Author: Jenna Ryan
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: November 6, 2007
TWELVE NIGHTS AND COUNTING DOWN TO CHRISTMAS
Every Christmas the threats started again. They came delivered in red greeting cards, and this year Romana was forced to take them seriously. Even if it meant turning to Jacob Knight—the sexy detective she'd always kept at arm's length. After seven years, he was bigger, stronger and more man than she was prepared for. His dark past endangered Romana—but only his arms could provide protection from the convicted killer bent on exacting revenge. And as the nights grew longer and more difficult, their passions threatened to erupt—and expose them to dangers as irresistible as they were reckless.
Six years ago, Warren Critch, accosted homicide detective Jacob Knight in a darkened Cincinnati alley, holding him at gunpoint and accusing him of wanting to kill his wife, Belinda Critch, a sexy, flirty, body-fluid-removal expert, was murdered. Rookie cop, Romana Grey, disarmed and arrested Critch, saving Knight's life.
Two days later, Belinda Critch was found shot in her apartment.
Now, Critch is out of prison and bent on revenge. He wants both Romana, now a criminology professor, and Jacob, still a Detective, to pay for his wife's death with their own lives.
Jacob and Romana form a reluctant partnership to try to find Critch before he finds them, and uncover the truth behind Belinda's murders. As Critch moves closer, the clues and suspects keep piling up, and soon Critch isn't the only danger on Cincinnati streets. The murdered would do anything to keep his identity secret.
This book had it all. Edge-of-the-seat suspense, dark secrets and even darker pasts, contradictory clues pointing from one suspect to the next, keeping the reader guessing, great chemistry between Jacob and Romana, and even greater sparkage. Ooh, boy.
Most of HQ Intrigue stories tend to focuse more on the suspense plot and a little less on romance...And even that little romance there is, is lukewarm at best, with no chemistry, no sparks, and no tension.
Well, Ms. Ryan proves herself to be the exception to that rule, because she once again incorporated a great, scorching hot romance story into the greater suspense plot. Incorporated it so well, it tangles nicely with the mystery, never letting up, but still never slowing the pace down. It just simply fits.
The characterization was wonderful, with realistically flawed characters, wonderfully snarky dialogs (loved Romana in this one), and so many sideline stories that it could be confusing if they weren't so well tangled into the main storyline.
The clues as to whodunnit were numerous, pointing in different directions at once, offering multiple suspects, discarding others, bringing up new ones, even knotted enough to, from time to time, point at the hero, making everybody wonder just what in the blazes did happen that night six years ago.
A definite keeper!