I have these four books on my kindle tablet. It's a four book series that follows a family, The Morgans, as they solve four different crimes. It's pure romantic suspense, with each of the four members of the Morgan family getting their own book and their own romance. I found these to be solid mysteries, solid romances and my ratings ranges from 3* to 4*. Sometimes I found the men to be extra grumpy and I didn't like the lady lead (which kinda makes a hard start). Burton's female leads tend to be harder as characters and her male leads tend to be closer to the "alpha" stereotype. There's nothing wrong with this of course, it's just not my favorite so I do struggle with that. My favorite book of the four was I'll Never Let You Go, which did have a mystery but was done differently than the other three.
These were written between 2014-2016. I love a good romantic suspense (heavy on the mystery more than romance) book where there's a capture of a serial killer or deranged killer. The themes in these book deal with possibly wrong convictions, stalking, abuse, and forensics to solve old cases. I understand there are some real bad apples (or, in some cases, departments) that are wrecking the ideal of policing in real life. I haven't really resolved my favorite trope with real life as of yet. It's a worthy discussion though.
Cover Your Eyes (#1)
This book follows Rachel Wainwright (a public defender) and Deke Morgan (homicide detective). Rachel has been petitioning for Deke to reopen an older case that Morgan's father solved 30 years ago before as she believes her client innocent. The old case had a country singer, Annie Dawson, bludgeoned to death in her house. The local handyman was convicted (Rachel's client). Deke isn't keen on reopening but puts the old evidence forward for DNA testing. While this small skirmish is occurring, another country singer has been bludgeoned (Deke's new case) and Rachel feels there's a connection between the two cases. Rachel's investigation into the older case causes her to be in the cross hairs of this new killer. Of course, Deke and Rachel are often thrown together and sparks fly, etc. Rachel is spunky and a fighter whilst Deke is grumpy and strong/silent type. I thought the ending was pretty unique the first time I read it as I wasn't expecting it. I think Burton tends to go for the more complicated ending (to end with a pizzazz) instead of a super neat ending. I quite like that because I'm so used to the neat and tidy endings--this isn't to say Burton's endings aren't neat and tidy...she just goes for the extra. Whilst this was a strong start, it was my third favorite book of the four book series.
Be AFRAID (#2)
This deals with Rick Morgan, a detective that's joined the homicide unit under Deke's leadership. Rick's been injured in another incident so he needs a more "desk" job I guess? His police dog was also injured but goes with him to work (the dog's name is Tracker and he survives the book/isn't in danger). Rick and his new partner are called to the scene of a crime because there's been a child's skeletal remains found in a park fountain.
Rick's sister, Georgia, offers to connect him to Jenna. Jenna is a forensic artist on leave from her last department. As there is apparently a dearth of forensic artists, Rick takes the connection, in hopes of getting a portrait our of the child in order to identify her. Jenna has taken leave from her old department (Baltimore? maybe?) and is in Nashville trying to recollect her memory from a kidnapping/attack as a child. Jenna is from Nashville and that's where her childhood attack happened. As Rick tries to solve the child's murder (and identification), Jenna becomes convinced that her old attack was far more complicated that she originally thought. There were more people involved and they're still out there hurting people.
Rick and Jenna are attracted to each other of course, and eventually begin a relationship (kinda near the middle end) as they try and solve both mysteries. I liked this one better than the second, less than the third. It was my second favorite one from the series.
I'll Never Let You Go (#3)
Alex Morgan is the last male Morgan in this series. He works at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) which is the state police. He's moved over to investigating dirty cops which is a great foil for Leah's ex-husband, who was a dirty (and abusive) cop.
Leah's new running group includes a cop that Alex is investigating, since she's grown close to this person, Alex has singled her out for information. Leah is a veterinarian now and treats Tracker (under the guise of Alex's investigation).
Leah has been getting a bad feeling about some events that have happened recently, making her scared that her ex-husband (who tried to kill her) is still alive and is coming back to finish his attack on her. She eventually grows close to Alex, who is concerned that his dirty cop case might be connected to Leah's ex-husband. Another woman with an connection to Leah and her ex-husband is attacked and killed-stabbed in the same way Leah was, creating a full panic for Leah and for Alex.
Leah and Alex take a bit longer to get together, mostly because Leah is emotionally wrecked after the attack and dating (especially dating another cop) isn't high on her list of ideals. The book is higher on suspense and the ending really stunned me (I wasn't expecting the resolution even though I do believe there were breadcrumbs scattered throughout). This was my favorite book in the series because I liked Leah the most and Alex was not as grumpy as the other male leads.
I liked the mystery in this book the best...but lord did Georgia send me. Georgia is the youngest Morgan, she works as a forensic technician with the Nashville Police Department. For some reason she's now working with Rick Morgan's (#2 lead) partner, Jake Bishop. It makes zero sense to me. Georgia is also super annoying to me. Bratty and rough around the edges--which I think is supposed to pass for spunky and firecracker personality. Jake is also grumpy, taciturn, and not really fleshed out. They're on the case for the mystery but I mostly ignored them and sped-read through their scenes. There's a romance between them but it's really on the background for this book.
The mystery is good. Very dark and twisted. Three teens (Mike, Bethany and Amber) enter a local woods for an environmental project for their high school science class. Only Amber emerges, with permanent amnesia. Mike and Bethany are still missing five years later. Mike's father is wealthy and increases the reward for information, as well as pushes the Nashville PD to solve this case (forthwith they place Jake and Georgia on the case. By themselves. With Georgia having no experience.) Amber has also returned to town to try and help. Eventually, another body is found in the woods, adding more layers to this sinister case.
The problem is that Jake and Georgia don't quite believe Amber. The relationship between the three teens is suspect. Mike's father has a closet full of dirty secrets. Other characters all have shady and sincere reasons for being in the woods, hurting the teens, hurting Amber and hurting the families.
As a romance, this didn't work for me. As a thriller, it was spectacular. I think Burton's strongest talent lies in writing thrillers/suspense and mysteries. Romantic suspense (or romance in general) is a really popular genre, so I wonder if she prefers that genre or her publisher does. This is my least favorite of the series--mostly because I didn't like Georgia, nor did I find Jake interesting. The mystery is great and saved the book from being a DNF for me. I kinda averaged it out to 2.5-3* ending up on 3* for the mystery alone.
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