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New Release Review! QUAKE by Tracey Alvarez

by Tracey Alvarez


He’ll shake her foundations…

Ana Grace is living a single mother’s worst nightmare. Separated from her two kids by a catastrophic earthquake, she’s trapped in her office building with a man she’s only just met. He’s a sexy former soldier, and possibly the only man able to help her navigate the dangerous landscape home.

Daniel Calder is tired of failing people he’s tried to help, but since Ana is his younger sister’s boss, he’s caught between a rock and a hard place. That rock keeps shifting under his feet, shaking his determination not to become emotionally involved with another damsel in distress.

But when an unforeseen enemy rises from a city in chaos, Ana Grace and her family are in the crosshairs. There’s so much more at stake than just their hearts, and the clock is ticking.


Quake is a definite departure for Ms. Alvarez, with an element of danger and suspense not seen in her other series (Bountny Bay and Stewart Island) and the fact that she’s new to writing the genre does show somewhat (the suspense part is done somewhat clumsily and predictably) it’s still a worthwhile read. Seeing characters in the midst of an earthquake and tsunami-caused crisis felt very topical with all of the natural disasters making the news these days, and reading her descriptions of the devastation they caused made me very grateful to live in an area where earthquakes are not a common occurrence.

As with Tracey’s other books, the characters here are her real strength–Daniel especially was a favorite. Family and friends were as important to her hero and heroine as they usually are in her contemporary romances, which was enjoyable to read even if we didn’t see much of them since the bulk of the novel was Daniel and Ana traveling between her place of work and where her kids were. I was a bit bummed that Ms. Alvarez chose for her widowed heroine to have the “we were headed for divorce anyway; I never really loved him” type of first marriage, but that’s fairly typical in the romance genre these days and it seems like I’m the only person that it bothers overmuch, so…

This book is perhaps a bit too short to really do justice to its plot elements, making the suspense, disaster plot, and romance all feel a bit rushed. If instalove bothers you, it’s definitely in evidence here. Still, for a first foray into these genres it’s a decent attempt; I’m looking forward to seeing what Ms. Alvarez will do with them in the future.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+

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About the Author:

Tracey Alvarez lives in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand) where she’s yet to be buried under her to-be-read book pile by Wellington’s infamous wind—her Kindle’s a lifesaver! Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.

Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.

When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found reading sexy books of all romance genres, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.

Tracey also writes flirty, dirty stories under the penname Jessie Logan.

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