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MinnChica from The Book Pushers

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Only Fear - Anne Marie Becker Review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2011/09/09/review-only-fear-by-anne-marie-becker/

Publisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: Out Now!
How I got this book: NetGalley

Becker’s debut novel packs quite a punch, and fans of thrilling romantic suspense will really enjoy this book! The first in a new series from Carina Press; I for one can’t wait to read more books in the series.

Maggie is still recovering from a horrific stalker and attack, and thinks she is safe as just a professor and radio host. But when a caller starts fixating on her, her life spirals out of control and people around her end up getting hurt and killed. She turns to an old friend for help, and the sexy Ethan is assigned to keep her safe.

Ethan has his own ghosts, but keeping Maggie safe and alive takes priority over everything else. As people around Maggie start dying and the stalker gets closer and closer to Maggie, Ethan gets more protective. He didn’t realize he could become so attached to a woman, but Maggie manages to get inside his heart. But with her life continually threatened, will Ethan be able to keep her safe while falling in love?

I’ve been reading quite a few romantic suspense books lately, and I can’t even express how impressed I have been with the September Carina Press suspense books! Becker kept me completely engulfed in action and intrigue and I absolutely did not want to put this book down. I read it from cover to cover without being able to take a break.

I loved Maggie, absolutely loved her. She was intelligent, but not so book smart that she didn’t posses any street smarts. Despite wanting to move past her fears and face her terror head on, she didn’t have an TSTL moments, there was never a time when I wanted to smack her. She was solid and genuine in all her reactions. I loved how she had to deal with being a survivor, and how she got through all the pain and heartache of losing someone, and then having to face it all over again. The character was wonderfully portrayed and I rooted for her from start to finish.

I also really liked Ethan. He had a few moments where I wanted to smack him, but overall he was a great hero. The mystery surrounding his ghosts was alluded to quite a bit in the beginning, and once the whole truth came out, I honestly didn’t see why he had beat himself up to the extent he did. Yes, something horrific happened, but it wasn’t nearly what I expected. But I did like how he dealt with it, and how Maggie was able to get him to deal with his past and move forward, face his fears and move on with his life.

The supporting cast of characters that all work for the “Society” were great as well. I hope that as the series continues, we will get to see more and more of these players, especially as they interact within the team. I really liked how they each had their own specialty and how each really shined in their field. Plus, I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for the sexy men and women lawmen who solve crazy cases like these.

The villain was super vicious, and many of the scenes with him were very graphic in their descriptions. In some ways, the killer reminded me of Cynthia Eden’s Deadly Fear. A very creepy killer whose obsession with instilling fear in his victims is the driving force behind his neuroses. But for those who were squeamish in Deadly Fear, this one did fell a little more tame and manageable.

All in all, I really enjoyed this debut romantic suspense and think that Becker will be a force to be reckoned with in the genre. The suspense was cutting edge, the mystery was deep and developed, the characters all insightful and engaging, and the romance was full of tension and sexiness. I would definitely recommend this book!

I give Only Fear a B+