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on August 31, 2010
Last to Die by Kate Brady
Romantic Suspense - Aug 31st, 2010
4 stars

There's a killer out and about killing prostitutes to punish them for their secrets. Five had already died brutally with a sixth victim planned. Detective Dani Cole, who knew the fourth victim, is in a race against time to find the serial killer and stop the murders. But her investigation bringsher and her ex-high school sweetheart, Mitch Sheridan, together again. And Mitch wants Dani back. He will do everything he can to protect

Dani as the investigation shifts the killer's fury and focus on Dani. I grew up reading thriller romances but eventually got tired of this sub-genre due to the clichés and bad writing that abound. Brady is, thankfully, a capable writer who can keep several threads going on without losing or confusing the readers. For a thriller-romance that doesn't seem any different from the other thriller-romances, Last to Die, is surprisingly packed with depth. For one thing, Dani is a layered protagonist. She has so many issues and baggage that makes her rea, and not just a 2-D, tough-as-nails, run of the mill female protagonist. She's genuinely conflicted and trying hard to keep it all together. I feel so sorry for her and yet at the same time I just want to tell her to relax.

Mitch Sheridan was also well written and fleshed out. Still, at times I feel like Dani is the one who did all the detective work. It is almost as though her character overpowers his sometimes, but that could just be my inner feminist. To me, Brady sets a new standard for tough on the outside, vulnerable in the inside female protagonists.

Plot wise, this novel an engaging read with lots of subplots threading through it. It's hard to say anything without spoiling it, but I really wished that Brady, as the writer, had made the killer suffer more!

If you are a big fan of mystery, this is a good summer read, preferably by the beach with a chilled margarita. Equal part solid romance and thriller, Brady's novel is an entertaining and fast-paced read.

Reviewed by Pauline from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
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on September 13, 2010
Kate was added to my favorite author's list after I read One Scream Away. Her knack for romance and suspense keeps a reader intrigued from cover to cover. I love Dani and Mitch and I enjoyed helping track down the killer.
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VINE VOICEon September 10, 2010
Why I read this: I love romantic suspense and have been wanting to read Ms. Brady's books (I won One Scream Away but haven't read it yet), so when I saw it was available for book tour I signed up.

How is the novel driven: It's romantic suspense, so it's plot/action driven and character driven, just the way I love it.

My thoughts: Right off I really liked the main characters, Dani and Mitch (how can I not like a man named Mitch - it's my husband's name). They have a history, but that history is 18 years in the past, but it was so much more than typical teenage puppy love so when you put them back together there are sparks, but first there are murders. Since it's romantic suspense, there has to be some form of suspense and I would say that Ms. Brady does a marvelous job with the suspense. She unpeels the layers of the suspense like an onion, slowly letting the reader know little bits and pieces about what is really going on. I would figure something out and be right, then figure something else out and be wrong. Lots of great red herrings and great suspense done in a way that does not frustrate, just makes you want to keep reading.

So to some it up - great romance, wonderful characters with some flaws, but who are perfect together and compliment each other well. Add to that a great suspense plot with enough twists and turns that keep you turning pages and you get a brilliant romantic suspense novel. I have Ms. Brady's first book, One Scream Away and it will be quickly making it's way to the top of my tbr pile.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0
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on August 28, 2013
"One Scream Away" was Mitch's brother, Nick's story. In "Last To Die" we get to read about Mitch, who was mentioned so much in the first book. Although I'm not a fan of past-lovers-meeting-again story lines as a rule, the chemistry between these 2 was pretty decent, plus, it's always a success when you fall a bit in love with the hero yourself :-) Dani on the other hand, I wanted to strangle at times. Being strong and independent is great, but she took it too far for no rational reason. The plot didn't do much for me in terms of suspense, and I'm sorry, but the coincidence that took place with one of the murder victims and the murderer was just too unbelievable. I think there were tons of other ways to bring Dani and Mitch back into each others lives without using this particular plot line. It just didn't work for me. But I would still recommend this book to any fan of romantic suspense.
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VINE VOICEon November 15, 2010
Author Kate Brady has won or been a finalist in many writing contests, including the Golden Heart from the Romance Writers of America, the Maggies, and the Suzannah. When not writing, she is a full-time choral conductor and assistant professor of music education. Her other title, One Scream Away, (a 2010 RITA Finalist for Best New Book and for Best Romantic Suspense) was her debut novel for this "Sheridan" series. She resides with her husband and two children.

When acclaimed photojournalist Mitch Sheridan receives a frightening call from his mentor one night, he hops a plane and travels across the globe, where he's been hiding since a tragic accident took away any will to continue his art. But coming home has a different form of pain in way of memories. Detective Dani Cole is heading the investigation into Russell Sander's murder, along with a string of disappearances and murders tying all three of their pasts. The old attraction between Mitch and Dani heats again as they race to find a killer right under their noses. And this time, Dani is this calculating killer's last target on a list bent on revenge.

This is book two in the Sheridan series, following One Scream Away.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again--Kate Brady knows how to blend romance and suspense into a killer plotline with page-turning urgency. This is an author who knows her police procedure and how to pace a book very well. The setting, near Lancaster, Maryland, was a perfect, well-described backdrop. And the killer was unique not only in whom, but motive as well. The hero and heroine are relatable and layered, and there was such an intensity to this book not only in the heat between them, but in the suspense. Also true to form is the author's ability to stretch an ending instead of a swift, unsatisfying bang. Oh, and there's a great twist you may or may not see coming, but you cannot stop reading anyhow. I love that Neil returns from the first book as Mitch's brother. It was like welcoming an old friend. With old romances renewed, a murderer hiding in plain sight, a blended past so twisted you'll have nightmares, action like no other, and witty dialog--what's not to love? Masterful.
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on June 19, 2011
Detective Sergeant Dani Cole is called in to help with a body found in a local park. The deceased lady turns out to be Rosie McNamara, a former hooker that Dani had helped to straighten out her life. This makes Dani determined to find Rosie's killer and a chain of events begin. In quick order, Dani finds her home invaded, her furniture destroyed, her dog at the vet, the killer taunting her, and then the chief of police has her pushed off the case (because her late father had been a crooked cop and the chief is just waiting for Dani to follow in her dad's footsteps). To top it all off, Mitch Sheridan has returned and is connected with the investigation.

Mitch Sheridan is a famous photographer. His photography reveals tragedies around the globe. Mitch is half way around the world when he receives a frantic call from Russell Sanders, his close friend, mentor, and the managing director at JMS Foundation for Photography Art. (The Foundation is Mitch's namesake.) Mitch hears a scuffle before the phone call is disconnected. Worried, Mitch returns to Maryland and finds Russell dead. This is how Mitch runs into Dani Cole. Eighteen years ago he and Dani had been in a relationship. But that ended as a teenage Dani watched her father being arrested and saw Mitch there with his camera in hand. Now Dani is all grown up and is tougher than nails.

Dani and Mitch soon realize that the homicides of Rosie and Russell are somehow connected. As the two unofficially investigate, they find themselves not only dealing with multiple homicides, but also with a black-market baby ring. In some unknown way, the Foundation is involved. From the shadows, a killer watches Dani and decides she is getting too close to the truth.

***** FIVE STARS! This story has pulse pounding action and suspense from the beginning until the end. I found myself unable to stop reading and losing sleep, but it was worth it. This author never insults the reader's intelligence, so as soon as the reader is sure of whom the killer must be, the author no longer bothers to hide the information. This gem will test your wits as it pulls you along on one of the fastest rollercoaster rides of the year. Outstanding! *****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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on April 29, 2011
A woman is found dead in a park, and Dani Cole, still recovering from the suicide of her father two weeks before, is called into the case. Then Dani finds out that the dead woman is a former prostitute that Dani helped steer away from the street, and the search for her killer gets personal.

The hunt leads her to Mitch Sheridan, a former childhood sweetheart, now turned photojournalist on a mission to help save the world, who owns a photography studio and runs a charity foundation. When Mitch sees Dani, the flame is instantly re-ignited, but Dani continues to push him away in her hunt for what appears to be a serial killer. In untangling the murders, there is the POV of the killer, a black-market baby ring, and another murder that may also be linked to the serial murders.

This was a somewhat convoluted plot, with varying POV's, and a weird psychopathic killer - usually right up my alley, but for some reason, this book didn't do it for me. I like to be involved in the book, and feel some connection to the characters, and that didn't happen here. A rather formulaic plot, hero, heroine, and offbeat killer (not always bad, mind you), but with nothing new to pull me in, and sex scenes that were rather too graphic and really didn't fit the character of the book. I was interested, but not very much.

QUOTES (*** indicates redaction of possible spoiler):

He knew where the bodies were buried - literally. He'd put them there. And Fulton's type wasn't easy to find. A misdiagnosed schizophrenic who was really a sociopath, Fulton had been born without that quirk of chemistry that allowed for emotion. There were no therapies or medications for men like him; modern psychiatry hadn't yet learned how to manufacture a conscience.

"That could be, but *** didn't tell me he was having an affair with an eighteen-year-old hooker or that he was planning to kill her and then shoot himself and jump off a bridge."

"That's not the point. The point is that I would've killed him. Without a second thought, if he'd laid a hand on you, Dani, i could have blown the sonofa___ away."
She cracked a smile. "You talk so purty."

Writing: 4 out of 5 stars
Plot: 3 out of 5 stars
Characters: 2 out of 5 stars
Reading Immersion: 2.5 out 5 stars

BOOK RATING: 2.8 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon August 20, 2013
Detective Dani Cole just buried her father. She hasn't worked in a few weeks, as Internal Affairs has been dogging her every step. Just because her father was crooked doesn't mean she is, and Dani is determined to prove it. But when a call comes in about the victim of a murder being someone Dani had helped pull out of crime, she quickly gets back to work.

Mitch Sheridan is a renowned photojournalist. But when he was on location years ago, he was caught in the crossfires of a war. Injured, he took many months to recuperate and heal. He owns a foundation in the States, but he lets his close friend Russell Sheridan run it. Russell wants Mitch to come home for his art showing, but Mitch declines. However, when Russell calls Mitch with a cry for help, and then disappears, Mitch is on the next flight.

Dani's investigation leads her to the foundation and Russell Sheridan. But her investigation takes a twist when Russell turns up dead. When Mitch shows up, Dani tries to play it cool. She and Mitch had a summer fling when she was younger. He wanted more, and she felt he got too close, so she pushed him out of her life.

Now, the two of them must work together to find the ruthless killer who is brutally killing women and taking their hair as a trophy. Along the way, they get closer than they've ever been before. The chemistry between them cannot be denied, even as the killer closes in on them.

LAST TO DIE is a thrilling rush! It includes a cold and ruthless killer and two complex, yet unforgettable characters that will have you up late turning the pages. The romance between Dani and Mitch sparks and sizzles, and the calculated moves of the killer will give you chills. Heart-pounding and page-turning -- a surefire winner!
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on February 24, 2012
This is one of those thrillers that moved along at a quick tense clip!
Great characters, great plot, some good twists and a really sick villain!

Detective Dani Cole is a great flawed character. She struggles to prove herself in a "man's" position and faces more obstacles because her father was a crooked cop. Her partner is a great guy but her boss is convinced she will follow the path of her "old man." Dani has learned from a young age that she can't rely on anyone else. When she was about 17 and her father was being arrested someone offered to stand by her and help her she pushed him away... that person was Mitch.

As the story opens Mitch is hiding out as he tries to recover from a traumatic bombing in a foreign country where he had been taking photographs of the poor and helpless. One little boy was killed in front of him and he feels that he failed to save the child. The only thing that gets him to rush home to Maryland is a call from his mentor that hints at danger and is cut off mid sentence.

Mitch is very surprised to discover his friend and work associate is suspected of involvement in the horrendous murder of a reformed hooker. When he sees Dani, his first love from 18 years before, he begins to understand why no other woman quite made it in his life. As they strife to unravel the clues, even from different perspectives, he has a second chance to decide if he will let her push him away again or if he is going to push her till she accepts help ... and love.

The chemistry between the two characters was lovely even as it was woven under the fast paced investigation into the mounting murders. There are some twists in the mystery making you at first suspect the wrong person and the details keep you thinking. Throughout the story there is page turner suspense including thoughts and scenes from the perspective of the villain.

This is the second Kate Brady book I have read and I have added her to my list of sure read romantic suspense authors. If you like suspense and a good solid romance you will like this book and author.
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on September 3, 2010
In Maryland, after burying her bad cop father, Detective Dani Cole remains the loner she has been all her life as she has relied on one person: herself. Ironically in spite of depending on no one, Dani enjoys helping others in trouble; others call them her "charity cases".

Dani helped Rosie McNamara change from being a street hooker to a solid citizen. However, not long after her transformation, someone kills her. Upset, Detective Tifton and Dani investigate the homicide and the rapid killing of five other women; six dead in a week. The clues lead to a former lover photographer Mitch Sheridan who has quit the camera that had been an appendage of his for years. Mitch seeks redemption and he begins to believe Dani may prove his redeemer as the death toll mounts.

The latest Sheridan romantic suspense (see One Scream Away) is a taut police procedural with a great twist that enhances the exciting investigative story line. Dani is terrific as she has plenty to prove to her superior and Internal Affairs as she knows everyone except field cops expect her to be a chip off the rotten block. The romance takes a back seat to the strong whodunit as Kate Brady provides her audience with an exciting action-packed thriller.

Harriet Klausner
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