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New Release Review and Giveaway! SHADOW FALL by Laura Griffin (Tracers #9)

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SHADOW FALL
Tracers #9
Laura Griffin
Releasing Sept 22nd, 2015
Pocket Books

 

In the ninth romantic suspense novel in the New York Times bestselling Tracers series, author Laura Griffin brings back her elite cadre of forensic experts as they hunt down the most brutal serial killer yet.
Special Agent Tara Rushing arrives at a grisly murder scene and quickly discovers she’s got a serial killer on her hands. The killer is meticulous, making sure to wipe up even the smallest
traces of evidence…but the Delphi Center experts are on the case.
The local sheriff has a suspect all picked out—ex-Marine and current security expert Liam Wolfe. Despite all her digging, Tara knows very little about Liam when she shows up at his sprawling Texas compound, which serves as headquarters for Wolfe Security, and she’s surprised by her intense physical reaction to him.
As she and Liam grow closer, Tara finds herself depending on his skills and expertise to help her track a killer.
But when another body turns up, Tara must decide if she can trust the man who’s quickly stealing her heart.
The ninth novel in the Tracers series that combines gripping plot twists with spine-tingling romance, Shadow Fall once again proves that “Laura Griffin gets better with each book” (The Romance Reviews).

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Tara looked out the window again and realized her pulse was still thrumming. He unnerved her. It wasn’t just his size, it was his attitude. Maybe she was self-conscious because he’d caught her off guard. She was definitely embarrassed that she’d pulled her weapon on him.

She adjusted the vent and got a waft of hot air. His attitude bothered her, but she liked his truck. It smelled like leather and earth and felt deliciously warm. She forced herself to ignore the flutter of nerves generated by being alone in the dark with him. The nerves weren’t from fear but something else. And she wondered which was worse, being afraid of a man she was investigating or being attracted to him?

“You shouldn’t come out here alone.”

She looked at him. “Why not?”

“We’ve got more than a few meth heads around here. You don’t want to walk up on something, not without backup.”

She watched his face in the dimness, uneasy with the protective tone of his voice.

“We confirmed the ID today,” she said.

“I know.”

That ticked her off.

“Won’t be long till the media has it,” he added.

“Where are you getting your information?”

He didn’t answer.

“And the other day,” she said, “how’d you know we were here, me and M.J.? Are you having us tailed?”

Even if he was, he’d probably never admit it. But she at least needed to ask and get his reaction. Shadowing investigators could definitely be considered suspicious behavior.

Although she had to be honest with herself. She didn’t consider him a real suspect. Despite his links to the victim, she simply didn’t feel it.

“I’m guessing you filmed us approaching your property and ran my plate,” she said.

The corner of his mouth lifted. “Nothing that cloak-and- dagger.” He glanced at her. “I’m friends with Crystal.”

“Who’s Crystal?”

“She waited on you at the Waffle Stop. Bright red hair, eyebrow ring.”

She turned to face the window. “Small-town grapevine. And here I’ve been all impressed with your spying abilities.”

“You should be.” He pulled up to her Explorer and parked. “We’re the best there is.”

She looked at him in the darkness, so confident it bordered on arrogance. And the crazy thing was she believed him. She bought into it completely—he was that good.

His eyes locked on hers, and the air between them felt charged with electricity. His gaze dropped to her mouth, and her heart skittered. Was he going to kiss her? He eased closer, watching her, making her heart pound.

 

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Such a well-written suspense, with an absolutely delicious romance!

In Shadow Fall, FBI Special agent Tara Rushing is sent to rural Texas to solve a murder–a murder that, it soon becomes obvious, isn’t a solitary event but the work of a serial killer. The first chapter actually starts out from the murdered woman’s POV–and cuts off just as we see her recognize her killer and realize what he’s there for…and then we have no idea who “he” is for 95% of the story.

Just awesome!

I loved Tara and Liam. Both have been alone–and seemingly content to stay that way–for quite some time and are thrown for a loop when they meet and feel the immediate attraction. The romance feels like it’s a slow build, though it really isn’t–the entire story takes place over just days, but with the speed that everything else is happening: the body count piling up, the threats to Tara’s life and the suspicion thrown over Liam–the pace of their relationship feels almost leisurely by comparison. By the end I bought into it 100%–it sure didn’t feel like I’d just met them, let alone that they were still virtual strangers anymore.

Ms. Griffin did a great job of showing how difficult it still can be to be a woman in the man’s world that is law enforcement, especially in rural Texas. Tara was a great character, a strong female lead who hides her vulnerability well–though of course not from Liam. He’s able to see beneath the kick-butt special agent exterior to the woman beneath, and even as he’s falling for her (and she’s investigating the possible role he might have in the whole thing!) he’s also respecting the heck out of the job she’s doing and goading her into doing an even better one. I loved that he was the one moving forward in their relationship, while she was the one that was resisting–or trying like heck, anyway–their pull.

He smelled like rain and wet leather. His clothes were freezing. But his lips were warm, and she kissed him back, wishing she didn’t want what he was offering, wishing she didn’t need it, but she did. He’s called her a liar, and he was right. For once in her life, she didn’t want to be alone. She wanted him, and the sharp intensity of it scares her. He smelled so good, and she was so tired of feeling alone all the time. She needed the connection with him, however brief, even if it was only about lust or temptation or pity. She needed it anyway.

So. Good.

I admit I would have liked to know more about some things–more concrete details about Tara’s childhood and why (besides the obvious!) she was so affected by the case she worked just prior to being sent to Cypress County, and who the heck Liam went to visit (and kissed!) when she was tailing him (did he do it on purpose, knowing she was watching?) I’d also love to see more of what’s developing between Liam’s second-in-command Jeremy and MJ, Tara’s partner on this case. Overall, though, this was just one heck of a well-written, suspenseful page turner.

I have no idea why I haven’t read anything in this series–or by Laura Griffin–before, but you’d better believe that this won’t stay my “only” for long! Shadow Fall worked just fine as a standalone–I’m sure if I’d read any of the other series books it would have been great to see characters from them play a part in solving Tara and Liam’s mystery; but now I can look forward to going back and discovering their stories in the future. 🙂

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author LAURA GRIFFIN started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of romantic suspense. She is a two-time RITA Award
winner (for the books Scorched and Whisper of Warning) as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award (for Untraceable). Laura currently lives in Austin, where she is working on her next book.

 

 

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