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With her future and possibly even her freedom ...
With her future and possibly even her freedom suddenly in jeopardy, Lucy discovers she’s a pawn in someone’s twisted plot to mete out vigilante justice. She joins forces with security expert and daredevil Sean Rogan, and together they track their elusive quarry from anonymous online chat rooms onto the mean streets of Washington, D.C. But someone else is shadowing them: A merciless stalker has his savage eye on Lucy. The only way for her to escape his brutality may be another fight to the death.
From the Paperback edition.
One Week Ago
This was Roger Morton’s big chance—his only chance—to get out of the country and re-create the life he used to have. All because of a box of cheap jewelry.
The marina was closed this late at night, but Roger still kept to the shadows as he walked toward the docks. He’d picked this place because it was mostly open and flat; he could see who approached. Tonight, the marina was empty of people, covered boats monuments to warmer days. The security lights over the docks provided the only illumination; it was too foggy to see D.C. on the other side of the Potomac.
He stuffed his hands in the pockets of his leather jacket, wishing he had a warmer coat. It was friggin’ cold. He couldn’t wait to grab his money and get out of this miserable town. He already had a place lined up in South America. Even after six years in prison, Roger had contacts. Once he had the money in hand, he’d be sitting pretty.
Six long years behind bars. His attorney had said he was lucky to get away with only that after attempted murder of a federal agent and felony rape. Six years in the federal pen was lucky? He’d spilled his guts, given the cops everything they wanted, admitted to everything—well, he had left out the crucial detail that he’d killed one of their own people. That fact he’d most certainly kept to himself, thanks very much. Anyway, the Feds didn’t have anything implicating him—no gun, no witnesses, nothing. It had been easy enough to lay blame for that escapade on someone else.
Six years of his life gone. For cooperating.
Everything had changed while he was in the pen, and he was damned if he was going to sit around working as a car mechanic making chump change. Not when he knew how to make real money. The kind of serious dough that would set him up in his previous lifestyle, the kind that bought freedom. In prison, his life had been on hold. Now he had the chance to start over.
Adam had spouted off that Roger was the dumb one. Well, Adam was dead—how smart did that make him?
Roger cautiously approached the meeting spot on the far side of the dry docks. The air coming off the Potomac was so damn cold he wished they could have found a bar to make the exchange. Except Roger couldn’t be seen in his old stomping grounds. He had to keep a low profile. Make the exchange on neutral ground. Of course, he’d left his half of the bargain back at his motel. No fucking way was he going to have his new partner double-cross him. First, he’d get the money, then he’d tell him where to find the jewelry. He wasn’t an idiot; cops were bastards and Roger wouldn’t put it past any of them to set him up. But he’d vetted this guy, demanding to see some of the action he planned on sharing with Roger’s new venture. No way he was a cop.
Roger had enjoyed the digital files of young women getting screwed every which way. Some were experienced actresses; others were junkies desperate for a quick buck to pay for their next fix. Some of the recordings—the best, in his opinion—were those where the chicks didn’t even know they were being filmed. Amateur whores—Roger saw the marketing potential for that campaign, practically salivating over the dollars he’d rake in. Straight porn wasn’t illegal, but the money was in edgier areas—hidden cameras, underage teens, fantasy rape that wasn’t necessarily consensual.
When there was this kind of money involved, he knew not to bring the merchandise without cash up front. All of it. They’d tried to pull a fast one on him yesterday; they’d learned real quick they weren’t dealing with a novice. Adam had been a prick, but he’d taught Roger the tricks of the trade. Only now, with Adam six feet under, Roger wouldn’t have to take orders or get a small percentage of the take. He’d run the website, handle the back end, and his new partner would provide the sex tapes. Fifty-fifty split. Roger was confident the cash would stream in fast, and he’d learned from Adam how to manage the credit cards of their customers and funnel money to offshore accounts. Best of all, without Adam around, Roger wouldn’t have to worry anymore about the snuff films that had brought the Feds down on them in the first place. If Adam hadn’t gotten his ya-yas off strangling the women he screwed, they’d never have been busted. Rape was a crime, but murder was a whole other story.
All Roger needed was some up-front cash to set up the offshore operation. It didn’t matter that he was on parole; he’d skip out and never again step on American soil. That took more money than he could make working fifty-hour weeks at his cousin’s car dealership changing oil. Originally, he’d demanded twenty thousand for startup costs, but when they expressed interest in Adam’s old jewelry box, Roger doubled the buy-in.
Roger’s contacts had given him the thumbs-up on the players involved, but he still hadn’t liked any of the meeting places they suggested—too great a chance of being caught on a damn security camera. He’d told them the marina. Secluded, but close to everything and best of all, no surveillance cameras, few hiding places, and no witnesses. He was taking a risk, but the potential rewards were well worth it. Besides, using his old contacts, Roger had tracked these guys down. It wasn’t as though they’d been looking for him. He’d kept a low profile since getting out six months ago.
He’d rather be dead than go back.
He spotted his new partner approaching the rendezvous point. The man was wearing jeans, a dark windbreaker, and a Yankees baseball cap—just like he’d said. Roger glanced around, saw no one else, and waited for the man to reach him.
“Hey,” Roger said casually, sizing up the other man.
“The box?” The man’s voice was raspy, as if he’d been a two-pack-a-day smoker for decades, though he didn’t smell of cigarettes now.
“You got my advance?” Roger was waiting for entrapment clues—such as him explicitly saying that he was using the money to set up an illegal porn website—but the guy didn’t go into details. An agreement could mean anything in court. Sure, he was in the marina after dark—a misdemeanor, and he could technically be thrown back in prison for even the smallest slip-up—but they still couldn’t get him on anything big.
“I want the jewelry box and everything inside.”
“I want to see the money first.” Did this guy think he was an idiot?
Tensing as the man reached into his pocket, Roger’s hand moved to the gun in his waistband, but he didn’t need to use it. His new partner handed him an envelope.
Roger frowned. “A little thin for forty g’s. This isn’t what we agreed to.”
“You were supposed to bring the box.”
“You were supposed to give me half the cash yesterday. What kind of partnership is this if you can’t live up to your end of the deal?”
“Open it. You’ll understand.”
Cautious, but curious, Roger opened the unsealed envelope and removed a folded piece of paper. It was blank, with a faded photo tucked between the folds. A beautiful teenage girl with long black hair and large, sultry brown eyes stared at him in the faint light.
His instincts had him reacting almost before he recognized the dead girl, but not fast enough. Roger dropped the photo and paper and went for his gun, but the man moved faster, karate-kicking his wrist. In the faint glow from the dim lights over the dry dock, for the first time Roger saw the man’s face dead-on.
Another ghost from his past.
“I wish I could be the one to put the bullet in your head,” the man said before slamming Roger face first into the hard-packed dirt. A burst of pain told him his nose might be broken. He swallowed a thick wad of blood.
Coughing, Roger tried to rise, but the traitor kicked him between the legs three times with steel-toed boots. Excruciating pain froze him. It was worse than when he’d been raped in prison. And then, he’d had his revenge. This time he wouldn’t get the chance. Panic and self-preservation rose with the pain as he tried to stand, only to be knocked back down.
“Mr. Morton.” The quiet, cultured voice didn’t belong to his attacker. Roger hadn’t heard another man approach, and the idea that two—or more—men stood over him made him tremble even as he tried to get up one last time.
A boot in his balls had him seeing nothing. He almost didn’t hear the slide of the nine-millimeter.
“I wish this hurt you more, but in this case expediency is more important than my personal satisfaction at seeing you suffer. Rot in Hell, bastard.”
Roger Morton was dead before he registered the sound of the gunshot.
Posted March 13, 2011
Ever since Lucy Kincaid's horrific experiences in a past Brennan book I've been waiting to see what happened to her. This book was well worth the wait. Lucy Kincaid and Sean Rogan are a great pairing for the action/adventure tale in this book.
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 21, 2010
Six years ago, Lucy Kincaid met a seemingly nice man on-line. When they finally met in person, he proved to be a psychopath. He attacked her, but she survived while her molester died.
Since the assault, Lucy dreams of becoming an undercover FBI agent. In the meantime in DC waiting for the feds to call, she works obsessively as a volunteer for Women and Children First! Her role is to lure web predators and other sex offenders into traps. However, Lucy becomes concerned with her endeavor when she realizes several of those she busted have been executed since leaving prison. A friend and business cohort of Lucy's concerned brothers, private investigator Sean Rogan, tries to keep her safe. They are attracted to one another, but are hesitant to act on their feelings. Meanwhile Lucy probes the connections that seem chaotic, but at the same time the FBI is scrutinizing her actions as she is more than just a person of interest in what is believed a serial killer's vendetta.
Love me to death is a taut "FBI" romantic suspense thriller starring family members from Sudden Death and Cutting Edge. The story line is fast-paced but driven by obsessed Lucy who is stunned to realize someone is following up on her efforts to capture sex predators by killing the psychopaths. Although purposely serpentine with surprising but fun chaotic misdirection and red herrings that confuse the heroine (and readers), this approach enhances the investigation that Lucy and Sean conduct. There are also a ton of support characters who can overwhelm the reader at times trying to remember who's who, but this also adds to the fog of a convoluted inquiry as Allison Brennan provides a tense twisting thriller.
4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 22, 2011
For those who have read this author's previous books about the Kincaid family, this book will be enjoyable and familiar. It focuses on Lucy 6 years after the last book and moves at a quick pace. It's an easy read, and you don't have to have read any of the author's previous books to read this, although it would be helpful in understanding the character relationships and Lucy's back story. I enjoyed it and look forward to the next book.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 2, 2012
Posted March 4, 2012
I've been a fan of Allison Brennan since reading the Evil series and I continue to be. I love how the characters overlap from story to story while each book still stands on it's own. This story pulls you in and keeps you inerested the whole way through. Can't wait to read the next Lucy Kincaid story!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 5, 2014
I discovered this series after randomly picking up the 8th book. Halfway through i realized it was a series. Allison Brennan is one of the best authors ive read in a while, she nails the emotional aspect and puts you in the characters minds. I cant seem to put it down.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 5, 2014
I discovered this series about the 3rd book in and I loved it so I went back to the beginning. This is the first book in the Lucy Kincaid Series and boy is Lucy a fighter. She is the hero of this story, fighting to put rapists and child predators back in prison. Then she meets the hero Sean Rogan and together they make romance magic. You will also meet more of the Kincaid clan who are all heros in their own right. Lucy has had a tough fight for quite a while and this book doesn't give her a break. If you love lots of twists and turns and a romance on top this is the book for you.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 4, 2014
LOVED this book. Had me hooked from the very start of the book. It was hard for me to put down. Just bought the next one and can't wait to get started on it. It will be my 4th book by Allison Brennan, I think she is now one of my favorite authors!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 19, 2014
Posted October 27, 2013
Posted September 18, 2012
Posted August 17, 2012
Lucy has been thru a kidnapping and horrific rape. She has tried to prepare herself in case someone tries it again. Trust is a difficult emotion to acquire. Lucy wants to work for the FBI. Physically she is strong and she is doing everything possible to be as strong mentally.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 1, 2012
Posted March 21, 2012
Posted January 11, 2012
Posted December 29, 2011
Posted November 14, 2011
It was six years ago when the incident happened. Lucy Kincaid met a man who seemed nice on the internet. However, after meeting in person, this man proved to be anything but ¿nice¿. Lucy survived an attack against this man, however, he didn¿t. While Lucy works on her goal to join the FBI in hopes to fight any cyber-crime, especially sex offender related sex crime, she volunteers first to lure web predators out into the open. She works with a business partner, Sean, who attempts to keep Lucy safe. In the midst of all of this, the FBI reports the predators that Lucy has caught turning up as murder victims. Now, Lucy is appointed as a person of interest, and everything is on the line. The real question is how Lucy would ever be able to free herself, and if she every does. Love Me to Death is an exciting, suspenseful romance thriller. Obstacles are thrown at the main character left and right, and it seems like everyone (including the readers) are stuck in a maze of mysteries. I would recommend this book to anyone my age (15) and up. Anyone who is up for an exciting story can be sure to find it in this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 11, 2011
With sheer determination, Lucy Kincaid has beaten the odds. A one-time victim, she's worked tirelessly to rebuild her life, focusing on her goal of joining the ranks of the FBI despite the lingering anxiety ingrained from a brutal attack and kidnapping six years prior. She survived and in a fitting twist of fate, made certain that her attacker didn't. She'll do what it takes to never be a victim again and try to help those that unwittingly step into predators' paths.
While waiting for word on her FBI application, Lucy spends her free time volunteering at a victim's rights group and surfs the web undercover to smoke out re-offenders. But as in any good story, the best laid plans never go smoothly. When Lucy discovers that the criminals she's entrapping become murder victims themselves, the FBI takes a brand new and very different look at Lucy. Now everything's in jeopardy, family, her future, maybe even her life.
With her freedom and future now in peril, she joins up with Sean Rogan-daredevil and security expert-and they work to track their slippery prey. Now here's a guy we'd love to meet. Street smart and facing unfamiliar territory as he discovers that he wants Lucy to be his, he doesn't see the damage that she feels deep inside and he'll do anything for her. However, someone is watching them both. A cold-hearted killer has his violent eyes on Lucy. Her only means of escape? Perhaps another fight to the death.
Three circling threads braid this story together: Lucy's past, the vigilante-murderer of parolees and the stalker. With so much evil surrounding her, it's a sad state of affairs when the good guys begin to appear suspicious.
A fan of Allison's for many years, you always know what you are getting.a great story with love 'em or hate 'em characters and perfectly placed plot twists in every book.
Reviewed by Shannon Raab for Suspense Magazine
Posted March 28, 2011
Posted January 23, 2011