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Tainted was an engrossing read, a story that really creeped me out in many ways.

As a mother I found the book to be somewhat disturbing and it left me unsettled (and very thankful I no longer have to date). I think I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if a child had not been involved. The whole situation made my skin crawl and I wanted to slap Holly and tell her to snap out of it.

The main character, Holly, was a bit of a push over, sometimes a complete sissy with no backbone. Her personality shows signs of an inexperienced woman and an abused woman all at once especially when she chooses to ignore red flags about Jack and even lets him get away with some awful things. I hate women that are so blinded by love they let men get away with anything and when a child is involved...well that's even worse.

So even though the book was well written I found myself hating Holly and really disliking the whole story because of the situation.
I did find that the other characters of the book were believable and realistic from Katy the daughter to Billy the deadbeat dad even Henry the cranky grandfather was a well rounded character that added to making this book more believable.
Then there’s Jack- gorgeous, charming, British, dark and mysterious…the classic want him- shouldn’t have him, scary type of guy that even smart women fall for. But what expense will Holly have to pay for falling for Jack? Why can't she realize he's hiding something ?
The one thing I can say good about this book is the suspense drove me to keep turning the page. I had to find out exactly what Jack was hiding - even though part of me was afraid to find out. Dark and suspenseful this book made an interesting read though not something I would normally choose.

Book Blurb for Tainted

In a dazzling tour de force of suspenseful storytelling, first-time novelist Brooke Morgan ingeniously peels away layers of artifice and deception to reveal the fears and uncertainties that live in the hearts of us all.

Holly Barrett first saw Jack Dane early one morning—tall, tan, and so heartbreakingly handsome he took her breath away. He also seemed like the last person to disrupt her quiet, uneventful days with her sensitive daughter, Katy. But the charming, enigmatic Englishman has blown into her small Cape Cod town like a brisk summer wind off the bay.

He sweeps Holly off her feet, and is soon touching the lives of everyone she deeply cares about. But is Jack the considerate, concerned gentleman he appears to be—or is there a very different creature lurking below the surface? Has a monster entered her life . . . and how far will Holly have to go to save the person she loves more than anyone else in the world?

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2010 3.25