by Cynthia Eden
Published: November 12, 2013, Montlake Romance
My rating: 5 of 5 ⭐️
When US Marshall, Anthony Ross, hears the Bayou Butcher has escaped from jail, his first thought is of Lauren Chandler. The Baton Rouge DA had been as instrumental as he himself had been in bringing down the serial killer just five years ago. But Jon Walker had had one last thing to say before he was taken off to serve his consecutive life's sentences, when he made Lauren a promise he would make her pay. Anthony's gut told him he needed to get to Lauren first.
Lauren has spent most of her adult life bringing monsters like Jon Walker to justice. Much of that has to do with some unresolved issues from her past. It also keeps her mostly to herself, at least it did until her affair with Anthony five years ago. He left and never looked back, leaving her devastated. Finding him in front of her again, obviously concerned with her safety and determined to put the Bayou butcher away for good this time, shakes her to the core. Finding the body of her best friend and learning of Walker's escape, have already decimated her resilience and she can't help but be drawn to the security Anthony offers.
Afraid of his absolute consumption with Lauren to the point of distracting him from his job, Anthony had walked away five years ago, hoping she would have a chance to move on and be happy. It was obvious that she had done no such thing and now that her safety was in constant jeopardy, he was not planning on leaving her side again. But keeping her from harm was proving to be a difficult task, when at every turn they are confronted with more bodies.
Despite the combined efforts of the US Marshall's office, the FBI and the local police force, it seems the killer remains one step ahead at all times. That is something Anthony and Lauren have their suspicions about.......
An AMAZING thrill-ride!!!
Such unexpected twists in this plot and some seriously disturbed individuals!! But also a scrumptious, protective, slightly damaged US Marshall, and a kick-ass, focused but fragile District Attorney, who create delicious friction and heat!
From the very first page of the book, I was perched on the edge of my seat and I didn't stop reading till I was done.....literally. Engrossed, is an appropriate term to describe my condition.....so much so, I barely registered the plate of French Fries my hubby planted on my lap. That kind of complete abandon in a book does not happen often. It did here, and that is why I am giving it five glowing stars.
Their background for both Lauren and Anthony, was what held them back when they had been lovers previously. Lauren always determined to keep her focus on bringing down the criminals, would run hot in bed, but pull up a shield at any other time. Not afraid to show physical need, but too scared to out herself out there emotionally. That didn't mean she wasn't feeling it, she was simply not conveying it.
For Anthony, the intensity of his feelings for Lauren were a deterrent. His image of what love should be was a much lighter one than what he experienced being with her. It frankly scared him and it sent him running the first time around. This time he was going to stick, he had no intention of walking away again and was determined to show Lauren, while trying not to scare her off.
Without giving too much away, I will tell you this about the Bayou Butcher.......He is one disturbed individual!! Or is he??
Great thriller and love story, beautifully balanced into a fabulous book!!!
✨A taunting, hair-raising, yet seductive tale of obsession!✨
**ARC provided by NetGalley and Montlake Romance in return for an honest review.**