Published April 15th 2014
When the past collides with the present, the only way to ensure the future lies in the ultimate kill…
Naomi McCall is a woman of many secrets. Her family has been murdered and she’s been forced into hiding. No one knows her past or her real name, not even the man she loves.
Jake Tyler, former Marine and the newest recruit to the private criminal investigation agency, CORE, has been in love with a woman who never existed. When he learns about the lies Naomi has weaved, he’s ready to leave her—until an obsessed madman begins sending her explosive messages every hour on the hour.
Innocent people are dying. With their deaths, Naomi’s secrets are revealed and the truth is thrust into the open. All but one. Naomi’s not sure if Jake can handle a truth that will change their lives. But she is certain of one thing—the only way to stop the killer before he takes more lives is to make herself his next victim.
This was an unexpectedly delicious surprise. I had done a promo post back at the end of April for Ultimate Kill and was intrigued, but at the time, I was just swamped, so I didn't pick up the review option. Well, I had some spare time (or so my deluded mind lead me to believe) and went back for a closer look. Wow!! I am sooooo very glad I made the time, or stole the time or hell, just neglected something else to have the time to read this book. Although really, even though this was a hefty chunk of suspense, it just flew by. I read it first word to last period in one sitting. This novel is positively gripping.
First off let me say, even though there is a heavy thread of wonderful romance, to me, the main characters in this book were not Naomi and Jake. They were wonderful characters and I loved there story of reunion, fighting for their relationship, freeing Naomi (this is an alias) from her evil stalker, and saving the nation from a diabolical nut job. They propelled the story and Naomi was the impetus for all the action taking place. (And there was A LOT of action) However to me the main characters were Honey Badger (The diabolical nut job, evil mastermind who has a real name but he hated being mocked so I use his nickname) and Harrison, a poor soul just trying to make a living while keeping his brother alive. Harrison's story broke my heart. Ugh! It was just a real tear jerker.
Honey Badger, however, was one of the nastiest villains I have ever run across. To call him a sociopath would be slandering sociopaths. He was just vile, with no remorse or conscience whatsoever. He should have been aborted at the moment of conception. Being inside his head was like trudging through open sewage, revolting. Yet, I positively reveled in the fact that I got to spend so much time there. It was a brilliant idea to have the reader so closely tied to his thoughts and reasonings. It made the romance thread so much sweeter. To take those wondrous breaks from such evil and step into something pure and good was cleansing.
The CORE agents were a great side note and were a savory addition to an already full flavor palate. Their dynamics and backstories gave my mind something to ruminate on besides how Honey Badger was going to suffer when he surely met his ignominious end. ( I wanted it to be the most lengthy, painful torture session in the history of torture.) If this is an example of what I can expect from Kristine Mason, I am in for some emotionally debilitating times ahead and I look forward to each one with great anticipation. Even though this story ends well, it is very DARK and does not engender many laughs, so pick your reading time wisely. Wonderful job and keep em' coming!! Brava.
I didn’t pick up my first romance novel until I was in my late twenties. Immediately hooked, I read a bazillion books before deciding to write one of my own. After the birth of my first son I needed something to keep my mind from turning to mush, and Sesame Street wasn’t cutting it.
While that first book will never see the light of day, something good came from writing it. I realized my passion and found a career I love.
When I’m not writing contemporary romances and dark, romantic suspense novels (or reading them!) I’m chasing after my four kids and two neurotic dogs.
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