Grains of sand glistened in the moonlight, bright against the backdrop of her wet hair. Her blue lips were parted slightly, as if she could take in that last breath she’d been gasping for. She was, in a word, perfection.
When his friend’s niece is murdered, Detective Noah Crandall vows to track down the killer. Since the victim worked in an art gallery with the well-connected and well-heeled Vanessa Knight, Noah questions her first. Despite the chemistry between them, Noah tells himself a relationship would be impossible. He’s a loner and their backgrounds are worlds apart.
Drawn to Noah and horrified by the death of her intern, Vanessa shares her insights into the New York City art world. As they work together on the case, she’s tempted to explore the possibility of a real relationship with the sexy outsider who ignites her desire. But what Vanessa doesn’t realize is that in order to complete his gruesome series of paintings, the killer has targeted her to become his next victim…
*Blurb from Goodreads*
When I first read Becker last year, I was immediately pulled into the story and knew that I would need to read the next book. Becker writes some incredible suspense with thrilling and creepy villains and great romance as well. While I didn’t like Avenging Angel as much as Only Fear, there was a lot to love in this book.
Noah is back in his hometown, taking personal leave to track down the serial killer who went after his best-friend’s niece. When the investigation leads him to Vanessa, Noah is conflicted between being desperate to find the murderer, and fighting his growing attraction to Vanessa. Add in their very different lifestyles and their romance is as doomed as Noah can make it.
But when the killer sets his eyes on Vanessa as his final target to complete his gruesome paintings, Noah and Vanessa will have to fight tooth and nails to keep her safe. However, the last thing either of them expected was to have the killer be someone close to them, someone they trusted. When time begins to run out for Vanessa, Noah will be forced to fight the clock in order to keep her from becoming the final victim.
The suspense in this book was awesome! Absolutely thrilling and chilling and everything I’ve come to love and look for in a romantic suspense book. The killer was so incredibly creepy, he had me fighting goose bumps and a strong desire to sleep with the lights on. However, once the killer’s identity was revealed, things started to fall a little apart for me. There were some big timeline issues that were revealed during the killer’s explanations. Add in some motivational concerns I had, and I really struggled with the big reveal. I was bummed that the suspense aspect fell apart for me at the end, because I really wanted this one to work for me as well as Only Fear did.
In addition to the suspense fizzling out toward the end, I also felt as if the romance didn’t live up to the same level of caliber as it did in Only Fear. While I really liked both Noah and Vanessa as individual characters, there was something about their romance that just didn’t work for me. I think it was in part because it felt like at times these two were fighting harder to stay apart than together. Their romance was a slow build, with Noah being stubborn and sticking his foot in it every now and then, saying stupid things and making silly decisions. Noah constantly fought the idea of a relationship with Vanessa, despite his growing attraction. I wanted him to man up to the idea of love a lot sooner than he did.
All in all, I overall enjoyed this book. Despite the twists at the end that didn’t add up for me, the suspense of the book for the first 90% was absolutely incredible. The suspense was thick, the villain was creepy, and the overall plot with the killer and paintings was so well done. Had the end with the killer been better explained and the romance a bit more explored, I think this would have been a top RS read for the year. However, for me, it fell short.
I give Avenging Angel a C-