This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Mystery Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Berkley
Released on November 26, 2019
Two boys flee a horrific situation while a dark killer who has been targeting the filth of the community must set his sights on eliminating a loose end. Taunt with with suspense and sizzling with romance, Into the Dark welcomed me back to Karen Rose’s world writhing with the evil humans can do and the finest human heroes working to bring them down. Into the Dark promised much with Dani and Diesel’s long-awaited story and it delivered in spades.
Into the Dark is the fifth of the Cincinnati series and #23 of the author’s overall romantic suspense series. While this offers a standalone suspense plot, the book doesn’t standalone well with the ongoing character and romance plot as its other main focus.
Michael Rowland has been terrorized and abused in his own home for some time, but one night, his sleazy step-dad goes after his five year old brother and Michael moves heaven and earth to get Joshua to safety. Their flight deters one situation, but forces Michael to witness a murder. At the coaxing of young Josh, Michael places his trust in Josh’s soccer coach, Diesel Kennedy, and Michael’s high school friend Greg’s sister, Dr. Dani Novak. He is hearing impaired, but he is determined to keep his brother safe and keep them together no matter what. Coach and Dr. Dani are the first people in his life to give whole-heartedly and care for him as much as Joshua. But a killer is out there who knows Michael saw him that night and he’s still killing even as he hunts down all his loose ends.
Diesel, ex Army Ranger, wounded vet, and seriously gifted computer whiz has been yearning with unrequited love for Dani Novak since the day he saw her. He’s even saved her life and the lives of her friends. He’s adopted into the same large group of friends and family she shares, but after spouting the excuse that she’s HIV positive and they can’t work, she has kept her distance. Diesel is patient and he sees the same yearning in her eyes that fills his own. He will wait to prove her excuse is just that. Meanwhile, he will stand strong beside her to protect two boys who deserve a real chance at life and family.
Dani has pushed Diesel away and told him it won’t work once, but her cold, detachment is wearing brittle thin especially when she sees the wonderful man he is up close and his loving patients when she has given him no hope. Diesel is also ready with his mad computer and other skills to bring down the killer and anything else that would harm her or the boys. His deep, generous protective heart is winning her over even when she fights to keep him at bay because she knows deep down she is undeserving of such a wonderful man.
Cade set out to do right by the abused and exploited kids and women in his own way which involves a lot of pain for his victims that he gets off on, but now one teenager might be the reason he gets caught unless he gets to Michael Rowland first.
And, then there is Grant an accountant for Cleveland following the confusing trail his missing brother left behind taking him to Cincinnati and the trail of conflicting clues and bodies to an answer.
Into the Dark is a well set up and developed thriller romance like all the books in the series before it. The author introduces the reader to the world of the deaf and to those who live life HIV positive added to child abuse and human trafficking. These are always a little longer in page count, but I love that it gives the author room to develop all components of the book deeply. There is no skimping on character, relationships, criminal mind and actions, police procedure, detective work, some twists, and followed by intense pay off scenes. It’s the whole package.
I hesitated to read this right away because it was Diesel and Dani’s story and I was most taken with Diesel as soon as he was introduced just as I’ve always had a soft spot for sweet Dani who has had be oh so strong. I just wanted to relish having their story still to read even while a tidbit worried that it wouldn’t meet my overly expectant anticipation. But, it did in spades. In fact, much of the focus of the book was on them and the Rowland boys. Such a fabulous story that left my eyes burning with tears of sad or happy a few times.
So, all in all, it was an amazing reading experience. If you crave a fab thriller romance, I can’t recommend the Cincinnati series enough.
My thanks to Berkley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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