I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Edelweiss through Tasty Book Tours, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review.
In New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden’s latest novel featuring the Last Option Search Team (LOST), one agent is forced to face her past as she uncovers secrets about the man who may be the key to her future.
Criminal psychologist Dr. Sarah Jacobs is all too familiar with the kind of bad boys who belong behind bars. But the dark, dangerous man she meets in the New Orleans underworld is a new kind of ruthless, and all too irresistible.
Jax Fontaine doesn’t claim to be a good guy, but he’s loyal to his own code and brutally honest about what he wants. He and Sarah may be worlds apart, but when they’re skin to skin, nothing matters but the heat between them.
And when a deranged killer targets Sarah, Jax will do whatever it takes to keep her safe.
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“No judgment,” he murmured. “There’s no anger in your eyes, no rage or disgust at me for being a cold bastard. No pity for the kid I was who got beaten in a dirty alley and left to die.”
“Don’t be too sure you understand what I feel.”
“Why not? I actually think I understand you very, very well.”
Sarah backed up a step.
A faint smile curved his lips. “It was there from the first time I saw you. That instant connection. Doesn’t happen often. Actually, it’s never happened to me before. I looked up, saw you, and thought—”
Sarah pretty much ran for the door.
But he caught her. His hands wrapped around her and Jax pulled her back against his body. His hold wasn’t hard or rough. Oddly, it was infinitely tender.
“Do you know what I saw when I looked in your eyes?” he whispered into her ear.
Sarah shook her head.
“You were hurting. Trying to hide your pain, but I could still see it. I looked at you and thought—I never want her to hurt again.”
Tears stung her eyes. “You don’t know me. Or what I’ve done.” Jax thought his past was bad? It was nothing compared to hers. She still had nightmares that had her waking in the night, choking for breath, and begging for help.
Help that hadn’t come. Not in time.
“Tell me why you came to see me tonight, Sarah.”
She sucked in a quick breath and decided to go with the truth. “Because I didn’t want to lie in bed and be afraid. Because I didn’t want to think about the past or the future.” Because she’d felt that insane connection between them, too.
The first time she’d seen him, she’d looked into his eyes and thought—
He can handle all my darkness. He won’t ever be afraid of what I tell him.
Because his gaze had told her that he’d already looked into hell … and hadn’t given a damn about the demons there.
He turned her in his arms. She made herself look up and into his eyes. He was so warm and strong against her. And he made her … want. Yearn for things that she’d denied herself for so very long.
Because she hadn’t wanted anyone to get close. She hadn’t trusted anyone with all her secrets.
She didn’t trust him, either. She’d be a fool to do that. But—she did want him. And every instinct Sarah possessed screamed at her that Jax Fontaine could give her the sensual oblivion she craved.
A few hours to forget. A few hours to just pretend that I’m not the freak in the room. The monster that everyone else fears.
“What do you want from me?” Jax asked her.
Just a night. She’d be leaving New Orleans soon, flying out on a plane and heading back to her little house in the suburbs of Atlanta. They wouldn’t see each other again. So no one else would know about what happened tonight. Just her.
This is the third book in the series. While I do think this can be read as a standalone, I have read the previous two and enjoyed them, and I think it does make the characters more meaningful, so I highly suggest reading this series in order. As I have said before Cynthia Eden’s books are like crack for me. They are addictive, with a quick short high, that doesn’t last long, and leaves you scrambling for the next one, often with very little memory of that previous high. Fortunately for us readers, book crack is not in fact actual crack, and so we are free to indulge as we please and as often as we please.
LOST, Last Option Search Team, is a group that finds the missing. All the members have their demons, their secrets, for why they ended up where they are now. Dr. Jacobs secrets seemed to be darker, the way she can put her self into the minds of killers and the hints about her past, and that seeming couldn’t have been more true. I’ll admit though, I was kind of hoping she’d end up with guilt stricken good guy Wade, but this was so much better.
Jax Fontaine has secrets, secrets from those around him, and secrets even from himself. He’s dark, and edgy, and oft times brutal. But he can handle Sarah’s darkness. And from my perspective, he’s sexy and I could just eat him up. However, I am completely unsure who the hell that man on the cover is supposed to be, because it certainly isn’t Jax Fontaine,
So let me get the negatives out of the way first. For those who are bothered, this is sort of insta-love, or at least insta-lust. Granted it started in the previous book, but that only adds a couple of days to their relationship. It worked fine for me, but your mileage may vary. There was also a rather lackadaisical approach to birth control that I was less than pleased with. But that is my particular hot button, so again, YMMV.
But on to the good. This book was a roller coaster of twists and turns. Just absolutely dozens of twists and turns. By the end of it was completely shocked by who the villain turned out to be, and that doesn’t happen too often. I may not completely guess, but they are almost always on my radar. This one just hit me with several blind sides. The chemistry between the two main characters was smoking and sweet. We got just enough glimpses to be sure previous couples were still on the right path to their happily ever afters without it being so much that it overwhelms the current story, or that I think it would be intrusive to new readers. And like I said, the action and the mystery kept me absolutely riveted.
Eden’s romantic suspense don’t usually hit my re-read shelves, they just aren’t that compelling or deep. But they are always consistent and I devour them gleefully because she never lets me down. She’s probably also one of the more prolific writers on my must read list with over 60 titles between her paranormal and her romantic suspense lines, and I haven’t had a true dud yet. So for a book crack dealer, she’s always my best bet. Shattered is great addition for the addicted, and I can’t wait for Victoria and Wade’s respective stories.
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Award-winning author Cynthia Eden writes dark tales of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. She is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller. Cynthia is also a three-time finalist for the prestigious RITA® award. Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over fifty novels and novellas.
Cynthia lives along the Alabama Gulf Coast. She loves romance novels, horror movies, and chocolate. Her favorite hobbies including hiking in the mountains (searching for waterfalls) and spelunking.
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