Read with: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Deadly, Book 1
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hero: Luke Dante
Heroine: Monica Davenport
Date of Publication: August 1, 2010
Started On: March 4, 2011
Finished On: March 5, 2011
Wow! What an intense, suspenseful, edge-of-the seat ride was that! And I loved every minute of it. Cynthia Eden’s Deadly Fear has been sitting prettily in my TBR pile for ages now and right now I am kicking myself for being so slow in becoming a fan of the Deadly series which has earned quite a lot of rave reviews during the short span of time that has passed since the debut of the series, which happens to be this book. Being my first Cynthia Eden, I am definitely joining the throng of the millions of fans she must have acquired if the way this one reeled me in and glued me to the pages which required my sheer force of will to leave the book aside for anything else is any indication of how the rest of the series is going to turn out.
Deadly Fear is the story of Special Agent Luke Dante who joins the Serial Services Division (SSD), the only unit in the FBI that is solely dedicated towards tracking and trapping serials. Keith Hyde, the agent in charge is the brains behind the unit and has handpicked each and every member of the team. Luke Dante was offered the job because of his ability to hone in on the victims, because of his ability to empathize and glean useful information in their darkest hours which is essential in any serial crime investigation. Tall and well muscled with bright emerald eyes and sun streaked blond hair with a dimple in his chin, Luke demanded my whole attention as he made a memorable entry into the story. Luke has a protective streak a mile wide and can never stand it if a woman is hurting on his watch; the remnant effects of witnessing the murder of his own mother.
Special Agent Monica Davenport known as Ice amongst her colleagues is already a legend in being one of the best profilers, one who has a reputation of getting inside the serial’s head, to think like they do and bring them down. Monica has a painful past that she keeps well hidden from the rest of her team and the rest of the world apart from Keith who gave her the chance to become what she is today. The only chink in her armor of ice is Luke who Keith insists on bringing in as their newest member regardless of her misgivings and protests. Six years back, Monica and Luke had shared nights of intense passion from which Monica had walked away as she fears that no one would be able to love her after learning about her less than ideal past.
SSD’s newest case comes from the small town of Jasper in the South where a serial has emerged who attacks women in their twenties and early thirties, focuses on what scares them the most and gives them a taste of their worst nightmare as the last thing they experience before leaving this world. From the minute Monica and Luke sets foot in Jasper, memories that Monica has been keeping at bay for a long time break out onto the surface as the killer taunts her with bits and pieces from her past, trying to find out what it is that Monica fears the most.
As the body count continues to rise, Monica and Luke home in on clues that lead them towards a devious killer who might be too close for comfort than either of them ever thought possible. A killer who has no intention of giving up till he has completed what he has set out to do, to become a legend in the world of serials, to wreak havoc on a small town where everyone knows the other and to destroy his victims with what they fear the most.
Cynthia Eden spins a tale that is hard to put down, where the scenes come alive right in front of your eyes, where the intense and hot passion between Luke and Monica sets the pages afire. Coupled with edge of the seat suspense that felt at times as if I were watching an episode of the Criminal Minds where its always a race against a ticking clock, Deadly Fear gives the reader every single thing they would want in a romantic suspense novel. I have heard that her books are similar to that of Karen Rose’s, and I will tend to agree to a certain extent. Yes, her villains leave you with the heebie-jeebies, but that’s where the similarity ends. Because with Karen Rose’s books, the romance and passion takes a back seat whilst the suspense keeps piling keeping you on the edge, but in Cynthia Eden’s stories, she delivers on all fronts making her one of my favorite romantic suspense authors even with this one book.
Right now I am on a mission to acquire the rest of her books in the Deadly series, books 2 and 3 which have already come out.
I recommend this title to those who love edge of the seat suspense combined with red hot passion that will leave you breathless and wanting more. Luke and Monica certainly did that and more for me throughout this very well done romantic suspense novel.
Things that worked for me:
1- Cynthia Eden’s ability to creep you out one second and then totally make you get lost in the heady passion between her characters the next minute. It is a testament to her writing ability that she is able to pull off both in such a fast paced read without leaving the reader feeling as if he/she has been cheated out of an important aspect of the novel. Just loved how the story rolled out.
2- Luke Dante of course. Who wouldn’t love a man who in all his glory is so focused on the one woman who is made for him? I am definitely a sucker for Luke’s type and fell in love with him from his very first entrance into the story. His protective nature is one of his most endearing qualities and it doesn’t come off as the suffocating type of protectiveness which was the best thing about him.
3- Monica Davenport. Her character is an intense mixture of brokenness and strength that left me in awe. What Monica was subjected to would have broken down a lesser woman and it is how she battles with her inner demons and comes out winning that makes me root for her big time. Her vulnerability which only Keith and Luke can see, makes her more determined than ever to push Luke away, but in the end, even Monica is not strong enough to push away from the lure of comfort, love and loyalty that is part of the package that Luke offers now and forever.
4- The villain who lent everything of the edge of the seat suspense material to this story. He made my heart race and fear for what might happen next, leaving me impatient to find out just what it is that drives his insanity. Definitely comes out winning in the heinous villain department.
I leave you with a tantalizing glimpse into the raw and combustive passion between Luke and Monica which Monica tries so hard to deny but in the end has no choice but to surrender to as Luke pulls no punches to win the affections of the woman who owns his heart, now and forever.
Monica’s fingers rose, hovered over his shoulders.
To push him away or to pull him closer?
“Damn you, Dante.” she muttered as her hands locked over him – then hauled him closer. Monica rose up on her toes and crushed her mouth to his.
The fire ripped through his blood at the touch of her mouth – just like before. Just. Like. Before.
Lips parted. Their tongues met. Took. A moan rose in her throat, the sound sexy and raw and wild.