Review: Sleep with the Lights On by Maggie Shayne ★★★★

Sleep with the Lights On by Maggie Shayne
Genre: Romantic Supsense/Mystery/Thriller
Series: Brown and De Luca #1
Publication Date: September 24th 2013
ISBN: 9780778315544
Page Count: 384
Rating: ★★★★
Review Copy: ARC
Excerpt: Here
Reviewed by: Lynsey
Synopsis: Through the eyes of a killer

Rachel de Luca has found incredible success writing self-help books. But her own blindness and the fact that her troubled brother has gone missing have convinced her that positive thinking is nothing but bull. Her cynicism wavers when a cornea transplant restores her sight. The new eyes seem to give her new life, until they prove too good to be true and she starts seeing terrifying visions of brutal murders crimes she soon learns are all too real.

Detective Mason Brown's own brother recently died, leaving behind a horrific secret. In atonement, Mason donated his brother's organs, though he's kept the fact quiet. Now he wants to help Rachel find her brother, but when he discovers the shocking connection between her visions and his own brother, he suddenly has to do everything in his power to save her from a predator who is somehow still hunting from beyond the grave.


Sleep with the lights on - and the door open! 

I really have only one complaint about this book so I'll just get that out of the way before I start: Fade-to-black sex scenes... Not cool, Shayne. Not cool. I had to sit with my eyes squeezed shut and use my imagination for a bit. Way to make me work for it. Sheesh...

But since that's the only thing I didn't like, I guess I can forgive you. The rewards were a gripping and cleverly written mystery, a slow-forming but deliciously complex romance, some fantastic, high-octane creepy scenes, a touch of paranormal, a smart-arsed protagonist (seriously, I have a total Girl Crush on Rachel), all finished up to a satisfying conclusion, though with some breadcrumbs left to lead us on to the next book.

Rachel de Luca has been blind since age 12. That hasn't stopped her writing a plethora of self-help books, however, all aimed at better living, thinking positive, being upbeat and perky... HA! Rachel was hilarious. She has this sugary-sweet public persona that she flips on whenever she's, well, in public, but in reality, around her close friends, she's the snarkiest, most acerbic, totally un-PC but completely fabulous character ever. She really made this book something special for me. With murders, emotional traumas and grief going on all around her, her tenacity and strength showed in the fact that she never lost that spunk. And the book was better for it. All good books need light and shade; Rachel was the light in SLEEP WITH THE LIGHTS ON.

Detective Mason Brown is brought into Rachel's orbit when he accidentally runs her over outside the police station, where she'd just reported her bother missing. Oops! Shortly after, his own brother dies and he decides to donate his organs. Who better to receive his corneas than the blind but utterly gorgeous and intriguing Rachel whom he'd just so rudely mowed down earlier that day. There's just one problem: It's not until after his brother's death that he discovers his brother was the very serial killer his police unit has been hunting these last several months, and he may have just given Rachel the eyes of her own brother's murderer. Unless they can find him.

This is just the beginning for our duo. The "touch of paranormal" I mentioned comes in the form of strange dreams and visions Rachel experiences after the surgery. Well, I say it's "paranormal," but the book actually made it sound like there might be some science behind it, or at least, some documented cases of transplant recipients reporting differences in things they like to eat, watch, read, etc. I confess, I haven't bothered to research further on it, but it was fascinating to see Shayne take it that step further in her writing.

As the story progresses, the visions escalate and, bizarrely, the murders haven't stopped. It really becomes quite the tangled web, all told, but Shayne untangles it expertly. I loved Detective Mason's conflict and turmoil. He really is a good guy just trying to do the right thing in crappy circumstances. I did get kind of annoyed with him at times when it *almost* seemed like he was accusing Rachel of knowing too much, when he of all people should know that's not the case. The cheeky bugger. I really liked him, though, and look forward to more of him in book two. Including in the bedroom!

4 Stars ★★★★
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. "she's the snarkiest, most acerbic, totally un-PC but completely fabulous character ever." <-- Definitely a character I want to meet!! :) Oh, Det. Brown sounds pretty great too. I like the premise and I suppose I could work with fantasizing my own conclusion to sex scenes, since that's your only gripe about the book. ;) LOL Thanks for a great review!

  2. By the way, I like the new header!

  3. Thank you Brandee! You're too kind :)

    And you've just reminded me I need to go request books 2 and 3 from Netgalley ('cause I don't have enough books from there already!)

  4. I was only going to read 2 or 3 chapters....I couldn't put it down read the entire book! The subject was so interesting n different. I loved the 2 main character n how they could read each other. I'm so happy that I found this book n I'm going to get the next t one now. I love Maggie Shayne!

    KRW Lawyers



Adrienne Basso (1) Aimee Carson (1) Alison Bliss (1) Alyssa Everett (1) Amanda Ronconi (1) Amanda Scott (2) Amanda Stevens (4) Amie Kaufman (1) Amy Butler Greenfield (1) Amy Jarecki (3) Angela Highland (1) Angela Quarles (1) Ann Agguire (2) Anna Cruise (1) Anthea Sharp (1) Ashlyn Macnamara (1) Auralee Wallace (1) Barbara Longley (2) Bec McMaster (2) Beth Revis (1) Bianca D’Arc (1) Brenda Hiatt (1) C. J. Barry (1) C.E. Murphy (10) Cara Lynn Shultz (1) Carolyn Crane (1) Carrie Vaughn (3) Cassandra Rose Clarke (2) Cate Rowan (1) Cathy Yardley (1) Cayla Kluver (1) Cecilia Robert (1) Cecily White (1) Cecy Robson (1) Charlaine Harris (1) Chloe Jacobs (1) Chloe Neill (4) Chris Cannon (1) Christine Feehan (1) Christine O'Neil (1) Christine Warren (1) Cindi Madsen (1) Colette Ballard (1) Colleen Hoover (3) Connie Mason (2) Cora Carmack (1) Cynthia Hand (2) D.L. McDermott (1) Danielle L. Jensen (1) Danielle Monsch (1) Darynda Jones (3) Deborah Harkness (1) Deirdre Dore (1) Delilah S. Dawson (2) Devon Monk (5) Diana Pharaoh Francis (4) Dianne Duvall (2) Elizabeth May (2) Elizabeth Norris (1) Eloisa James (2) Emily Murdoch (1) Emma Jane Holloway (1) Emma Pass (1) Erica Kiefer (1) Eve Silver (1) Gail Carriger (1) Gail Z. Martin (1) Gena Showalter (4) H. P. Mallory (8) Hannah Howell (1) Heather McCollum (4) Helen Boswell (1) Ilona Andrews (10) Isabel Cooper (1) J. C. Daniels (1) J. Lynn (1) J.D. Robb (13) J.R. Ward (1) JA Huss (2) Jaime McGuire (1) Jax Garren (2) Jay Kristoff (1) Jaye Wells (4) Jeaniene Frost (3) Jenn Bennett (3) Jennifer Ashley (1) Jennifer Bray-weber (1) Jennifer Estep (5) Jennifer L. Armentrout (1) Jessa Slade (2) Jesse Petersen (1) Jessi Kirby (1) Jessica Andersen (1) Jessica Sims (3) Jessica Sorenson (1) Jessica Spotswood (1) Jill Monroe (1) Jim Butcher (1) Jo Barrett (1) Jocelyn Drake (1) Jocelynn Drake (1) Jody Wallace (3) Jolie Wilkins (4) Julianne Maclean (1) Julie Kagawa (4) Juliet Blackwell (2) Juliet Marillier (1) Juliette Miller (2) Kait Ballenger (1) Kalayna Price (5) Karalynn Lee (1) Karen Chance (7) Karen Greco (1) Karen Lord (1) Karen Marie Moning (1) Karen Rose (1) Karina Halle (10) Kate SeRine (4) Katherine Owen (1) Katie MacAlister (1) Katie McGarry (3) Katja Millay (1) Kelley Armstrong (2) Kelly Creagh (1) Kelly Hunter (1) Kelly Meding (2) Keri Arthur (2) Kerrelyn Sparks (5) Kerri Lake (1) Kevin Hearne (6) Kim Harrison (6) Kimberly Derting (1) Kresley Cole (4) Krista Holle (1) kristen Ashley (2) Kristen Britain (1) Kristen Callihan (3) Kristin Cashore (2) Kristin Miller (1) Krystal Wade (3) L. Shannon (1) L.M. Augustine (1) Laini Taylor (1) Larissa Ione (2) Laura Wiess (1) Laura Wright (1) Laurell K. Hamilton (2) Lauren Layne (1) Lauren Oliver (1) Laurin Wittig (1) Leigh Bardugo (1) Leigh Evans (4) Lesley Young (2) Linda Poitevin (4) Lindsay J. Pryor (3) Lindsey Piper (2) Lisa M. Basso (1) Lisa Shearin (5) Liz Long (1) Lizzy Ford (1) Lynn Kerstan (1) Lynn Kurland (1) Maggie Shayne (3) Maggie Stiefvater (1) Maisey Yates (1) Margaret Mallory (3) Mari Mancusi (1) Maria V. Snyder (4) Marie Force (2) Marie Rutkoski (1) Marilyn Brant (1) Mary Behre (1) Maya Banks (4) Meagan Spooner (1) Melissa Landers (1) Meljean Brook (2) Mia Marlowe (1) Mia Marshall (5) Michele Sagara (3) Michelle Diener (2) Michelle Rowen (1) Michelle Sagara (1) Michelle Willingham (1) Moira Young (1) Molly Harper (4) Monica McCarty (5) Morgan Matson (1) Nalini Singh (2) Natasha Hoar (2) Nenia Campbell (2) Nicola Cornick (1) Nicole Peeler (1) Nina Berry (1) Nyrae Dawn (2) Olivia Hardin (1) Ophelia London (1) Pamela Palmer (6) Patricia Briggs (7) Paula Altenburg (1) Paula Quinn (1) Rachel Van Dyken (1) Rachel Vincent (1) Ranae Rose (1) Rebecca Ethington (1) Rebekah R. Ganiere (1) Richelle Mead (1) Robin D. Owens (1) Robin LaFevers (2) Ruth A. Casie (1) Ruth Silver (1) Ryann Kerekes (1) S.M. Reine (1) Samantha Young (2) Sarah Harian (1) Sarah J. Maas (3) Seanan McGuire (5) Seleste deLaney (1) Seressia Glass (2) Shannon Richard (1) Shiloh Walker (3) Skye Callahan (1) Sophie Littlefield (1) Stacey Kennedy (1) Stacia Kane (6) Stephanie Rowe (3) Susan Ee (1) Susan Krinard (1) Susannah Sandlin (1) Sutherland series (1) Suzanne Brockmann (1) Suzanne Collins (2) Suzanne Enoch (1) Suzanne Johnson (2) Sylvia Day (1) Tahereh Mafi (3) Tammara Webber (1) Terri Brisbin (1) Thea Harrison (2) Theresa Weir (1) Tonya Kuper (2) Tracey Martin (1) Veronica Roth (1) Victoria Scott (1)