by Kristine Mason
When a deranged mother's grief drives her to replace her dead son over and over, obsession leads to murder...
Chicago detective Jessica Donavan will never stop looking for her missing daughter. Her obsession has destroyed her marriage, but the search is the only thing that helps keep her sane and her mind off of everything she’s lost—her husband and her baby girl. When she uncovers a string of unsolved disappearances and reappearances of a number of baby boys, Jessica turns to her soon to be ex, Dante Russo, a former Navy SEAL turned investigator for the private agency, CORE, to help her fit together the pieces in this perplexing puzzle. But as Dante helps her, she realizes just how much she still craves his support—and his touch.
Dante is still in love with his wife and would do anything to have her back in his life again. He’s been miserable since she left him to deal with the grief over their daughter’s abduction, never understanding how much he grieves as well. When Jessica tells him about the case she’s working, he jumps at the chance to take part in her investigation. He's hoping not only to save their marriage and ease his personal pain over the loss of their daughter, but to stop a serial kidnapper from taking another victim.
As Jessica and Dante work side by side, pregnant women begin to turn up missing or dead, and they start to uncover the consequences of another woman's unfathomable grief. The childless mother doesn’t just want a baby. She wants a newborn straight from the womb.
And when forced to confront the dark and twisted perversion of a mother's obsession, can Jessica and Dante find their lives again…or merely more death?
As Dante entered the six-story brick apartment building, he thought back to the day he’d first met Jessica. He’d been twenty-three, in his fourth year with the Navy and on a two-week leave. His dad had owned a used car dealership just outside of Chicago, and he’d gone there that day to hang out and check out the new inventory. Jessica had stopped by looking for something inexpensive and reliable. Before his dad or any of the other salesmen could pounce on her, he had. Growing up around the dealership he knew cars, so pretending to be a salesman hadn’t been difficult. The thing was, he couldn’t have cared less if she’d bought a car from his dad, he’d been more interested in acquiring her phone number. Man, she’d been something else. Those eyes of hers had had him tongue-tied. They’d reminded him of an Olive Matuka fishing fly, dark brown with flecks of olive green. Her long and wavy dark blond hair had emphasized her eyes and that smile…
He reached her apartment door. Damn, he missed that smile. He missed everything about her. The press of her naked body against his. Kissing her, holding her, loving her. He shoved the memories he’d been clinging to aside. Their marriage shouldn’t have to end. They were stronger than that, and after knowing and loving her for nearly seventeen years, he couldn’t picture not having her in his life. But he had no choice. Self-preservation demanded that he give up the fight and let her go before they ended up hating each other.
With that last thought in mind, he knocked on her door. After giving her a few minutes to answer, he called her cell. Before he broke into her apartment, he wanted to make sure she was indeed MIA. Otherwise she’d probably raise holy hell for invading her space uninvited. Since she’d never asked him inside before, he suspected there were things she didn’t want him to know about. Like how much her search for their daughter had escalated into a full-blown obsession.
When she didn’t answer his call, he opened up his lock pick kit and went to work. Twenty years ago, he’d never thought he’d be adept at picking a lock. Who knew it would take working as a criminal investigator to master breaking and entering.
The lock gave. He pocketed his tools, then turned the knob. His stomach tightened again. If Jessica was keeping secrets, now was his chance to discover them.
He inched his way into the small apartment, then froze. “Is that thing loaded?” he asked Jessica and eyed the .38 Special she pointed at his head.
This was such a terrifying story. From the first page I was faced with one of my greatest fears, complications in childbirth. The details had my heart fluttering and gave me nightmares. Mason writes her story from two different direction converging into one heart stopping moment. Both couples are searching for children. Although the lost was different for both couples they both had the lost of a child. The scariest part of the book for me was that this can actually happen. It is so well written and I can not wait to read more from Mason. If you're looking for an amazing suspense thriller you need to grab this book!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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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