Kelsey Quinn set out to trace a murder victim. Now she may become one. The dead don’t speak, but Kelsey knows their secrets. As a forensic anthropologist at the Delphi Center crime lab, Kelsey makes it her mission to identify bodies using no more than shards of bone, and her find at a remote Philippines dig hints at a sinister story. When Kelsey’s search for answers puts her at the scene of her exfiancé’s murder, only one man can help her. The same man who broke her heart just months before, and who is also a prime suspect. Faced with an ultimatum— Kelsey or his job—Gage Brewer did the only thing a Navy SEAL could . . . but that doesn’t mean he stopped wanting Kelsey. Now Kelsey is running for her life and Gage is her last line of defense. As the threats escalate, Kelsey realizes this conspiracy goes deeper and higher than they could have guessed. With the clock ticking down on a madman’s plot, the slightest misstep will have unthinkable consequences. . . .
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I’m fairly new to the Griffin bandwagon, but when I discovered her late last year, I gobbled up her writing as quickly as I could. The Tracer’s Series has quickly become one of my go-to romantic suspense series.
Kelsey loves her job as a forensic anthropologist, and when she stumbles on something odd in the Phillippines, she finds herself smack dab in the middle of one huge conspiracy. When she witnesses her ex-fiance’s murder at the hands of his FBI partner, Kelsey knows she needs to hide out and use her skills and resources from the elite Delphi Group to find out exactly what’s going on.
Gage’s history with Kelsey is more complicated than either of them like to think about. But Gage still loves her, and is willing to risk just about anything to keep her safe. The only thing he doesn’t realize is that he may very well be risking his SEAL career by finding her, protecting her, and keeping her off the grid. As they stay underground and follow the clues, more and more details surrounding the ever growing conspiracy are revealed. But when they discover who all is involved, will Kelsey and the Delphi folks be able to gather enough evidence to clear the innocent and get the guilty?
Griffin is a master storyteller. When it comes to romantic suspense, it’s obvious she does her homework and it shows throughout. I love the introduction of a SEAL hero, because let’s be honest, there’s nothing sexier than an Alpha-hero military man!
This story moved quick! From the Philippines to the US east coast than west, the story transitioned FAST. Griffin has this amazing ability to keep me engaged. She slows down for the hero and heroine to catch their breaths, work on their relationship and get it in little sexy time, all while keeping the suspense high. I’ve come to really appreciate an author who can keep up that high-octane action and mystery, all while keeping the story believable at the same time. And, in my opinion, it’s one of Griffin’s great strengths.
I have to admit that I fell for Gage much more than Kelsey. While I liked Kelsey and thought she was an interesting character, I just didn’t feel as much of a connection with her. Gage was still a little beat up over the death of his team leader (and Kelsey’s uncle), he’s hurt over his breakup with Kelsey and the only thing he has going for him is his SEAL team. Yet he bends over backward and risks everything he loves most in the world for the chance to keep Kelsey safe and make a life with her. I could see his desire for her and thought he did a great job of showing her just how much she mattered to him.
There also was an underlying second-chance story with the romance, but it didn’t stick out as much for me. While I could tell Gage was looking for another shot at love, Kelsey never seemed to acknowledge it. I felt as if she was much more concerned with solving the case than she was with building something with Gage. It didn’t really pick up (romance-wise, for me) until almost three-quarters of the way through. I would have liked to see a bit more from Kelsey on that front, but enjoyed the romance just the same.
All in all Griffin has another great Tracer’s novel on her hands. The case and suspense aspects were done so well, keeping the readers on their toes while leaving a trail of breadcrumbs as well. Add in the romance between two headstrong people who love their careers more than anything and watching them figure out if what they have together is more important…it was a recipe for book success! This series continues to rock and I can’t wait for more.
I give Scorched a B.