Friday, August 18, 2017

Before the Dawn

*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review, all thoughts are my own. This post contains affiliate links as well.*

If you know me at all you know my weakness is romance novels. I can't help myself, I absolutely love them. If you have romance novels with a little crime drama? EVEN BETTER. So as soon as I saw this one come up on my review list I couldn't sign up fast enough and I am so glad I did.

Ex-SEAL Tucker Frost knows that the world is full of evil. He saw it in the face of his own brother, Jason Frost, a cold, methodical, sadistic killer. A killer Tucker put down with his own hands in order to save Jason's final victim--Dawn Alexander, the only girl who got away from the infamous "Iceman." 

It's Tucker's up close and personal experience with evil that's made him perfect for Samantha Dark's experimental profiling division in the FBI. And when women start turning up murdered with the same MO used by the Iceman, Tucker is sent back to Louisiana to investigate. 

Seven years have passed since the night that Tucker faced down his brother...and since he last saw Dawn, his one-time lover. But as Tucker and Dawn grapple with a desire that never died, they must also face the shared shadow from their pasts. Both have the same question--has Jason Frost come back from the dead to hunt again? And this time, will he succeed in killing the victim who got away?

Normally when I read a book for review, it's done in my living room on my favorite chair, with snacks and my ice water next to me, feet propped up and it's a whole thing. When we left on our Florida trip I was packing some books and I just grabbed this one off my review shelf thinking I probably wouldn't get to it but maybe. Turns out, I read this on our drive back home from Florida to Wisconsin and it was so worth it. I also should confess I did not read the first book (this is book two in the Killer Instinct series) and it's totally fine. I actually had no idea that there was a first book so this is 100% a stand alone title. Secondly, this is my first (gasp!) book by Cynthia Eden and I would put her right up there with Karen Robards and Linda Howard, which are two of my favorite authors. She really nailed this story. 

We have Tucker, who is now an FBI agent but formerly a SEAL. He also is Jason Frost's brother, which puts him on a special team comprised of people who have had close/intimate contact with serial killers because of their unique perspective. Jason was the Iceman and has a plethora of victims, all frozen to death but not before he sliced them methodically. 

Enter Dawn. Dawn was the last victim of the Iceman, but the only one to have gotten away. Her and Tucker were romantically involved but after Jason attacked her, that relationship obviously went to the wayside. Seven years have gone by and both Tucker and Dawn have gone on to make lives for themselves. But when it looks like the Iceman killer is making a comeback, it brings the FBI (and Tucker) down to Louisiana, and Dawn finds herself in danger.. again. Cue all the romantic feelings that never went away, and amazing crime drama, and lots of suspense. 

(Also? The reveal of the killer? SO GOOD.) 

I flew through this book, I absolutely loved it. I really felt terrible for Tucker because his entire life was ruined because of a crappy childhood and a serial killer brother. Sure, he's made a name for himself but still, the whole nature versus nurture thing nags at him and he worries that the same darkness inside of his brother is inside of him. I was kind of on the fence with Dawn because she seems a bit unreasonable, and I KNOW she's a victim and that changes who you are but... I feel like she never gave Tucker a real chance. I mean, they come together in this book but the major hangup for her is that Tucker looks similar to his brother and that's hard for her. Rightfully so. I get that. I just wish she had done a better job at working on that versus avoiding it. 

Anyways. I'm honestly giving this book 5 stars. I know, I don't do that much but when a book makes me wish there was more story, or I want to hurry and buy all of the author's books? I have to give it 5 stars. Truly. This is one I would easily buy for friends in a gift, I'd recommend it if someone is looking for a good read, it's one I'll read again. I really, really enjoyed it. 

If you're like me and like to keep up with great authors, I invite you to catch up with Cynthia Eden on her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter! And if you want your chance at a $25 gift card to celebrate the launch of Before the Dawn, click HERE

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