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on 12 March 2013
4+ Stars. There was sooo much more to this book than the summary let on. It really was a slam-bang story. Although a couple of the twists the reader sees coming, they were handled well and exciting. The only really bad thing I have to say about the story is that it made me think of the last Lord of the Rings movie. You know where you thought it was going to end, then it kept going on several more times and scenes. That's what happened with this book. Just when I thought it was about to end, something else happened, and the story took another even creepier turn and kept on going.

Katherine Cole has been moved to New Orleans in the Witness Protection program after she found out her fiancé was a stone cold serial killer. She actually walked in on him when he was finishing up one of his murders. He escapes, and she is whisked away to a new life for her safety. When women start getting killed in New Orleans in the same fashion, she knows her fiancé, now known as the Valentine Killer, has found her. She decides to take a stand this time, and goes to the police with her information, hoping to help stop the killings. Katherine winds up being protected by, and working closely with the lead detective on the case, Dane Black. Eventually, being in such close quarters cause the inevitable romantic fireworks between the two.

This was a good story, elevated by some nice and unexpected plot twists. There were a few small things that kept it from being an outstanding read; (especially one of the reveals about the killer late in the book that didn't work well for me, and a couple of unprofessional and un-coplike actions by Dane); but all in all, it was a great read. There was one plot twist that I kept thinking was a `red herring' that didn't tie in to the case that wound up ratcheting up the action and taking the story to a whole new level.

I actually like Eden's RS better than I do her PNR; and that's saying a lot, because I'm crazy about her PNR. Recommended, good plotline and good romance. If you've never read Cynthia Eden, this is a good place to start.
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on 1 April 2013
So, I am not going to lie to you, this book is a little bit silly. It is scratch the paper small the cheese kinda silly. It was a little cliched, it moved at the speed of a freight train and I am not sure I got everything. It tried to be very smart and sometimes is fell flat on its face.
BUT, sometimes this book managed to get it right.

I have a hidden talent, I can smell plot twists coming from a mile away. Yet there were quite a few moments where this book managed to surprise me.

The truth is that despite the cheese, the clichés and the fall on my sword characters I found this book strangely intriguing and I struggled to put it down. Sure, it was overdone but I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Katherine and Dane were good characters (him more than her) but it was the Valentine killer himself that interested me. I found him bizarrely charming. There were a few to many characters and I felt this was written as though it was a movie instead of a book which made thins a smudge confusing as it was harder to remember everyone without seeing their face. But it was enjoyable and interesting. It is not my favourite crime novel but I liked it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 February 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Katelynn Crenshaw comes home early from work and finds her boyfriend and soon husband to be busily mutilating the body of a woman in their basement. Now having doubts about the upcoming wedding, she calls the police but her now ex-boyfriend, one Michael O'Rourke, escapes. It turns out this isn't the first time O'Rourke, now dubbed the Valentine Killer on account of him leaving red roses at the scene, has committed this particular crime. Thinking Crenshaw to be the next target, the police give her a new identity and she moves to New Orleans. Three years later however, her ex has found out her whereabouts and has started killing again.

The usual format in serial killer books then, but this is in the Montlake romance series, something of which I was unaware until it turned up. (Yes, I know I should have read the product details.) Not usually something I would read (Montlake that is), this did turn out to be no better than I imagined. Once I dismissed the romantic interludes between the now Katherine Cole and detective Dane Black, what was underneath was a run-of-the-mill crime/thriller involving a psycho continually referred to as Valentine, even though the FBI and local police know his name and what he looks like. Equally annoying is Eden's recurring use of a phrase, "A muscle jerked in his jaw". Along with repeating the expression, "I don't want any one else to die" ad nauseam, and plenty of single word sentences, it makes me wonder whether she had a word count to fulfil.

But what really grates is the portrayal of the New Orleans cops who come across as completely incompetent. Two are sent to keep an eye on Katherine, who enters her art studio on the main road. The lights don't go on so both uniforms go round the back of the building to see what's wrong. Sorry, but no. Being told they have less than an hour to save a potential victim, Black drags Cole into a room and they start kissing all over again. Really?

I don't know whether this is Eden's first foray into the genre, but this is a novel that you'll drive that well known horse and cart through in terms of working out what's going to happen and who is involved well before the finale. Now, having said that, that finale and its build up in the interrogation room is quite exciting; it's just what goes before that spoils it all. In fact, it's not very good at all.
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VINE VOICEon 23 April 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This was a first for me with this author but I have to say it will definately not be my last.

The story just sucked me in and once I had started reading this I didn't want to put it down. My reading has significally slowed in the last year but this only took me just over a day to get through.

The story was very well padded out, there was plenty happening, without it being too much, it was easy to keep on top of what was happening, who was who etc. There were just enough characters besides the two main ones, in it to keep it interesting.

For me, it wasn't just Katherine and Dane that kept this story interesting, it wasn't even the love story, it was everything. It just flowed really well and didn't seem to stall in anyway.
I would have loved there to have been more of a backstory on both the main characters, we found out what had happened to them in the past, but not alot was said about it so I would have just preferred more details and a more indepth history of them both.

Valentine was very creepy and a definate bad guy, to be honest, I would have loved more from this character. There wasn't a lot from his perspective and it would have made for interesting reading from his side.

The only real critcism I have for this was how quickly the love story developed. I didn't really understand how Katherine could go from not liking anyone touch her to suddenly liking it. From my thinking that's a pyschological thing and it doesn't get fixed that quickly and usually not without therapy. They ended up in bed together wayyyy too quickly, I get being attracted to someone but I thought the physical side of their relationship happened too soon.

Apart from that though I really enjoyed this one. I will definately be reading more from this author in the future. Great writing with a great storyline. I thoroughly enjoyed it and for anyone who loves this genre of books, then you should definately give this one a go.
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VINE VOICEon 4 February 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I had high expectations for this book and they were certainly fulfilled. A really enjoyable read and recommended for the reader who likes those twists and turns. A keep you guessing story right to the end --- just what I like!!
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on 15 February 2015
I don't want to die regretting that I didn't live - stars!

My first Cythia Eden book and it will not be my last.

Katherine Cole thought she was safe - relocated, changed her name through the help of witness protection - or so she thought....

Sitting in her regular cafe she hears the news on TV - 'her wrists & ankles tied with rope, duct tape over her mouth & stabbed directly in the heart. A single red rose found clutched tight in her hand".....
Katherine's heartbeat seemed to stop - A nightmare, maybe she was dreaming - she didn't want to live through this hell again.
Near 3 years ago Katherine came home early one day, saw blood in her kitchen & thought the worst that her fiance was badly hurt, she calls 911. Looking through the house for her fiance she enters the basement only to find that her fiance is unharmed but standing over a body he was hacking up.
He had vanished before the cops arrived & he was dubbed the Valentine's killer.

But now he's back, found her & hunting the one who got away - he told her "I'll never let you go"

Katherine has been hiding for the last three years & is tired of looking over her shoulder. She is stronger than before, calm, courageous & though scared by how close Valentine is getting she is more determined then ever to stop Valentine - whatever it takes.

She goes to the police station to see detective Dane Black - who was at the recent killing scene. After explaining a few things that she knows about Valentine to him he has his suspicions & after learning on who Katherine really is, Dane is set to get this case solved by any means possible.
Dane is a true cop and won't mix business with pleasure... but the attraction between them is instant & the pull towards Katherine is unstoppable. He knows all too well not to let his emotions get the better of him
"A woman that gorgeous would be deadly"
As the plot & story continues that bond between Katherine & Dane strengthens & Dane will do anything to protect Katherine.

Valentine is a tortuous man & you get to see what drives him. When he learns that Dane is protecting Katherine & sees the intensity growing between them he decides that playtime is over "I'm always watching"

The other characters are important & the way they are used & intertwined are essential to the plot.
I love the way you get all important characters POV it brings so much more to the story.

This book will have you gripped from the first chapter, a perfect balance of thrill, perplexity, & romance.
ARC generously provided via Netgalley, in exchange for the above honest review
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VINE VOICEon 11 April 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Thoroughly enjoyable read, if somewhat lightweight, with inventive ideas and a few twists along the way. The main characters were rewarding and made more believable by their use of language and the way they uncover the culprit for the murders, but it should be said that there's not much depth to them and virtually every conversation is there just to drive the plot forward. That said, it kept me entertained and I've subsequently let a couple of other people read it and they've enjoyed it too.
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VINE VOICEon 11 February 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
this is a very good fast paced novel.this is the first time that i have read one of her books before and it will not be the last i had it read in just under 3 days.i really liked it.
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VINE VOICEon 4 April 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a non stop thriller that consumed my thoughts and I couldn't put it down until the end. I was on the edge most of the time whilst reading it. The twists and plots were excellent. Cynthia Eden keeps you on the edge of your seat, just when you think the end is near something else happens. she does a great job joining plots together, then they don't tie up, but this is intentional.
Dane and Katherine are good developed characters, Dane is a tough detective and won't mix business with pleasure. he is determined to solve this case by any means possible. Katherin has been hiding for the past three years and is tired of looking over her shoulder. Dane and Katherine lived through some difficult times and when they let their guard down with one another then you can see how compatible they are. the romance in the book is appropriate for the story.
The Valentine Killer is a complex man. So you get to see what drives him. the other characters are very instramental to the plot. Cynthia does an excellent job of using them to throw us off the scent but keeps us on our guard.

If you like karen Rose or Karen Slaughter then you will really love this book, it will keep you looking over your shoulder, thoroughly recommend it excellent reading.
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on 21 February 2015
This is the first book I've read by Cynthia Eden and I really enjoyed it. There was the right amount of suspense and twists and turns and it kept me focused throughout.

The story was fast paced and made me positively question the development of the storyline as you try to figure out who the guilty parties are. The characters were intriguing especially Katherine as you wonder if she really does have anything to do with Valentine's latest kills or is Detective Dane Black correct in his assumption that she is innocent?

I love anything to do with crime profiling so this aspect to the story fascinated me as together you try to figure out the crime scenes and behaviour of the key players.

Valentine was particularly intriguing, especially the way he spoke and how he managed to tie the police in knots time after time.

All in all a great read with a cleverly written and thought out plot. For me the ending ran out of steam a bit with the exception of the ultimate focus and I found myself losing interest but despite that it was still an enjoyable story.

Copy provided by Netgalley and the author in return for an honest review.

Reviewed on behalf of Jezabell Girl & Friends...
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