’m a fan of Linda Lael Miller and Susan Mallery. While reading Merciless by Diana Palmer, I discovered she is not my cup of tea.
The novel follows Jon Blackhawk, an FBI agent in Texas, and his administrative assistant, Joceline Perry. Jon is a dedicated bachelor whose mother, Cammy, is determined to set him up with a woman she deems appropriate (i.e., one who dresses beautifully and would do well in society). Joceline struggles to make ends meet for her and her young son, Markie, and also deals with the backlash she receives from people for having a child out of wedlock. Jon and Joceline mesh well together at work, and they always have each other’s backs.
That bond especially comes in handy when a killer convicted of murdering Jon’s brother’s wife and young daughter is let free. It’s a dangerous situation for Jon and everyone he loves, including Joceline and Markie. There are a few twists and turns in both the investigation and personal revelations, but I won’t spoil any for fans of Palmer who have been waiting patiently to get their hands on this book.
I’m not sure what it was about Merciless that didn’t appeal to me. Maybe Jon’s description turned me off (I’m not really into men with long black ponytails); maybe it was the conservative nature of the characters (I couldn’t tell you the last time I read a book with so much prejudice against a single mother!); or maybe I’m just weird.
Despite my tepid feelings about this book, I can certainly see why Palmer has a large fan base and is a high-profile romance novelist. Her current fans will certainly devour this book, and there are enough of those out there to warrant giving this book a spot on your shelves.