I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Loved By Darkness by Autumn Jordan
Published by Independently Published on May 8, 2018
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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A two-year-old child is found adrift on the Atlantic. It’s the job of the Cape James Police Chief, Norris Stiles, to learn who left the girl to die. New to the area, and the job as chief, he might be out of his depth. Fortunately help has arrived. Unfortunately, the feisty and beautiful U.S. Marshal could distract him from his obligations.
Burnt out by grueling covert missions, U.S. Marshal Jolene Martinez heads home to the Virginia Coast for a much-needed vacation, only to become embroiled in a heart-breaking child abandonment case. When she saves the child, the case becomes personal for Jolene, and she’s determined to solve the mystery with or without the chief’s support.
As the clock ticks on, both the sweet girl and the charismatic chief pluck at heart strings Jolene believed severed years ago. Duty and desire mix while she and Norris race to eliminate suspects and expose the perpetrator of the sinister act before the tides wash away all evidence and he attempts to harm the child again.
What was supposed to be a mandatory vacation in Cape James, Virgina turned into something more for U.S. Marshal Jolene Martinez. While out on a boat ride with some friends and the new Chief of Police Norris Stiles, she spots a raft with a child in it floating in the ocean and her instinct kicks in. She jumps into the Atlantic not knowing if the child is alive or dead. Lia, the little girl on the raft is safe now, but where are her parents? Was she kidnapped? With no leads to go on, Norris and Jolene work together to find out what happened to this little girl and to hopefully reunite Lia with her parents.
Jolene and Norris can’t deny the attraction they have to each other, but past mistakes are hard to erase. Neither one of them is looking for a relationship, but working closely together has them both wanting more. I really loved the slow build up between Jolene and Norris. Yes, they were attracted to each other and while they were both contemplating a one night stand, getting to know each other better put a squash on that idea. They genuinely liked and admired each other. Working on the case brought them closer together and they were both able to open up to each other about their past. I really loved the slow build up as they got to know one another. Was there trust in the beginning? No, but as time went by they saw things in each other that they both liked and admired. I felt that they made a great couple throughout the story.
I like that we get to see inside the kidnappers head and get a feel for why Lia was on that boat in the first place. Little by little we learn more of the story and I have to say Autumn Jordan did a great job keeping me guessing as to who the kidnapper was. I am usually pretty good at figuring out who may be the villain, but this time even I was shocked on who it turned out to be. The suspense really kept you going right up to the final moment. There is a twist that was brilliantly done and it was one I never saw coming. It made the kidnapper feel that much more creepier then I would have ever guessed.
Loved By Darkness lived up to all of my expectations and then some. I find that sometimes with romantic suspense, the suspense is usually center stage and the romance part is lacking. You won’t get that here. The suspense and romance were both equal partners and I found it to be such a relief and made the romance that much more believable. I am happy to say that this will not be the last book I pick up from Autumn Jordan. I plan on going back and reading the first two installments to the C.U.F.F. series. Don’t worry, even if you start the series out of order, each book can be read as a standalone.
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