TBR Challenge Review: Promises in the Dark by Stephanie Tyler

Format: Mass market paperback
Pub Date: 2010
Publisher: Dell (Random House)
Length: 388
FTC: Purchased myself [during the Borders shutdown clearance :( ]

This month's TBR Challenge theme is designed to whittle away at the long list of authors who elicit the  "You haven't read that author yet?!" incredulous cries from my friends. And also my 'I need to read that author someday' guilt-ridden TBR pile. It's  new-to-you author month at the Challenge, so I decided to do some serious digging into my boxed up TBR for an author I haven't read. (Go me!)

Since I began blogging back in 2009, I've heard nothing but good things about Stephanie Tyler's books. And yet, it took the closing of Borders in 2011 to force me to buy one of her books...which promptly got boxed up when we moved my office around. Sigh. So... *drum roll*

Yeah...It was awful. It could have been decent but for a few things. One giant annoying thing that made me want to throw my book against the wall repeatedly: the author's use of two names for a secondary character. I thought it was a copy editing error at first.  It was so bad, I turned to Google before I had finished the book to see if this error showed up on any other sites. Apparently, this is a stylistic choice by the author. And quite frankly, it sucks. Tyler uses Cael and Caleb interchangeably in the narrative (not just the dialogue). Often on the same page. Cael vs Caleb crops up on so many results in a cursory Google search, and there's a reason.  It's fucking annoying.

Although the book seems well thought out and decently researched (a pitfall of many a romantic suspense author) it just didn't click with me. I didn't really invest in the main characters at all. (Could be I was too busy raging over Cael/Caleb to pay attention.) The thriller parts weren't thrilling, the danger and violence that should have been so gritty were lackluster. Honestly, I've read Clive Cussler books with better characterization.

I ended up skimming the last 100 pages because the book bored me. It was disjointed, superficial at times, and stylistically irritating. I doubt I'll be reading any more from Stephanie Tyler, but yea for one less book on the TBR. Plenty of others love this author, but she is not for me.

My Grade: D

The Blurb:

A rugged Navy SEAL, Zane Scott was part of a failed mission to rescue Dr. Olivia Strohm from abduction by the terrorist group Dead Man’s Hand—and her anguished screams have haunted him ever since. So when he gets word that the beautiful physician has escaped from her captors in Africa, he’s got personal reasons to storm the continent and save her.

Like her would-be liberator, Olivia carries the burden of a dark secret from her past. Ruthless and relentless, the DMH has threatened to hunt her down—and to systematically hurt anyone she’s close to. The last thing she wants is to be rescued—even by someone as shockingly handsome as Zane. Yet the hotheaded special ops hero has come for her, and together she and Zane just might have a shot at not only stopping DMH’s reign of terror, but also saving what’s left of their souls.


  1. Your Clive Cussler comment made me LOL. Anyhow, I haven't read this author before either. If I ever do, I'll try another title.

    1. :) I was wondering if people would get that reference LOL. I've liked his books in the past, but the women tend to be very thinly sketched.

  2. I've never read Cussler personally, but I've read scores of book reviews for his work and that comment had me LOL!

    Tyler is an author I haven't tried - probably because I'm really hypercritical of romantic suspense (I know this though, so it's OK *g*). That name thing probably would have driven me bonkers too.....