With just one book, Everyone Loves a Hero, Marie Force has become a favorite of mine. I have other books of hers in the TBR mountain just because I like the title or the back cover blurb. So it’s always an extra thrill when the story inside matches what you’ve built up in your mind from those extraneous descriptions, and Ms. Force does that in spades. And she surprises me too. This book, the first of her Fatal Series I’ve read, has surprised me. Now, I know you’ll say, “Well, Sandy, you should have known from the title that this book isn’t full of fluff and fun.” Yeah, I get that, but I still expected a tad bit of that. But what I actually got is so much more.
The first thing I really like about this story is that our hero and heroine are already together. I believe that happened in the previous book (I’ll have to read that book to satisfy my curiosity. 😉 ) when Nick lost two close friends to murder, one of whom was a U.S. Senator and Nick has filled that interim spot and is now campaigning on his own. Sam is a lieutenant with the D.C. police, good at her job, and she solved the case involving Nick’s friends. There’s where I think the relationship began. And what a terrific relationship it is. Sam is still gun shy after surviving her abusive and murderous ex-husband, but she’s doing her best not to keep things from Nick. He’s an honest and straightforward kind of man and needs the same from her, no matter what. He can’t fight what he doesn’t know about. None of that do-what-you-think-is-best-without-telling-anyone garbage that leads to crazy misunderstandings in this book, and I love it. Work together and fight the conflict together. Makes me so very happy as a reader. Of course, because they’re lovers early on, we also enjoy a lot more of bedroom fun, including heart-to-hearts.
From what I gather, it’s not unusual in Sam’s work life for a case to be dropped in her lap at a moment’s notice, and this time it’s at her father’s wedding. And this one is a doozy. At least it is once the team begins investigating. An employee of a cleaning service that takes care of senate offices is killed, and the Senator who finds her is a friend of Nick’s, so he calls Sam to try to keep this tragedy away from the media. That’s only the first warning bell that goes off for Sam. Come to find out the lady and the senator are more than passing friendly. The investigation leads them to another employee who has suffered the same fate, and suddenly this case takes on much larger proportions than Sam and her team could ever imagine.
What cements that is when Sam receives a threat telling her to back off, but she’s a stubborn cuss. No way in hell will she do that. Then one of her team is attacked, beaten and raped, left alive only to deliver a message to Sam. And those scenes are written to perfection, from Sam’s reaction to the threat to her empathy toward her friend and colleague to that woman’s range of emotions, as well as that of her boyfriend. Sam is now more determined to find out who’s behind this well-kept secret that’s been hidden for years by the good old boy network of government officials. You don’t threaten Sam and get away with it.
Through all of this Nick does his best to stand by Sam. When she decides to share what’s going on with him, that is. What he wants more than anything – even being a senator – is to make her his wife, and he finally gets the agreement he wants from her, so he doesn’t hesitate. A date is set and all arrangements are now in the works. This is where that little bit of fluff comes in for this book, and this couple is fun when life isn’t throwing curves at them, all of which is needed amid all the heavy evil going on around these characters. But they deal with it all beautifully, even when houses are torched and ex-husbands get released on a technicality.
I also like the side stories we get in this book. Tommy is faced with news out of left field, but he’s thrilled and appalled at the same time once the situation is finally clear cut. He takes action, though it may cost him his relationship with Christina. Freddie is having the time of his life with Elin, but his mother and Sam caution him right and left about the woman. I’m a little confused as to why he took a vow of celibacy at a young age and has just now discovered sex. Another reason to get to the previous books ASAP! Curiosity has to be satisfied. Though he’s loving the sex, Freddie wants more, but is that what Elin wants too? And we also learn about Sam’s father and his retirement from the department, something Sam is still working on to solve to this day. But we’re just as happy as Sam to see him happy again.
Characters who draw you into their lives on the first page, a storyline that keeps you on the edge of your seat, turning page after page and throws you a twist you never see coming but also warms your heart and then beats it out of your chest in those extra special moments, and just plain old great writing are all hallmarks of a Marie Force book. What are you waiting for? Pick one up today, especially this one and its predecessors. A great read is waiting just for you.
The murder of two members of the Capitol Cleaning Service might’ve been just another homicide investigation—that is If one of them hadn’t been romantically involved with a married senator from Arizona. Lt. Sam Holland and her team are plunged into another complex case that at first seems open and shut. But as Sam tugs on the threads of the investigation she uncovers a deep, dark Washington secret that threatens the careers of some of the government’s highest-ranking officials. Racing to catch a killer before he can strike again, Sam and her fiancé, U.S. Senator Nick Cappuano, attempt to plan a wedding while her colleague Detective Tommy “Gonzo” Gonzales faces life-changing news.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: