Deadly Heat and Deadly Lies by Cynthia Eden

Intense and hot!

Both of these focus on a member of the FBI’s Serial Services Division. In Deadly Heat, firefighter Lora Spade calls in the SSD to track an arsonist who traps and kills people with his fires. When Special Agent Kenton Lake shows up, Lora realizes that the fire’s flames are the only thing she has to worry about. Her attraction to Kenton can’t be resisted and it’s obvious he feels the same way.

In Deadly Lies, a kidnapper is abducting, torturing and sometimes killing the twenty-something year old sons of rich men. One of those young men is the brother of Max, a man Samantha knows well, a man she spent a passionate night with. She is the best hope the FBI has of finding the kidnapper, and the attraction between her and Max is irresistible.

Romantic suspense needs to have a couple of things for me. First of all is the suspense and both novels definitely packed a punch. They were action-packed with just the right amount of tension.

Second, I look for strong characters. Kenton and Samantha both work for the SSD. Kenton is a driven individual with histories, strong, independent. Samantha is more complicated. She has been to hell and made it back, even though she is still having nightmares and afraid she will fall to pieces. She’s proving to herself that she is still capable of doing her job.

Kenton’s love interest, Lora, is just as strong and independent as he is. She knows danger and faces it willingly. Max, in Deadly Lies, is very determined, loyal, a good man even if he does have a dark secret.

Third is the romance. Both romances were well-done. I thought that Lora and Kenton were a well-matched couple, and I could certainly feel their attraction. I will say that it was lust at first sight, not love, and they acted on that attraction quickly, and it did develop into love. I think with the danger they were in, the intense emotions, it made sense.

As a couple, though, I liked Max and Samantha more. They both had issues they needed to work through, but they were more supportive of each other to me. Maybe they needed each other more. It wasn’t a sweet romance, it was tough and demanding, but it made for good reading.

Just one more comment: The sex scenes are steamy and – detailed.

Deadly#2 and #3, but both definitely work as a stand-alones

Deadly Heat – 416 pages
Publication date: Jan 25, 2011

Deadly Lies – 369 pages
Publication date: March 1, 2011

4 out of 5 stars

Purchase at Amazon, an Indie bookstore, or The Book Depository.

The Giveaway:

Thanks to Anna and the Hachette Book Group, I’ve got three sets of the two books to giveaway. That’s right you can win both Deadly Heat and Deadly Lies, just leave me a comment below before February 22. I will announce the random winners on February 23.

Sorry, this one’s open to the US and Canada only, no PO boxes. And winners are subject to the one copy per household rule, which means if you win the same titles in two or more contests, you will receive only one set in the mail.

Challenge: Mystery and Suspense

I received my ARCs for review and the above is my honest opinion.