Hide From Evil
When I read Jane’s review of the first book in this series, Beg for Mercy, I immediately went out and bought it. Good romantic suspense is becoming an endangered species and I was excited to find someone new writing in the genre. With the holidays and my own review books to do I wasn’t able to actually pick it up till the end of last week. I am so, so glad I did. Halfway through I ordered book two. It did not disappoint.
The back blurb of this book – and consequently this review – contain a massive spoiler for Beg for Mercy. Just knowing who the hero is serves as a spoiler. I did my best to limit spoiling to that one point but if you are one who doesn’t like any kind of spoilers at all, I would recommend not reading beyond this point. If you don’t mind having just one aspect of the book spoiled for you, then it shouldn’t be a problem.
Sean Flynn is still struggling to adjust to life on the outside. Wrongly accused of brutally murdering a woman had him within weeks of death row. His sister’s determination to see his name cleared resulted in his freedom, and he knows that he is in many ways lucky. But the years inside and the failure of the justice system have made him leery of people and given him a case of cleithrophobia – a fear of being in enclosed spaces. Yearning for the outdoors and some much needed distance from his fellow man, he heads to the hills to refurbish his grandfather’s cabin. There he finds some much needed peace and a place to recover from the numbness he has lived in while awaiting death. His plan is simply to live and let live. It would have worked too if not for the meddling of Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Krista Slater.
An overachiever all her life, Krista believes in pursuing justice with a vengeance. It was that passion that helped her convict an innocent man of an unspeakable crime. Now that his conviction is overturned and the real killer has died during apprehension, she is determined to prosecute everyone that had anything to do with Sean’s conviction and hold them accountable. When her witnesses begin to die or disappear Krista decides to turn to the last man standing to determine just what is happening. Sean knows all the clear players and she can’t help feeling that somewhere in his subconscious is a secret that could blow the whole thing open. Cornering Sean in his cabin in the woods, she tries to get him to understand why it is so important that the state find out who was responsible for framing him. As the body count rises, it is clear these people are willing to stoop to unimaginable evil to keep their secrets.
With Krista bringing trouble to his doorstep Sean is forced to re-enter the nightmare world of dangerous criminals once more. It will take all the skills he learned in special forces to get them through this. As he fights for his life and the life of the annoying woman who dragged him into it all, Sean finds the icy shell he has kept himself locked in slowly beginning to crack. Yes, Krista is a ginormous pain in his backside. Yes, she has caused him endless trouble not once but twice now. But can this beautiful, fiery woman be his salvation as well as his curse?
What a fantastic read! Action and suspense crafted with a deft hand balance beautifully with the romance within the story. Sean is an absolutely marvelous hero – hot, talented, chivalrous, brave. He reminded me a bit of the SEALs in Suzanne Brockmann’s early books. The action felt similar in the best sort of way too, in that it was non-stop and well executed. You couldn’t help but feel for Sean, who keeps trying to leave the world of high stakes adventure and keeps getting sucked back in. He immediately mans up, though, showing he has all the stuff heroes are made of.
Krista is a bit more of a complicated character. I alternately liked and was annoyed by her chutzpah and no quitting attitude. After all that Sean had been through the first time, it seemed oddly selfish of her to drag him back into the mess and place him smack in the middle of the danger once more. On the flip side, the problem she was trying to resolve was huge and important. She found herself in the unique position of being one of only two people even remotely interested in bringing the perps to justice. Her dedication was admirable, if at times lacking compassion. She makes up for this as she falls for Sean and shows us she has a caring, intuitive side. Much to her surprise – and very much to his – she is good for him, able to bring him back from the dark places and provide needed fire to his natural reserve. Their romance is sexy, sweet and intense all at once. It’s a great combination.
There isn’t so much a mystery here – those of us who read book one know “who done it” and it is revealed early in this novel as well – but there is a tension as we try to figure out who is involved and how on earth Sean, Krista, and company will be able to bring it all to a head. It was good to see several of the villains getting theirs and figuring out that we maybe don’t know everything quite yet. I liked that equity – enough information was given to avoid frustration, enough was kept back to keep you guessing. Just right for this kind of story.
I would recommend this novel to any fan of romantic suspense. While it is a stand alone book, know that you probably won’t be able to read this one and then read the first. Too much is revealed here to leave surprises in book one. I would recommend reading both, in order. They are just that wonderful.