*I received a free copy of Innocent Prey from Harlequin MIRA via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *Innocent Prey by Maggie Shayne
Published by Harlequin MIRA on 30 September 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
To save innocent lives, they'll have to risk their own.
Self-help superstar Rachel de Luca and Detective Mason Brown have finally given in to their overwhelming attraction to each other, but neither of them is ready to let physical passion turn into full-blown romance, so they carefully maintain an emotional distance. Then a judge's daughter disappears, and Mason has a terrible sense that it's connected to the most recent case they solved together: the abduction of Rachel's assistant.
The discovery of a string of missing women—all young, all troubled—seems like a promising lead. But there's no clear connection between the missing girls and the high-profile young woman Mason is trying to find. He realizes that once again he'll have to rely on his own well-honed instincts and Rachel's uncanny capacity to see through people's lies in order to catch a predator and rescue his captives. But can they do it before Rachel becomes his next victim?
Another exciting, fast-paced and awesome installment in the Brown and DeLuca series – with a very nice side-dish of romance.
My Innocent Prey review:
WOW, let me just gather my thoughts a little bit, because Innocent Prey really took me for quite a ride! Rachel is getting more in tune with both her own self-help philosophy and her inner bitch, and that was a lot of fun to read about. She also managed to get involved in yet another investigation, while also having a little time to hang out with Mason outside of work as well.
One of the things I really enjoyed about the mystery in Innocent Prey was the hush-hush around Stevie’s disappearance, plus the fact that Stevie was blind and not coping very well with losing her sight. Rachel dealt with the disappearance very aptly, and she had this feeling from the start that it had something to do with Amy’s kidnapping the year before. Once Mason and Rachel started digging a little, it was obvious that there were a lot more girls missing than they had first thought, and that most were girls who had just aged out of the foster care system, with nobody to miss them once they were gone.
The writing was flawless, as usual, in first and third person past tense, and I loved the little clues, the banter between Mason and Rachel, and also the inclusion of a new character in the FBI agent Cantone, and I can’t wait to see if she’ll be important in future Brown and DeLuca stories. Another thing I really enjoyed in Innocent Prey was that Rache was starting to embrace her strange sixth sense, and she truly used it as best she could – even if it could have ended very badly for her.
Brown and DeLuca is quickly becoming my favorite romantic suspense series, especially because it also includes a tiny paranormal twist I love. And I really enjoy Rachel’s sense of humor too, it’s a little on the snarky side, which makes my sarcastic self quite happy. If you’re looking for a fast-paced mystery with well fleshed out characters, you should start with Sleep with the Lights On, and just continue from there.
Some of my favorite Innocent Prey quotes:
I choked on a sarcastic laugh from my inner bitch, and it sounded like a snort. Higher purpose. Right. Still… I was warming up to the notion that there was a kernel of truth in there somewhere.
He was the sexiest man in the universe. I am not exaggerating. I didn’t know why women didn’t swarm him in the streets like adolescents mobbing a Jonas brother. (Yes, that’s a dated reference. I’m over thirty. You’re lucky I didn’t say Hansen.)
Myrtle was wiggling her backside in delight, knowing it was him and overjoyed about it. (She’d have wagged her tail, but bulldogs don’t really have tails. So they wag their entire asses, which I think is a much more accurate depiction of extreme enthusiasm. Myrtle agrees.)
This could be fun. Right. Fun. Like, you know, jury duty. Or a smallpox outbreak. Or seeing murders in your sleep. Fun.