by Carla Cassidy

March 2006
ISBN: 0-451-21806-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Signet Books
Mass Market Paperback

Jessica Langford took the ashes of a horrific past and built upon it a life devoted to helping others. She became a psychiatrist as well as a host of her own radio show designed to reach out to those dealing with fears. Nevertheless, terror was just below the surface: the fear of darkness she battled every day of her carefully structured life. In a world where darkness comes in more than one shade Jessie grappled with staying in the light. It gets more difficult to accomplish when an unknown caller began harassing her with information about her experiences at the age of 16.

Detective Jake Merridan had his hands full with a belligerent son on the brink of adolescence and a murder case becoming more difficult to solve with each passing day. He needed a break in the case if he was going to stop a killer. If his relationship with his son was fixed maybe Jake could concentrate at work. Since his wife had abandoned them there had been a gulf between Jake and Jimmy. A part of Jake had shut down after that and he didnít know if it would ever change. Then he met Jessica and he became lost in her eyes.

Alone, Jessie and Jake struggled with their emotional baggage Ė together they found healing that made a family whole again. But there was a madman threatening to destroy any hope of a happily ever after.

Are You Afraid? by Carla Cassidy is a romance laced with suspense. The smooth, clear writing style of Ms. Cassidy makes for an enjoyable read. This book is fast-paced with a strong heroine worthy of respect. The authorís use of secondary characters is expertly done. She uses them to complement the main characters and to prod the story line along.

While the suspense is subtler than I expected, it is there. Just when I thought I knew what would happen, Ms. Cassidy would throw in a curve. As a result Are You Afraid? was hard to put down.

Reviewed in April 2006 by Rho.

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