Review: The Heart of a Killer (The Killer #1) by Jaci Burton

    The Heart of a Killer
Jaci Burton; Mass Market Paperback, 409 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Mira
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 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?

So, it’s 7 AM as I’m writing this; didn’t sleep at all last night, I was too busy reading. And now we can chat about this awesome book over a cup (mug) of coffee. God, I love my coffee. Uhm, sorry, I get sidetracked easily when I don’t sleep.

Let me being by saying thank you to NetGalley again for this awesome-sauce read, and of course Mirabooks aka Harlequin. I’ve been having a lot of fun reading books from you guys, and some of my best reads of this year were netgalleys, so hurrah for NG. I also get emotional when I don’t sleep much 😀

I was totally hooked into the story from the title, to be bluntly honest. And, well, ok, so the cover had me sold on wanting to read this like 50% (any more would make me seem shallow…I’m not shallow, but the percentage was bigger, lol). When I looked at that cover my thought process was something like “Steamy…murder…intense…murder…SCORE!”, more or less. And as often is the case, my gut instinct was right on the money, or right on the novel as the case is.

After reading the first chapter, I was having this guarded sort of attitude, I mean the book is categorized as “FICTION – ADULT: Romance: Contemporary”, so I knew it wouldn’t sneakily go YA on me and ruin all my expectations, because that cover coupled with everything else was a golden deal for me, though only in a mature voice. I’m cool with YA, but only when I wanna read YA, and I don’t much like surprises in that I’m expecting some grown up reading and then discover a sneaky YA in there; I’m cool with the other way around though. But that chapter had a great feel, so I thought right then and there, I would totally be game with a YA version of this story too. Luckily though, it went on to be soundly mature after that.

The writing was really cool, it flowed beautifully, very conducive to a great suspense atmosphere, and the characters were really cool, pretty much all of them, and that’s not an easy feat to pull. I didn’t like all the characters, but they were all cool to read regardless. I especially disliked Roman and his “honey” blabbing up and down and all over my read, and I was sort of troubled over my reaction to him up to point. I liked the rest of the brothers, Gabe more then Roman for sure, and obviously Dante the best. I mean, who wouldn’t, army guy, Special Ops, black ops, action-yummy-uniform-man with blue eyes and all that magnetism? Seriously, Dante was so good, I want to read stories from parallel universes about him in like 100 relationships. Yummy doesn’t begin to cover it; the man is that really smart, really sneaky sort of guy, great instincts, all trained and muscled all over, take-charge…the assertive type, you know? The kind that gives you a squeeling fit just by giving you the full force “I want you and we both know I’m gonna have you, and I’m gonna have you real good” stare? Yeah…when those come in stores, I’m totally signing up on the waiting list for one.
Anna was a sweetheart, I loved her instantly; I enjoyed watching her evolve and manage to slightly resolve some of her issues, she was totally realistic and believable to me in pretty much all ways. I thought Dante was like godsend to her, and their chemistry was off the charts. I kept thinking while I read scenes of them together being, you know, grown-ups, man this writer needs to write me some steamy erotica because she most certainly has the flair for it. And then I went on to read that she had written some hot stuff, which totally made sense to me, I mean the hot scenes were yumificently hot. (yes, it’s not a word from the dictionary, I made it up, admire my genius after a night of reading and no sleep! *mwahahaha* uhm…)

If there’s anything I’d tweak a little about this novel maybe it would be the pace in some places. I mean, a suspense has to have the right pace to keep you all tense and wondering, but slow enough to build real substance, and a lot of the time I felt we were exactly where we should have been, but there were a few parts where I wished we’d be moving a bit faster. This would easily be a 5 butterflies read for me, it has it all, a really interesting plot, good writing, charming characters, the right atmosphere – a delight. I could have gone fangirl all over it if it had been juuuust a tad bit faster in places. But it’s awesome as it is.

To sum it all up, if you like romantic suspense I say you should totally give this a try, it was an awesome way to spend my hours!



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