Forensics expert Brooke Porter has been working with Detective Sean Byrne for a while, and when a brutal case brings them closer together, her heart-pounding terror will only be quelled by a certain handsome heartthrob.
This 12th book in Griffin's Tracers series starts at the scene of a bloody, violent murder where Brooke gathers evidence that indicates a missing witness—a child who saw a woman murdered. In addition to finding the killer, she is also concerned with protecting this kid. As if that weren't enough to worry about, her ex is stalking her. It's only after she's shot at while protecting their witness that Brooke finally opens up to Sean, both physically and emotionally. Despite her protestations of not wanting a relationship and his of being patient, the romance unfolds as seamlessly as it can with a dangerous murderer on the loose. A second victim turns up more clues, and Brooke's insistence on helping with the investigation leads her and Sean to their only real argument. When she realizes that his motivation is her safety and not total control, her fears of falling into another relationship like her last are resolved. Ultimately, the best part of this well-paced thriller comes in the last 50 or so pages when the killer is revealed and the chase is on. It would be easy to fall into the helpless victim/heroic savior trope, but Griffin does a good job of turning those clichés on their sides. Brooke is as independent and stubborn as Sean is nurturing and sensitive.
Scorching-hot chemistry and a happily-ever-after-you'll enjoy rooting for, but readers put off by graphic violence might find that it's not for the faint of heart.