Thursday, April 30, 2020

Variable Onset by Layla Reyne

To catch a killer, a special agent and his former student will need to get close—to their target, and each other. Layla Reyne returns with a stand-alone romantic mystery.

When the serial killer known as Dr. Fear seemingly reemerges after a cooling-off period, Special Agent Lincoln Monroe wants on the case. He knows his research on the calculating criminal, who targets couples and uses their worst fears to kill them, could prove invaluable. But nothing can prepare Lincoln for the agent waiting for him in Apex, Virginia: a brash and cocky former student. Carter Warren is everything Lincoln is not, and somehow everything he wants. And they’ll be going undercover. As newlyweds.

For Carter, seeing Lincoln again—and flustered to boot—pokes his raging bear of a crush something fierce. He thinks posing as lovers will provide the perfect bait for Dr. Fear. But pretending to be married forces them to confront fears of their own… like giving in to the very real chemistry between them.

With evidence pointing to the possibility of a copycat killer, Lincoln and Carter will have to race to separate truth from fiction. But when another couple goes missing, finding the killer will test every ounce of their training, skills and the strength of their bond like never before.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Buy Links

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Carina Press – Harlequin

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a very good read with an excellent mix of an FBI serial killer investigation, a new romance after a long time crush, and a personal discovery after years of questions.

Lincoln is a lecturer at Quantico and we discover that he does not handle pressure well, as we soon discover that he would otherwise be excellent at fieldwork. His one-time student, Carter, has been paired with him in the hunt for Dr. Fear. Their set up at Apex is revealed to him in the most amusing way, and leads to some lovely intense moments between the men.

I really enjoyed how we got to know about the duo and how they interacted with the townsfolk. There are plenty of hints and miscues to give us a reasonable level of tension – something which is enhanced by there being a copycat who has incurred the wrath of Dr. Fear himself. I did guess at who it probably was quite early on, but it was still played out well, and gave the men the chance to develop their relationship in a period of heightened danger.

I would love to meet these two guys, I felt they were good people and would be excellent company. If Layla Reyne were to make this the first in a series, I would be very happy!

Variable Onset sees geeky Special Agent Lincoln Monroe, who usually spends his time teaching at Quantico, thrown into the field to work with his former student, Special Agent Carter Warren. The men are searching for a serial killer, Dr. Fear, who has kidnapped someone he knows.

When Lincoln meets Carter again for the first time in eight years, there is great chemistry. The back and forth between them was sweet. Early on in the story though, I felt like the personal goings on between pair overshadowed the hunt for the killer but that evened out as the story went on.

I quite enjoyed seeing Lincoln work and seeing how he used his expertise to narrow down who the killer might be. The story has plenty of action that had me on the edge of my seat and the romance between Lincoln and Carter was good fun, which is in contrast to the seriousness of their jobs.

My favorite part of the story was seeing Lincoln face his fears. The descriptions of how he felt were something I'm sure many of us would understand. Every now and then I read a book where a character is dealing with an issue that I am dealing with in my life and this was one of those times. Lincoln's bravery gave me a little bit of courage to face one of my own fears.

Layla Reyne is one of my favorite authors and with Variable Onset, she has once again given us a solid romantic suspense story. A solid 4 stars from me.

2016 RWA Golden Heart® Finalist Layla Reyne was raised in North Carolina but now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart-pounding romance. When she's not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs.

Connect with Layla

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Layla’s Lushes Facebook Group

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Variable Onset by Layla Reyne to read and review.

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