If you love romantic thrillers, check out this awesome series by Marie Force. Nine titles are already out in ebook, but only the first two have been released in print so far (Book 3 Fatal Consequences and Book 4 Fatal Flaw hit shelves June 2015).
FATAL AFFAIR (BOOK 1)
The series begins with the death of a US Senator. DS Sam Holland, just coming off a tragic assignment that jeopardized her career, is assigned to the case. The man who discovered the body is Nick Cappuano, the Senator’s Chief of Staff, and also the man with whom Sam had spent a memorable evening with years earlier. Their sexual chemistry is still off the charts, and Sam learns that what she’d perceived then as Nick’s loss of interest was actually the result of scheming by her controlling roommate and now ex-husband to keep them apart.
The mystery about the Senator’s killer is interesting, but it’s the chemistry between the leads that really propels this book forward. I love their bantering, and I especially love how they both respect each other’s boundaries given their respective careers. Nick sometimes tries to be alpha male and protective of Sam, but in this context, Sam is a trained police officer and Nick is a civilian, so she naturally pushes him out of harm’s way and is the one to chase after the bad guys. I love that, and while Nick at times has trouble accepting it, I love that he makes the effort.
I also really like the cast of secondary characters. Sam’s father in particular provides a rich story arc for the series, a former police chief who had been paralyzed by an unknown assailant while on the line of duty. Boyishly handsome straight-laced Catholic Freddie, Sam’s eager young partner, is probably my favourite — I love his mentor-mentee relationship with Sam, and I especially love seeing him get all flustered when one of the leads they have to interview turns out to be a beautiful woman heavily into kink.
This print edition also includes the novella One Night with You, which is about Nick and Sam’s first meeting and fateful night together. The chemistry in this was sizzling, and I felt bad thinking about how they would then be kept apart for years afterwards.
FATAL JUSTICE (BOOK 2)
In the second book a highly controversial Supreme Court nominee is killed. Sam has been promoted to Lieutenant, Nick is now a US Senator, and their relationship is in the media spotlight, which means that both are even more embroiled in this case than in the previous.
I found the mystery in this book more compelling — the victim had family issues that added some interesting angles to the investigation. Sam and Nick’s relationship deepens, and despite some snags where one tries to keep some information from the other for whatever reason, I love the overall openness of their communication. Finally, Freddie gets his own romantic subplot, which I found very sweet and that I look forward to reading more about later on.
Overall, these are a promising beginning to the series. The author gives us enough of the characters’ lives beyond the mysteries to make them feel real, yet never meanders too far off course. The chemistry between the characters is fantastic, and I’m sure it will continue to propel the series forward.
More titles are available in ebook format, but if you prefer print and are willing to wait a bit, print versions will be rolling out later in the year.
Thanks to Harlequin Books for a copy of these books in exchange for an honest review.