She swallowed and met his gaze. “All right. Let me get this straight. We’re going undercover to flush out a killer who’s obsessed with me, and you’re offering to play at being my man for real with no strings or future?” She hoisted the bag onto her shoulder. “That’s some ego. Are you that good in bed?”
“Yes.” And that was definite interest in her eyes.
She clicked her tongue. “I’ll keep your offer in mind.”
“You do that.” He maintained a low and calm voice. “While you’re considering, let’s look at the situation. You have publicly made me your fiancé in order to draw out a killer, which means I have to act as such. Any halfway intelligent law enforcement officer or private investigator would keep his redheaded fiancée very close after the stunt you just pulled. If you’re not with me, the killer is going to be very suspicious.”
She stilled, expressions crossing her face rapidly. “That’s a good point,” she said slowly.
Yeah. Sometimes reality helped him out a little. Plus, the killer had a hard-on for her, and he must already have plans to take her at some point. She’d just upped the timeline. “In addition, you need protection around the clock now, and I’m willing to provide that. So while you’re keeping my offer in mind, we’ll be staying in the same hotel room or same apartment.” He made sure he had her full attention. “While we plan the wedding, of course.”
Her challenging smile thrilled something inside him. “That’s fair.”
He stepped back to give her some space. “Good. Are you ready?”
“Yes.” She looked around the room. “I do have to ask. What if I didn’t agree with you about your keeping secrets from me? Considering people shoot at you, and I’m going to be at your side, it seems fair that you tell me who these people are.” She cocked her head to the side and focused back on him.
“I have more immediate concerns than being fair,” he said smoothly. “You brought me into this mess.”
A frown drew down her eyebrows. “Listen. I want an answer about you.”
“I just gave you one.” At her mulish expression, he searched for better words that wouldn’t end in an argument.
Suddenly, the door blew wide open and bounced loudly off the table. “Anya!” he yelled, jumping for her.
Revenge is a dish best served cold, but in Lethal Lies it is down right frozen; as in not moving, lifeless. Romantic suspense is supposed to be 1, romantic, and 2, suspenseful, but you’d be hard pressed to find either.
Anya Best, a college psychology professor, is on the hunt for her sister’s serial killer. It is an unconventional choice, to say the least, to have someone outside of law enforcement and with no experience take on this challenge, but Lethal Lies plays fast and loose with authenticity. Case in point, Heath Jones, private “detective,” who along with his rag-tag team The Lost Bastards, is also on the case. Again, the reasons why are brushed aside until late in the third act, and even then it is not adequately explained. Anya and Heath are the dynamic duo, and theirs is an uneasy partnership. As romantic leads, they do little to endear the reader. He is a bland bore, whose caveman tendencies become cliched and tiresome. She’s a green gal whose constant whining make it hard to root for her, let alone rescue. She does have an uncanny knack for being one of the most clueless would be professionals who can jam herself and the plot into the most precarious of predicaments (i.e. TSTL). The chemistry is non-existent (there were more sparks between her and the other guy) and the insta-feelings not believable.
Lethal Lies does have a plethora of bad guys/villains, but they are so thinly drawn it is hard to see them as anything but caricatures. The plot is convoluted and the details murky, but given the penchant for mass information dumps at the most inopportune times, one can parse out the particulars without breaking a sweat.
Heath’s childhood secrets are an interesting element, and the opener is intriguing as it is heartbreaking, but the meandering pace stifles any flow. The synopsis touts breathtaking twists and turns, but when you can see the turn coming from miles away, there is little surprise. Lethal Lies does not have enough grit to make it deadly nor enough emotion to make it stimulating. Disappointing read.
*Check out Rebecca Zanetti’s Mercury Striking (The Scorpius Syndrome) for nail biting action and sizzling romance.
About the Author
Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormal, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller lists. She has received a Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review for Wicked Edge, Romantic Times Reviewer Choice Nominations for Forgotten Sins and Sweet Revenge, and RT Top Picks for several of her novels. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out.