The Heart of a Killer by Jaci Burton
Series: The Killer #1
Publication Date: October 25, 2011
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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No one said coming home would be easy. But for Dante Renaldi, it's murder.
Before the Special Forces hero has even unpacked his bags from twelve years of active duty, he's embroiled in murder—corpses bearing the brutal trademark he's seen only once before—on the worst night of his life.
The last time Detective Anna Pallino saw Dante Renaldi, they were in love. Now, he's part of the connection to a string of fresh homicides and a horrible assault that Anna only survived thanks to him.
More than anything, Anna wants to trust Dante. But as the bodies and the coincidences stack up, Anna will have to decide, and fast: Is the man she owes her life to the very same one who wants her dead?
Narrator: She was not, in fact, coming out of her romantic suspense funk. It’s still going, some 8 years later…
This review was originally posted on Nov 15, 2011.
It looks like I might be coming out of my romantic suspense funk. I really enjoyed this. It’s a gripping tale filled with twists and turns. I suspected the killer early on but enjoyed watching the rest figure it out.
The main – and secondary – characters were well written. Anna was annoying at times, but then so was Dante. They have a lot of baggage between the two of them. It was hard watching them struggle to get over their past feelings and focus on the present. Especially Anna. She really clung to her hurt and anger over Dante leaving so abruptly.
Aside from that, I found both characters to be well balanced and likable. The trauma they suffered when Anna was attacked followed them through their lives. Burton did a bang up job of showing us how each of them was still dealing with what happened that night. I felt really connected to them, and understood where each of them was at.
The romance was very well done. Anna and Dante had a lot of chemistry, but physical attraction isn’t everything. Their emotional connection was strong despite the long separation. Between the two – the physical and emotional – I was fully invested in them finding their HEA.
I figured out pretty early on who the villain was, but I enjoyed watching the others clue in. I’m really looking forward to the next installment.
Burton balanced the suspense and romance perfectly. Fans of her more erotic romance titles might be disappointed – there isn’t a lot of sex here. Personally I think that worked in the context of the story and didn’t take away from the romance at all.
Overall a well written, chilling suspense flavored with the perfect amount of romance.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5