Jane Taylor Starwood’s debut novel, the romantic thriller SHATTERED BLUE, has received several awards and honors, as well as excellent editorial and reader reviews.
AWARDS & HONORS
*RomCon Readers’ Crown Best First Book
*Awesome Indies Approved
*RONE Award Nominee
4 Stars, 4 Steam Kettles Shane McKinnon is living a quiet life in New Mexico, but sheʼs a woman with a past. Five years previously, her step-father and step-brother had presided over one of the largest real estate scams ever instigated, bilking hundreds of people out of their life savings. The infamy and the intrusion of the press became too much for Shane to bear. After the trial, she ran from the shame of her familyʼs duplicity, changed her name, and tried to begin a new life far removed from her previous one.
Shane is happily living alone and away from civilization, spending her days creating tapestries on her loom. She has a new neighbor, Matt Brennan, who is building a home too near to her own for her peace of mind. The handsome architect is showing quite a personal interest in Shane, throwing her quiet days into chaos. Unknown to either of them, Shane has picked up a stalker. Her step-brother Jordan has found her, and proceeds to make Shaneʼs life difficult as he plays mind games with her. Although Shane doesn’t know it yet, she has something Jordan wants; something he wants badly enough to kill for.
This is quite the enjoyable and impressive debut novel! The book contains a good solid plot line, an entertaining and believable story, and a realistic romance. There were a couple of nice little twists to the story to keep the reader on their toes…. The story is a winner, leaving the reader satisfied and looking to more from Ms. Starwood in the future.
~Faith Turner, InD’Tale Magazine
Shattered Blue is a classic romantic suspense story, and if you like that combination of genres, then you’ll probably like this because it has all the necessary elements – an attractive woman, a hot guy and a psychopathic would-be rapist killer. Just when said hot guy and attractive woman get together, the psychopath enters and threatens to rip their happiness from beneath them.
The tension builds through memories, dreams, clever foreshadowing and a series of suspicious events that culminate in a life threatening situation for both lovers. The pacing is good, it keeps you reading but still allows time for character development, and the plot, though nothing new, is solid.
The characters are well-drawn and complex. Shane is an artist with a history she is hiding from, and Matt is an architect in the process of selling his business to his hard nosed ex-wife. Despite many reasons not to, they fall in love pretty much instantaneously. It surprises them both, but they’re old enough to know not to fight it. Cynical reviewers may find this a little twee, but it’s perfect for the genre. I got to know Shane very quickly, fell in love with Matt before she did and cared about them both enough to really not want the bad guy to screw it all up, but fiction requires drama and that’s what we got. I won’t tell you what happened in the end, except to say that I thought it well done.
~Tahlia Newland, Awesome Indies
Self-published books can be a tricky business. Some are complete misses in desperate need of rigorous editing; some are a decent effort but miss being truly readable; and some are, despite not having the benefit of an editor from a publishing house, hits. Shattered Blue is a hit. The writing is descriptive and varied (though the term “bulge” is used fairly frequently), the characters are funny and vulnerable and real, and the action is high. Although it is her first foray into fiction, Jane Taylor Starwood – who comes from a non-fiction background – knows what she’s doing.
On all levels, Shattered Blue delivers. The romance is well written and it works because the characters are likable, relatable and we grow to care for them. The only surprise was how quickly that romance occurred – the falling in love happened very early on. It may just be that I’m not a love at first sight kind of woman, but if you give the romance a chance and keep reading, the relationship between Shane and Matt deepens and grows with genuine believability. His caring nature helps counter some of the trauma Shane endured as a child and it’s refreshing to read a layered relationship that is hot yet based on something more, when you take a breathe from the steam.
However, it’s the balance of suspense that suggests Starwood’s first attempt at romantic suspense should not be her last. The protagonist is truly eerie, deranged and above all believable. It’s not easy subject matter Starwood has chosen to start with – without giving too much away, childhood abuse is a tough subject – but she does it sensitively and with enough skill to have us fearing for Shane and recoiling from the protagonist.
There’s a couple of well played twists to ward off any predictability and while I can say the ending wasn’t entirely a surprise, it was an enjoyable ride.
This is a solid, polished, well written debut. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more from this author.
I loved Shattered Blue! Jane Taylor Starwood’s debut novel is a heart-lurching, page-turning, romantic suspense that kept me captivated! It has everything I look for in a great romantic suspense book. Plenty of danger, mystery, and steamy romance. Shattered Blue also has an intriguing plot with great characters. Matt Brennan is the perfect man in my opinion and Shane is a really likable female lead that is working to face the monsters of her past. I really enjoyed how they came together and the banter between them. Matt has an instant attraction with Shane, and Shane needs some convincing and boy does he set out to convince her! There is lots of steamy romance and passion between them. I highly recommend this book for all romantic suspense lovers! Jane Taylor Starwood is an author to watch and I can not wait to see what she comes up with next!
~Reading In Pajamas
TOTALLY HOOKED! I was hooked from the start! Wonderfully written. Clever story. Where’s the next book? I absolutely loved this one. I’ll be waiting!
~Amazon 5-Star Review
PLATINUM. WOW. Anyone who reads Indie fiction knows that the genre can be something of a “hit or miss” affair. Shattered Blue is definitely a hit. I downloaded a free copy from the story cartel website. I love storycartel.com and would recommend the website to anyone — as long as they are willing to keep the hit and miss nature of Indy in mind. The books featured on the site are usually in the mediocre to good category, but every once in a while I get lucky and find a gem. That said, Shattered Blue is platinum. (I read the whole book in one sitting, which says a lot.)
Shane/Shannon is a remarkably real and likable heroine. The love story was sweet, but featured plenty of steamy sex and swoon worthy romantic one-liners. Matt (love interest) meets the romance genre standard of melt-your-bones sexy, but goes above and beyond as a wealthy “certified tree-hugger” and architect who, despite having a truly detestable ex-wife, loves wholeheartedly and wants to settle down and start a family. The villain was absolutely chilling — the author did a really good job of making me truly HATE him.
Another thing I loved about Shattered Blue were the descriptions of Silver City, New Mexico. I lived in the Southwestern US for a time and, although I have since moved north, my heart is still there. Starwood’s descriptions truly made me ‘homesick’ for the desert. I can hardly wait for Jane’s next novel!
~Amazon 5-Star Review
AN EXCITING RIDE WITH SURPRISES IN EVERY CHAPTER! Just finished reading Shattered Blue and absolutely loved it. Just when I thought I was near the end of the book when all the loose ends were tied up, you took us on a real ride of twists and turns. I just couldn’t put it down! I hope you write more books because I’ll be one of the first in line!
~Amazon 5-Star Review
A HIGHER STANDARD FOR ROMANTIC THRILLERS. A thoroughly enjoyable romantic thriller. From start to finish well written, well timed, and just the right suspense to romance ratio. Yea….I made that up but this is a book worthy of the observation. Shane became a heroic friend and Matt…well…let’s see, a common man who becomes so much more because of an uncommon love. Great read!
~Amazon 5-Star Review
I WAS PLEASANTLY SURPRISED WITH THE ROMANCE AND THRILLER COMBINATION. The romance was very sexy and hot and the thriller part just kept coming at you; it was relentless. Just when I thought the end was close, I checked the percentage I was at and said, “It ain’t over yet, too soon.” The terror rolled on, and on. Whew! The main characters were well developed. I loved watching Matt and Shane fall in love. It was sizzling, sweet and hot. I like both love, murder and erotica genres. This had the right amount of everything, all rolled into one book. Yep!