Merciless - Mary Burton Okay, so At the very least, I'd rate merciless as a 3 star read, at the most a 3.5 one.  There's one issue I had, that makes it impossible for me to go any higher, but I'll get to that later...First off, I'd classify Merciless as romantic SUSPENSE..the mystery was definitely the focus....there's still romance in the book, but not a regular romance novel amount in it...as far as sex scenes go, there is one, but its. Very short, and not graphic at all. And the romance, itself wasn't typical...in that it never really feels romantic...it's al very cut and dry....Ms Burton does a good job of getting the H & h (who more or less start off as adversaries), to become friends, but the romance relationship seems to just pop up, because it's 'supposed' to.This book starts off really well, and the suspense plot is built up very effectively.,.so much so that I kept wondering who the bad guy would turn out to be...so I was a little disappointed at how neatly, how pat the big reveal was... It wasn't bad per se, it just wasn't very satisfying either.And while it did take me a bit  to warm up to them, I did like both the main characters...mostly....well, I didn't hate them, that's good, right?this was my first book by MB...and , once I started reading,it Was obvious  that Merciless was the follow up to another of ms burton's titles...the plot of which was more then given away throughout the book...so IMO, it's not worth going back and reading it, as I now know how everything works out....Having said that I pretty much enjoyed the book, in particular the end where there's a bit more romance then the rest of the book...however  ( and this is total supposition) I get the impression that Ms Burton wants to move away from the romance genre altogether...I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years she'd switch to straight suspense.Now back my the reason why I can't give merciless more then 3 and a half stars....the book is set in my hometown of Alexandria, VA...and throughout the book I got the impression that while ms Burton may be an occasional visitor, she's really only familiar with the more well know parts of the city as well as a few sweeping generalizations about the area...as far as her descriptions go, it felt like her characters were as unfamiliar with the area as she was...and they're supposed to have lived here for years! So it was just a bit disconcerting to come across the poorly written setting amidst the rest of the mostly well written story, especially if you take her( MB's) bio into account...she's from central VA...a few hours south of Alexandria...she could have very easily come up and done better research....and the fact that she didn't, makes it hard not to be annoyed. In particular because she doesn't mention our metro system at all, which is a huge, huge part of life in this particular city, just 20 minutes south of D.C!Okay, minor rant over....really other then that one issue I had, which I can assume will bug you only if you're from the area, It's a pretty good book...not the best, but certainly able to tide you over til one of your auto buy/ must read authors releases something new :)