Publisher - Piatkus Publication Date - 10th January 2012 Paperback - 352 pages Genre - Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Source - Received from publisher for review
Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it
Book Info - Within the pages of very rare books, some centuries old, lie the secrets of the paranormal. Abby Radwell's unusual psychic talent has made her an expert in such volumes - and sometimes has taken her into dangerous territory. After a deadly incident in the private library of an obsessive collector, Abby receives a blackmail threat, and rumours swirl that an old alchemical text known as The Key has reappeared on the black market.
Convinced she needs an investigator who can also play bodyguard, she hires Sam Coppersmith, an expert in paranormal crystals and amber. Passion immediately flares between them, though neither entirely trusts the other. But when it comes to dealing with a killer with paranormal talents - and a blackmailer who will stop at nothing to obtain an ancient alchemical code - no one is safe.
My Thoughts - Copper Beach was my first book by this author, although I have heard a lot of good things about her work in the past. And I have to say that I did enjoy this novel a lot.
Abby is a very likeable heroine. She's intelligent, not afraid to stand up to others and is very good at her job of working with books about the paranormal. She has spent a lot of time building up her career and as a result of that she has a flawless reputation amongst her peers. But there is also a more vulnerable side to her as well, a side that makes it difficult for her to let people get close to her. She only trusts two other people, and they have all been friends since their teen years. Abby does not trust easily. But at no point does she become prickly or unlikeable as can so often be the case with other heroines like Abby. She remains friendly, professional and completely loyal at all times.
I also liked Sam as a hero. At first the reader, and Abby, doesn't know if he can be trusted. His girlfriend died a few months back and, although he was never charged with her murder, he was a suspect for a while. But as Sam begins to open up to Abby, we get to see what really happened with his ex-girlfriend. He is strong, capable and more than a little bit sexy.
Sam and Abby complement each other very well as a couple. Abby has trust and commitment issues, whilst Sam is unshakeable once he has his sights set on something - and his sights are set on Abby. What I did enjoy about this book was that, although Abby does have some commitment issues, they are not dragged out for a majority of the book as I've found can sometimes happen. She feels apprehension at first but she is mature enough to work through her feelings and decide what it is she really wants.
The mystery element was really well written and, although we do get to find out at the beginning about the identity of one of the men after the book, there are some great twists thrown in along the way that really meant I had no idea which direction the book was going to go in. It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat.
My only small complaint would be that, while paranormal energy within crytals and books seems pivotal to the plot, the explanations of these things were pretty vague and I didn't feel as though I really had a proper grasp on some of the fundamental concepts of this energy. It didn't really stop my understanding of the plot, but I think I would have liked more just simply so I could feel better immersed within their world.
Summary - A great start to a new series and I will defintely be checking out other books by this author. A very enjoyable read.