Review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2011/10/24/review-the-heart-of-a-killer-by-jaci-burton/
Publish Date: October 25th
How I got this book: NetGalley
I absolutely love Burton’s stuff, so when she first announced that she was coming out with a romantic suspense book, I did a little happy dance.
Anna went through an extremely traumatic event as a young girl: she was attacked and almost killed, was saved by her boyfriend and his foster brothers. When her boyfriend Dante leaves after that night, Anna continues on. When Dante returns twelve years later, Anna is upset and scared, because suddenly people she loves start dying.
Dante never wanted to leave Anna, but thought he was doing what was best. When the killer seems fixated on her, Dante sticks to her side and does anything and everything he can to protect her. But with Anna having difficulties trusting him, Dante worries that he might not be able to earn her trust before the killer makes his move.
It’s no secret I love romantic suspense books, especially ones that can keep me guessing who the bad guy is until the very end. And although Burton did that, at times I felt like she didn’t get us enough information to make a guess as to who the bad guy was. I went through about seven different guesses throughout the whole book, and one that I had guessed and discounted fairly early as the actual killer.
I did really like Anna and Dante though. Although the two went through some insane history together, they also didn’t jump right back into each other’s arms when Dante came back to town. Anna took her time figuring out what she really wanted and if she could really trust him. I appreciated the hesitancy she had in getting involved once again. I also thought that the way she had to struggle through the case, the panic attacks and the fear she went through was very well done. I was totally scared for her as well throughout the book. I even shed some tears with her as well. Burton did an amazing job creating a believable and realistic character that really spoke to me.
I loved Dante. I’ve always been a sucker for bad boys, and Dante is as sexy as one gets. He was so dedicated to Anna even as a kid, and that dedication and devotion showed through in every single action of his. I loved their scenes together, especially when he took care of her during her panic attacks. While he was sweet and endearing during those times, he was also capable of being absolutely ruthless when he needed to be. Loved it!
I thought the secondary cast of characters were great as well. I was totally bummed because Burton killed off quite a few characters that I would have liked to see more of, namely Jeff (one of Dante’s foster brothers) and Anna’s father. I absolutely fell head over heels for Gabe, and I hope and pray that Burton will write his story, because I think there was so much more to him than what was on the surface!
All in all I really enjoyed this romantic suspense book. I thought the suspense and mystery around the killer was done really well, without giving away too much to feel like you knew what would happen. I thought the romance progressed wonderfully and was both steamy and romantic. I sincerely hope that Burton continues writing romantic suspense novels in the future!
I give The Heart of a Killer a B