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Editorial Note – I was given a copy of Kat Martin’s The Conspiracy in return for a review.
The Conspiracy by Kat Martin is the first romantic suspense novel I’ve read. The suspense is intriguing and you can read this one in a sitting. But I had issues with the “romance” aspect.
The story follows Harper Winston who is looking for her missing brother. Michael went to sail the Caribbean, but he hasn’t responded to texts or emails in days. When even the Coast Guard can’t find him, Harper goes to Chase Garrett, once her brother’s best friend. As the owner of Maximum Security, he knows Harper’s father is mixed up in a deadly business, and suspects there’s more to Michael’s disappearance than meets the eye. As the case draws him closer to Harper and deeper into the Winstons’ crime family, he is forced to put everything on the line to keep Harper safe…and both of them alive.
I liked the suspense aspect and it was interesting regarding why Michael went missing and the shadiness behind Harper’s father’s business. Much of this felt more like an adventure story, especially when Chase, Harper and some other men eventually go to Colombia to find Michael. All of that intrigue was entertaining.
But the romance? So, let me first say, I haven’t read much in the romance genre. I had an idea what to expect (love story and steaminess factor) but not much else. When it comes to this one, I wasn’t on board with the romance aspect. Obviously, Chase and Harper are going to be love interests but I was not a fan of Chase’s old-fashioned macho attitude about Harper. He’s very much a “his way” kind of guy and multiple times he’ll proclaim that Harper is “his” and at one point, tells her “you’re mine. You know it and so do I.” Um, what? Sorry, a woman is not a man’s possession; it’s an equal partnership, bro. I will say, Harper at times, holds her own, and then other times, is super insecure if a guy like Chase would be interested in her. Ugh.
Bottom line: a fairly interesting suspense with a dated romance. We don’t need any more male characters with macho attitudes.
Let’s get into the book club questions.
- Why do you think Harper went to Chase to help find Michael? Why did she trust him so much?
- Why did Chase agree to take on the case? Why do you think Harper was so insistent on going with him to find Michael?
- At first, what did you think happened to Michael? Were you surprised he was still alive?
- What did you think about the attraction between Chase and Harper? Did you like that aspect? Did you buy their romance? Why or why not?
- What did you think about the adventure setting when Chase, Harper and company go to Colombia to save Michael and Pia?
- Why couldn’t Chase tell Harper about the FBI looking into her dad? Why do you think he mislead her like that? Would you have forgiven him if you were Harper?
- Did you like Chase? Why or why not?
- Did you think that Harper had a solid character arc and development? Why or why not?
- What did you think about the reveal that Michael is actually Chase’s brother?
- So in the end, the heroes win and Harper’s dad will go to jail for at least 10 years. Was justice served?
- What did you think about Chase and Harper getting married?
- The is the first book in a series. Will you read the next one?
Additional reads for your book club
Here are two suspense recommendations and one romance your book club must read. (Click the titles or photos to purchase from Amazon.)
The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger is an international thriller that will keep you guessing until the end. At the heart of the story are women who become their own heroes. Check out my book club questions here.