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Dead No More by L.R. Nicolello

Posted in Contemporary Romance/ Mystery/Crime/ Reviews/ Romantic Suspense 27th March 2015
Dead No More by L.R. NicolelloDead No More by L.R. Nicolello
Published by Harlequin on January 1st 1970
Pages: 394
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three-stars

Lily Andrews was once the most sought-after undercover operative at Unit 67, a black ops agency buried deep within the US Intelligence community. But then her partner—and fiancé—turned rogue, leaving her for dead after a mission gone horribly wrong. Disgusted with 67's attempt to cover up Jackson's traitorous actions, Lily walked away from everything she knew and loved…and swore she'd hunt her ex down on her own and bring him to justice.
When the handsome, undeniably alpha Derek Moretti needs her help to pursue a ruthless sociopath who is putting advanced weaponry into the hands of terrorists, Lily sees her chance to return to 67 with her pride intact. She didn't realize how much she'd missed the adrenaline rush of being undercover—or maybe that's the heat that races through her whenever Derek is near. But soon Lily will have to choose between the vengeance she craves and the country she's sworn to protect. And with the clock ticking down on a nuclear catastrophe, she knows that this time, if she's trusted the wrong man, she won't live to regret it…

Derek Moretti meets his match in this story, where his smooth insertion into a messy government conspiracy-type plot isn’t what he’s expecting. Enter Lily Andrews, the jaded top agent of Unit 67 who’s flailing in the wind after a devastating betrayal nearly a year ago by her ex-fiancé, who he’s supposed to work with. But from the get go, nothing is as it seems and their attraction to each other only complicates matters.

I found this book more disappointing than the first, in spite of the positive reviews it has garnered. L.R. Nicolello’s writing is distinctive and smooth without the extraneous glitter that can typically be found in many authors’ attempts at waxing lyrical. It’s also complicated (and interesting) enough, plot-wise to keep a reader’s interest for a whole 300 pages.

My only issue’s with the characters, especially Lily Andrews who is almost too perfect and sculpted like a Mary Sue – and consequently, not that likeable or relatable. I also found too little differentiation between Derek and Marcus, the former of whom appeared in ‘Dead don’t lie’ and I struggled to tell them apart at times if not for their names. Yes, they’re kind, compassionate, with a very alpha, yet grounding presence and I love them for that – yet they could be twins for all I know.

three-stars

Dead Don’t Lie by L.R. Nicolello

Posted in Contemporary Romance/ Mystery/Crime/ Reviews/ Romantic Suspense 15th March 2015
Dead Don’t Lie by L.R. NicolelloDead Don't Lie by L.R. Nicolello
Published by Harlequin E-HQN on August 1st 2014
Pages: 384
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four-stars


You can run from the past…but you can never truly hide…

Detective Evelyn Davis delves deep into the minds of monsters for a living. She's the best psychological profiler in the Seattle P.D., with a talent that comes from heartbreaking experience. When Evelyn was just eighteen, she received word of her family's murder in the form of a horrifying video. Fifteen years later, tracking down other psychopaths is the only thing that brings her some peace.
But now two local families have been wiped out. Though the chilling crime scenes suggest murder-suicides, Evelyn believes a serial killer is at work. So does Special Agent Marcus Moretti, whose easy charm and fiercely protective instincts are breaking down all her defenses. Evelyn needs to put aside her emotional attachment to find the madman stalking her city—but with each discovery, this case becomes more personal. She's starting to suspect the killer wants her—and he is edging closer with every step, ready to make Evelyn pay a devastating price….

A pretty good read and a surprisingly engaging one from L.R. Nicolello about a model-turned-detective when her dream on the catwalks of Milan falls apart 15 years ago. With her family murdered, all Evelyn has in her life is her partner and her partner’s family to lean on, and her cases to work for as she fights for justice and closure for them. The strange family-slayings however, soon start again and she has every reason to believe, along with FBI Special Agent Marcus Moretti, that this time, she’s in the killer’s crosshairs.

The suspense and the unusual nature of the crimes certainly drew me in and accounted for a very sleepless night (not from nightmares but because I wanted to get through the books) and I definitely liked how Evelyn coped (or at least tried) with the hellish time in between the family slayings. She’s strong, likeable and yet vulnerable, although her catwalk past seems to conveniently give her a beauty that seems out of place in the gritty world of law enforcement; in fact, I immediately thought of Castle’s Kate Beckett the further in I got into the book. Her growing relationship with Marcus Moretti thankfully lacked juvenile exploits and the maturity of writing lent them both credibility and believability. The only issue I had was the motive for murder, that seemed rather far-fetched after all the buildup, but it was enough to keep me reading until the last page.

four-stars
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