Dark Memento

Dark Memento

by Katie Reus

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Welcome to Verona Bay, a small coastal town where the secrets just won't stay buried--and people aren't always who they seem.

She was the one that got away...

Eight years ago Serenity Washington watched as her twin sister was murdered. She was lucky to escape the same grisly fate. With her sister's killer in jail, she relocated and tried to move on with her life. She married a man in the Air Force and started a family, but when her husband dies unexpectedly she moves back to the last place she remembers being happy--Verona Bay, FL.

Now that she's come home, it's all starting again...

Within months of Serenity's homecoming, she receives a 'gift'--a bracelet from her sister that was never recovered after her death--and a taunting note. Terrified for herself and her young daughter, she turns to the local sheriff for help. But there's only so much they can do without proof that the gifts aren't more than sick pranks. There's been no DNA, no fingerprints left behind--nothing to indicate who's leaving them. As the horrifying gifts arrive with increasing frequency, Serenity has no doubt that she's the ultimate target. But with her sister's murderer--a confessed serial killer--still behind bars, she has no idea who's stalking her.

She turns to the one man she's been trying to keep her distance from...

Former Marine Lucas Jordan has been hung up on single mom Serenity since she moved back to Verona Bay, but she's made it clear she's not looking for a relationship. When she's targeted, however, all bets are off. He won't sit by while she's terrorized, and with her and her daughter's lives in danger he's prepared to stand his ground and protect them both. Together they face the impossible task of trying to figure out who to trust before they all wind up six feet under.


Product Details

BN ID: 2940161815427
Publisher: KR Press LLC
Publication date: 09/10/2019
Series: Verona Bay Series , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 7,072
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Katie Reus is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Darkness series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom's stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it. However, she didn't always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

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Dark Memento 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
BuckeyeAngel 4 months ago
Eight years ago Serenity Washington watched as her twin sister was murdered. She was lucky to escape the same grisly fate. With her sister’s killer in jail, she relocated and tried to move on with her life. She married a man in the Air Force and started a family, but when her husband dies unexpectedly she moves back to the last place she remembers being happy—Verona Bay, FL. I’ve read a number of paranormal books by this author so this was a good change of pace from that. I loved both Lucas and Serenity as they try to uncover whose after Serenity. I also liked the side characters as well. I highly recommend. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
Anonymous 5 months ago
## Excellent crime drama. Romance is lacking, ergo 1 star deduction.
tsinclr 7 months ago
Serenity left Verona Bay because of a tragedy and returned because of a tragedy. After witnessing the death of her twin, Serenity left Verona Bay have a new start on life. When she returns, she's determined to stay focused on raising her daughter and growing her business. She doesn't think she's ready for a relationship after the death of her husband. No matter how attracted she is to her friend, Lucas Jordan. Lucas is attracted to Serenity and wants to be more than friends. He's just biding his time for the right moment and trying to spend as much time with her as possible. Then strange things start to happen and people close to Serenity are found dead or go missing. She also receives threats indicating that she's next. Will she accept Lucas's offer of help against this threat and if so, will she be able to resist her attraction to him at the same time? Love, love, love this book.
FaeScot 7 months ago
Wow what an intense stalker/serial killer romantic suspense story! This was a story that kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't read it in the evening at the beginning. I've never read a story like this one but I trusted Katie to bring us through to a HEA in the end. The story opens with the scene of Serenity and her twin Savannah captured by a serial killer. Savannah is almost dead and Serenity is determined to get them away from their torturer. I grew to really respect the strength of Serenity to overcome all this and become a business owner and loving single mom as a widow. She met Lucas Jordan, brother of Verona Bay's sheriff when she moves back to her hometown to find peace and raise her daughter Harper. They are both strongly attracted to each other but Serenity holds him at friend as she so not ready for a relationship. We meet a town full of characters and her friends. Suddenly life changes when those friends start to die or disappear. She has a stalker who's terrorizing her with little trophies from her imprisoned serial killer Michael Black. Katie crafts a story of terror and people who work hard to solve the question of who's after her. How is this person connected to Black? We have Sheriff Lincoln Jordan and FBI Special Agent Amy Lin tracking clues while former marine Lucas is her self appointed bodyguard. I have a soft spot for guardian-protector heroes, Lucas is so good with Harper and his dog Daisy that I lost my heart to him. What a powerful story! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced readers copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Lots of suspects in a small round where everyone knows each other. Definitely a page turner. I highly recommend this book and this author. mjw
MelodyMay 7 months ago
I got a chance to read Dark Memento by Katie Reus. Dark Memento is the beginning to her new series Verona Bay, which was interesting read. I liked that this story kept you guessing on who might be the killer. Which makes me wonder what direction the series will be going. This feels like the stories are going be more like standalone with common ties to an area. Anyway, I liked Lucas Jordan. He was sweet and a good guy. Then we have Serenity Washington single mom, survivor, and the target. While reading the story Katie had me guessing who it could have been, and I didn't know who it was until we reached in the end. Overall, a pretty good, and fairly quick read. Yes, Dark Memento will be keeping you guessing until you draw closer to the end. Copy provided by author.
MJHughes12 8 months ago
Dark Memento was one of those stories that had me torn between flipping the pages to find out what was going to happen next so I could unravel the mystery and forcing myself to slow down to immerse myself fully in the pages to appreciate the masterfully written story that Katie Reus has put together. The chilling flashbacks from Serenity’s run in with a serial killer set the stage for the background of this story and were woven into the current day mystery perfectly, making it easy for me to be drawn right into the events of the story as they unfolded. Both Serenity and Lucas were wonderful characters and I loved that the story opened with them already having such a solid foundation of a relationship – one that Serenity has forced to remain just a friendship since she carries scars from not only the loss of her sister, but also a marriage that had her feeling lost and out of control. Even though Lucas has made his intentions known, he’s willing to be whatever Serenity needs, even if that is just a friend. What I loved most about the romance is that Serenity knows what is holding her back from giving herself to Lucas, and even though she continues to keep him at arm’s length romantically, she never leads him on or makes promises that she might not be able to keep. And when events unfold that puts Serenity in danger, I loved watching Lucas step up to protect her and her daughter and do whatever was needed to keep them safe. As the first book in the series there were a lot of characters that were introduced which may have been one of the reasons that figuring out who the bad guy was took me right to the end. The town of Verona Bay has may interesting and colorful characters, many of which seem to be keeping secrets of their own, and holds the promise of more exciting stories in this series. Lucas’s family were all awesome and I can’t wait to find out what’s in store for his brothers, and Serenity’s friend Adeline also deserves her own happy ever after from the events in this book as well as whatever the secrets from her past turn out to be. There was a lot going on in this book but Katie Reus always has the ability to weave a story together in such a way that it is easy to follow but still keeps the mystery and suspense in play. She always creates characters that are multi-dimensional and knows just how to bring emotion onto the page. Call this one a mystery, a thriller, or a romantic suspense, this one checks off all those boxes and deserves a spot on anyone’s TBR! I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book I received from the author.
AngelaG_2012 8 months ago
This book is the first is a new series and really starts it off with a bang! I thought the beginning was enough to set the stage, but Katie Reus was able to bring a lot of suspense and uncertainty while I was reading DARK MEMENTO. I thought I totally knew who the person was going to be at the end, and I was very wrong! There are definitely some twists and turns as the story progressed that I didn't see coming. In regards to the characters, I liked Serenity and Lucas, but I think she allowed her past to define her a little too much. A lot of what her character did was based on past experiences, and she became just a touch too wishy washy for me at one point. I was more drawn to Lucas in this book. He totally wore his heart on his sleeve for Serenity and Harper and everyone knew it. The scene’s that I smiled at the most all involved him. He was just so steady and there! Overall, very good book! And the fact that it is the first in the series means that some of the other characters we meet are going to get their own HEA’s (finger’s crossed!!!!). The suspense was on point and I liked the characters for the most part. I did not see the ending as I couldn’t make up my mind who the bad guy would be … so that I was super impressed with! So, two thumbs up from me and happy reading!
SMH6 8 months ago
Liked this new series and looking forward to the next one.
Sandy-thereadingcafe 8 months ago
4.25 stars-DARK MEMENTO is the first instalment in Katie Reus’ contemporary adult VERONA BAY romantic suspense series focusing on the town of Verona Bay, Florida. This is pet groomer /widow/ single mother Serenity Washington, and former Marine/construction worker Lucas Jordan’s story line. Told from three third person perspectives (Serenity, Lucas, murderer) DARK MEMENTO focuses on Serenity Washington. Eight years earlier, Serenity and her twin sister Savannah had been abducted and tortured but Savannah did not survive. Having escaped the monster, Serenity would struggle with the loss of her twin, moving forward in life. Fast forward to present day wherein someone is stalking Serenity Washington, a potential copy cat killer, who is targeting the people in Serenity’s life. Lucas Jordan has lusted after Serenity Washington since his return to Verona Bay two years earlier. A chance meeting with Serenity would discover a mysterious ‘gift’ left behind on Serenity’s car, a gift that linked back to the abduction and murder of Serenity’s sister eight years earlier. What ensues are the ongoing threats to Serenity, and the people of Verona Bay; the building relationship and romance between Serenity and Lucas; and the fall-out as Serenity’s stalker begins to kill in an effort to get closer to our story line heroine. The relationship between Serenity and Lucas is one of immediate attraction but Lucas suspects Serenity doesn’t have time for a relationship in the wake of her husband’s death, and raising a child on her own. With the threats against Serenity closer than anyone could have imagined, Lucas offers himself up as bodyguard and protector for Serenity and her daughter. The $ex scenes are intimate and passionate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. We are introduced to Verona Bay sheriff and Lucas’ brother Lincoln, their brother Easton, as well as their mother Louise Jordan; FBI Special Agent Amy Lin; Serenity’s daughter Harper, as well as several friends and townsfolk including Paisley, Carol, Chloe and Bianca. The world building introduces the people and town of Verona Bay. The camaraderie, the friendships, the jealousy and the love. DARK MEMENTO is a story of suspense, revenge and betrayal; family, friendship and love. The premise is intriguing and engaging; the romance is seductive and captivating; the characters are colorful and charismatic. DARK MEMENTO is a wonderful and exciting start to Katie Reus’ VERONA BAY romantic suspense series.
Barbara_Jones 8 months ago
Katie Reus’ new series takes us to Verona Bay, Florida, a small coastal town with a dark past. Eight years ago, a serial killer was on the loose and held and tortured two sisters. Serenity Washington survived that torture, but her twin sister did not. Having spent years away from Verona Bay building a new life, Serenity has returned to her hometown as a widowed, single mom. Settling in with a new business and friends, Serenity and her daughter are at peace…until a message is left on her windshield with a trinket from her tortured past. Freaked out but determined to help the Feds and local law enforcement find the person responsible, Serenity confronts her past and the serial killer who haunts her dreams. The suspense keeps you guessing who’s the victim and who’s the killer. While the slow simmering romance between Serenity and Lucas Jordan, former Marine who returned home to Verona Bay, is sweet. Lucas will use his military training to help protect Serenity and her daughter, no matter how far he must go to keep them safe. A very good first entry to a new series. I look forward to the next installment. ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Love Katie Reus. She has many great series. Loved this book. Hard to put down.
FromTheSouth 8 months ago
Serenity, the heroine, had a light at the end of the tunnel, folks. That being Lucas, the hero, who was worth it all to wind up with him after the unimaginable torment/agony she’s been through. Seriously, this gal has gone through the wringer and then some. That opening scene….My, oh, my! As heart pounding, disturbing, and tragic as it was, I loved how strong, resilient, and determined her character was right from the get go. I’ve shied away from serial killer drama based books over the years. Mostly because they often tend to focus more on solving the crime and less on a romantic aspect. This one definitely used the backdrop as a springboard to unite these two destined to be together lovebirds. Though a considerable amount of time was spent on pointing fingers and trying to connect the dots, the romance between this great main couple did not get lost in the shuffle. It was always there. Lucas really had the patience of a saint. It seemed he would wait forever and a day just to spend time with his lady love. Serenity took her sweet time getting on board with what was right in front of her. Namely, this absolutely gorgeous, perfect guy. I get her reasons though. It broke my heart to find out what they were. Good thing for us Lucas is not a quitter. He knows a good thing when he sees it so that was all the motivation he needed. I must confess the first smex scene between them wasn’t all that great for me. It just wasn’t scripted as well as I thought this couple deserved. Considering how romantic this guy was, I’m thinking it didn’t fit and could have been better. Looking back, I’m pretty sure I fast forwarded through latter scenes, too. There are no obvious clues given who the next book will feature. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it will be the hot brother sheriff and his mysterious, quiet neighbor named Autumn. Either way, I’m very excited to see what’s next in this great new series. Title: Dark Memento, Series: Verona Bay (Book 1), Author: Katie Reus, Pages: 350, stand-alone but part of a series, patient/kind ultimate good guy hero, not a manho, sweet/resilient/been through a lot heroine, steamy scenes, graphic disturbing serial killer backdrop, romance safe, no rape, OW/OM drama, no cheating, no love triangle. (I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not given any payment or compensation for this review, nor is there any affiliation or relationship between this reviewer and the author/publisher/PR firm.)
animation 8 months ago
A new romantic suspense series by Katie Reus? Sign me up! Book 1 in the Verona Bay series, Dark Memento, does not disappoint. Serenity was a victim of a horrendous crime. After trying to get her life together, she moves back to Verona Bay. But what she thought were just awful memories, turns out to be her new reality. I loved Lucas and Serenity together. It was a slowly building relationship, which in this case, I was ok with. His interactions with Harper are so precious. Of course, finding out whodunit is the best part and I was glad I didn’t figure it out until the end. It just made the suspense that much better. Great start to a new series. ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 8 months ago
hopefully this is the start of a new series. fortunately i was off work today so i could read the whole book.
Peachey04 8 months ago
What a fantastic book! The story line is filled with suspense, mystery, fear, doubt and a growing attraction. The characters are unique and have great interaction as they band together to find out who is murdering people. Love this author, always gives us exceptional books. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book; all opinions expressed are my own.
Evampire9 8 months ago
Eight years ago, Serenity Washington was lucky to escape after watching her twin sister’s murder. After her sister’s killer was caught, she relocated and tried to move on with her life. She started a family, but after her husband dies unexpectedly, she moves back to the last place remembers being happy, Verona Bay. Within months of her homecoming, she starts receiving gifts and taunting notes, which has her turning to the local sheriff for help. She has no doubt that she’s the ultimate target, but with her sister’s murderer behind bars, she has no idea who’s stalking her. This series is off to a great start with another spine chilling suspense and rockin’ romance story from this bestselling author. The characters are strong, bold and quite captivating, easily grabbing the reader’s attention from the very beginning. The chemistry between Serenity and Lucas is full of electricity and while it is obvious that their attraction is not going to go away, the relationship has quite a bit of emotional turbulence to overcome as Serenity’s traumatic past continuously rears its ugly head and readers can’t help but empathize and connect with the characters as the town suffers the turmoil of the past. The steady paced plot keeps readers biting their nails in chilling, nail-biting suspense and unexpected twists that stuns readers with OMG moments. It also makes it impossible for readers to truly guess who the culprit is and just what their true motivations are. The smart and cunning unsub also have a different twist from other unsubs that makes the story even more interesting and readers can’t put this truly engaging and thrilling story down.
Shirleylinn 8 months ago
This is the first book in a new series and it is a thriller. It has great characters and an edge of your seat suspenseful storyline. There are many wonderful characters that I would love to read more about. I can't wait to read the next book.
Anonymous 8 months ago
I volunteered to read and review an advanced readers copy through Netgallery of Dark Memento. This is an absolutely Magnificent story . I was captivated from the start of the story to the very end . This is a very emotional , very dark at times all out thriller / romance . I found myself flipping the pages . I could not put this story down . Hands down a favorite for me . The story is one rollercoaster ride of suspense . Twists and turns you don't see coming . The characters are a unique bunch of people . Serenity Washington was a twin in college they were abducted by a serial killer she was able to escape . The killer was apprehended but serenity's twin died . Years later Serenity returns to the town a widow with a young daughter and Terror returns also. Retired Marine Lucas Jordan wants to be more than a good friend . When threats and danger head for Serenity he will protect her and her daughter at all cost . Serenity doesn't know who she can trust except she knows she can trust Lucas . This story is well written , suspenseful , Intriguing , action packed , romance and justice .I highly recommend taking the time to read and enjoy a 5 star read .
paytonpuppy 8 months ago
Serenity Washington suffered tragedy in her life when she and her twin sister, Samantha, were kidnapped by a sadistic killer. Serenity tried to save her sister, but Samantha died before Serenity was able to escape and their captor caught. Years later, when her husband dies unexpectedly, she and her young daughter, Harper, return to Verona Bay where she was once happy, finally hoping for peace. Someone does not want Serenity to find peace and begins to leave mementos from her time as a kidnap victim with the words “tick tock”. Former Marine Lucas Jordan has befriended Serenity and he is someone she trusts. When the stalking continues, her friends are now targeted by this sadistic person leading to murder. Since her captor is still in prison, who is after her? Did he have an accomplice? In the final moment, will Lucas be able to protect Serenity and her friends? A wonderful complex mystery and beginning to a must-read series. I received an advance review copy at no cost and without obligation for an honest review. (by paytonpuppy)
PatriciaWhite 8 months ago
Serenity and her twin sister were kidnapped by a madman. She made it out but her sister Savannah did not. Now it’s been eight years and she’s gone on with her life but someone is stalking her and killing people close to her. Lucas Jordan has wanted Serenity for years but they have never only been friends. Now he will do anything to protect her and her daughter Harper, You also get the pout of view from the killer and of coarse logic is out the window when your Batshit Crazy!This book totally grabbed me from the very first page. And did not let go until the last page. If this is the start of a new series it sure did start with a bang. The romantic aspect is just enough to make a great Romantic Suspense. Definitely keeps you guessing until the end. It’s been a while since I’ve read anything by this author but that is going to change in the near future.
CathyGeha 8 months ago
Dark Memento by Katie Reus Verona Bay #1 Attention grabbed from page one when Serenity Washington is trying to free herself and her sister from the clutches of a serial killer known as “The Shepherd” I read on to find out how she survived. A bit was said about her life in the intervening eight years but the story really begins when she moves back to Verona Beach, sets up business as a dog groomer and is attracted to ex-Marine Lucas Jordan. Serenity has a young son, a business and a few friends in the making but is overwhelmed when she finds a bracelet that disappeared when she and Savannah were kidnapped. She is worried but takes precautions and as Lucas is also interested in Serenity and worried about her he steps in, with his brother and the FBI, to find out what is going on...and keep her safe. One by one people are kidnapped – people who are friends of Serenity. We have a look into the mind of the crazy person on the hunt and also get a glimpse of “The Shepherd” still in jail. I read and watched and wondered but, having read the end as I usually do, wanted to see how the author would finally expose the whack-job that was doing such evil things. Well written and interesting I enjoyed this book and look forward to finding out who will star in book two of the series. Thank you to NetGalley and KR Press. LLC for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4 Stars
booknooknuts 8 months ago
Absolutely loved this dark and twisted story. Serenity went through a horrific tragedy when she was younger. She is back in her hometown and it seems the past wants to drag her down. Lucas is an ex-marine, has his own past demons but he wants nothing more than Serenity and her safety is his top priority. Can he save her? Or will the past swallow them both whole? Twisted, dark, and the suspense is off the charts... I hope we get more like this...
carvanz 8 months ago
No one does romantic suspense better than Katie Reus! The drama and action starts at page one and never lets up. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and ended up reading this in one sitting, it was just that good. I absolutely loved this hero and heroine! Lucas is that strong, alpha who is smart enough to allow the heroine to work through her issues. He never pushes her into more than she can handle and he never oversteps the boundaries she’s set. Nevertheless, it’s clear that he cares for her and will do anything to protect her. ”And until then, he was going to keep Serenity safe. She was his to protect, no matter what. He didn’t care if they weren’t together – if they might never be. He would do anything to keep her safe.” Serenity, while broken, was strong and determined. She fought against her growing feelings for Lucas, but she pretty quickly came to realize that she could depend on him without him taking control of her life. The relationship between this hero and heroine was a bit of a slow burn that allowed Serenity to grow to the place she could freely give her heart. It was everything beautiful in the midst of fear and danger. I loved how Lucas yielded to her needs and how she never took it for granted. They were perfect for each other! The drama here is absolutely intense! There is constantly something new happening while everyone is following clues. The villain was maniacal and played up to this heroine’s fears and I was completely loss as to who it was. This is one of those reads that you’ll find yourself holding your breath as you turn the page, afraid of what the next words are going to reveal. This is the very best in romantic suspense with enough steam to make the building relationship believable. The pace is lightning fast and never repetitive. Secondary characters add to the overall story and some of them I’m hoping we’ll see again with their own book. I loved absolutely everything about this one and can’t help but to recommend it for those who enjoy dark danger, gentle romance, and a wild mystery.
MBurton 8 months ago
I gotta hand it to the author, I tried to guess who the culprit was twice and was wrong both times. She didn't try to trick you into believing one over multiple other options, which made it hard to pinpoint who it was. I love it when an author can fool me like that. I love the new setting for this series and I have high hopes for all the Jordan brothers. Lucas Jordan was awesome. I melted with the interactions with him and Harper. I do wish his and Serenity's relationship built a bit faster but that's the only complaint I have. I really enjoyed this and I'm looking forward to more in the series.