Author: Marni Mann
Tour Company: The Novel Tease
Source: ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
What happens when you uncover years of secrets and find out everything you thought to be true was a lie?
Drew Stevens finds her world turned upside down when her parents are brutally murdered. Soon after, she learns she inherited a property in Bar Harbor, Maine, from recently deceased grandparents that she believed had died when she was a baby.
Drew travels north to settle her grandparents’ estate, but finds more questions than answers as the truth starts unraveling. What she didn’t expect to find was Saint, whose reputation is as tumultuous as his past. But the very thing that brings them together is the same thing that keeps them emotionally caged.
With Saint's scars so deep and Drew's so fresh, can the pair heal from their painful wounds or will they be pulled beneath the darkness of their pasts?
Flirty Review: FOUR LIP BITES
Pulled Beneath starts off pretty grim. Drew Stevens isn't in the best places in her life in Florida. We see her as a woman who is stuck. She's stuck in her career (one she does with her parents) and in her love life (she doesn't trust men since her ex cheated on her.) But you see a sliver of a daydreamer in her. She loves to capture images in her head and on her camera. You have a sense that she will make an independent life for herself until something tragic happens: her parents are brutally murdered. After the murder Drew finds out she has been bequeathed a large inheritance by her recently deceased grandparents in Maine. The catch: her grandparents were supposed to be dead many years over. Wha, wha, what?!! Or better: dun, dun, dunnnnnnnnnn!
As I was reading this, I thought the book was going to go in one direction. With the murder of her parents and when Drew found out that her parents were keeping secrets, I thought this book might have a more mystery aspect. In fact, I thought that almost until the end. It was more mystery light than full-blown mystery. Mann definitely created a who's done it/ who's who scenario with Pulled Beneath when I don't think was meant to be that way. I liked Drew discovering she had family she never knew about, then finding out her mother and father had this complicated past that had been kept from her. I almost was waiting for the other shoe to drop and her dead parents would come back alive or her only surviving aunt was really her mother, or something. I don't want to say I was let down with the big reveal, but I didn't see it coming, and that's a good thing. But it was just dun, dun, dunnnn fizzle.
Without going into details and giving away spoilers, the climax just wasn't as suspenseful as I would have liked it to be. We were really in Drew's head and emotions, which is great, but I felt the book was a little misleading with all the mystery and intrigue that was easily explainable at the end. I don't know what I was looking for. Maybe someone to pop up and say, "Surprise, it was me all along!" Or the ghost of her grandmother haunting the house Drew was left.
I think I just really wanted something more.
Drew makes some new friends in Maine including a hunky name named Saint who lives next door. On house boat. Yum! Saint and Drew start a very complicated relationship I wasn't really sure about. There is sexual tension, big time, with the pair. On an emotional and personal level, I didn't see the attraction. Saint spent a lot of the book pushing Drew away when she was ready for him. Albeit, he somehow knew her what was best for her from the get-go and she really wasn't ready. Which I didn't get really. They don't have much of a development. He says he's bad for her, she doesn't care, they kiss, he pushes her away, repeat. But in the mix of all that she fell in love with him. What exactly did she fall in love with? His indecisiveness? His hot and coldness? Beats me. But hey, he was hot and tatted, so all's good.
I did like the end of the book, it wasn't a big climax but a bittersweet one. Drew figures out what is really missing in her life and she makes some wise decisions. She's come full circle and that's so important with character development. Saint does as well. We're left guessing on a couple of characters' fate in the book which will lead into the next books in the series, but that's cool and expected. I'm dying to find out what is going on with Rae and Brady.
The editing was much better this time around for Mann. My only problem I had was all the disembodied movement of her characters. I don't slight authors who do use it, most don't know they are doing it. And some disembodied movement is okay when used lightly, but in Pulled Beneath I felt like I was being pulled around by all the zombie body parts.
All things said, Pulled Beneath is a good book. I'm overly judgemental because I'm an editor as well. Things just pop out at me more so than the regular reader. I'm definitely looking forward to the next in the series. Kudos to Mann for growing in her work and her stories. I can really tell the progress from the Seductive Shadows series I read of hers to this new series.
If you love some light mystery, romantic intrigue, steamy hunky men in wet suits, and a strong female character, then Pulled Beneath is a great book for you.
About The Author
Sarasota. She taps mainstream appeal and shakes worldwide taboos, taking her readers on a dark and breathtaking
When she’s not nose deep in her laptop, she’s scouring for chocolate, traveling, reading, or walking her four-legged
children. Visit her at www.marnismann.com.