I am a mega fan of Kristine Mason’s, so when I saw the tour for Ultimate Fear I had to share it with you.
Have you read any of her work yet?
If not, and you love romantic suspense, this is an author you will want to check out.
Each novel will stand alone, even though they are part of the CORE series.
The doll on the cover is pretty creepy, spine tingling. I found out, Kristine plans all her covers ahead of time. I love them all. They are simple and uncluttered, speaking loudly to me – danger, Will Robinson, danger.
I am very bad. As soon as my copy hit my Kindle, I dropped everything to begin reading! Kristine’s writing keeps me on the edge of my seat, hardly able to contain myself.
Blood – the very first word in the book. This is why I love Kristine Mason’s writing. I know it’s going to be bad, but I am loving the bad……and the good I know will come. I am riveted from the very first word and it never lets me go.
My notes are so long, I don’t know how I am going to condense them down into a coherent review. I want so much to let you know the horror, heartache, anger and rage that someone goes through when the worst thing a parent can imagine happens. Some people isolate themselves, while others need the comfort of those close to them.
The POV shifts back and forth and I love being able to see through each characters eyes.
Wayne and Dimples are some messed up people. After he told her she could no longer have children, he promised her he would do whatever it took to make her happy. The only thing that would make her happy is to ‘replace’ their Elton. His promise took him so far over the line, he will never find his way back.
Detective Jessica Donavan works murders and suicides, since the kidnapping of her daughter, Sophia. It has been six years, two months and four days. Jessica had let the tragedy drive her and Dante, her husband, apart, instead of closer together. She is stubborn, full of rage and anger, unable to see past it. She seemed real to me. Who knows how we would react. Would we be able to see past our own pain and be able to help our mate cope?
Dante has gone from a badass SEAL to a Ghandi wannabe.
I love Dante. He is so patient with Jessica, taking her abuse and rage in stride, hoping they will find their way back to each other. He bends over backwards to show her that she is his world. Dante had been the first recruit into CORE – which is second only to the FBI and CIA. He always finishes what he starts.
Jessica had left the house. The memories were so bad, she couldn’t cope with them. She refuses to accept that, even though she can’t live with Dante, she can’t live without him either.
Jessica would call to remind Dante to water the garden. Was that her excuse to stay in touch? I love the fact that Dante had put a timer on the sprinkler system for the garden, but he kept it a secret and used it to lure Jessica home, at least long enough to check on the garden.
Even though they live separately, Jessica kept in touch with another CORE employee, Rachel, their resident computer guru. Rachel kept her updated on missing children.
Dante thinks she is in deep psychological trouble, until he discovers she spends all her extra time, not just, looking for Sophia, but hunting down other missing children. She had been saving some, telling no one. She couldn’t hug her child, so she was determined to enable others with get their lost kids back. She has discovered a serial kidnapper. They will work together to chase him down.
I am already seeing their future. All the CORE men are sexy and deliciously yummy, all you want in an easy to love man package.
I loved the shower scene, each on different sides of the curtain. It seemed real. Their need to protect themselves, made it impossible for them to let down their defenses and communicate. Sometimes it is easier to if you are not face to face. Of course, we knew they will get back together, it is a romance suspense after all. The way Kristine has them work past their insecurities seems so real.
Kristine describes Jessica’s brown/green eyes to a Matuka fishing fly. Now that is some descriptive writing that enables us to visualize them. Funny Kristine, a fishing fly? LOL
Photo from English Fly Fishing Flies Website
Kristine can segue from a deep passionate kiss in the here and now, to a gruesome crime scene they had visited earlier, seamlessly. It is writing like this that keeps even a lengthy book, so hard to put down. I can only read for so many hours before my eyes start crossing or my hubby says “Is that all you’re gonna do all day? Read? Life is too short, so let’s go out to the beach for dinner and a sunset.” Well, I can’t say no to that.
When the stories converge, an urgency comes with it. A woman and her child’s life hang in the balance. The kidnappers have Chloe. I have good feelings about the drug addicted pregnant prostitute. Sometimes we can walk through the Gates of Hell and come out better than we entered.
I should have seen the ending coming sooner, but I was so into what I was currently reading to look very far ahead. I was totally absorbed in this horrific story.
Ultimate Prey, Book Three of the Ultimate Core Trilogy is Lola’s story. Lola, is Dante’s partner and he is supposed to be training her. He is a bit neglectful, because he is spending so much time helping Jessica locate the serial kidnappers. I am eagerly awaiting the opportunity to read what’s up with her.
Sometimes we have to lose something to find what it is we’ve been really looking for.
How could she not realize she was his everything.
“Until the day I die.”
I received Ultimate Fear from Kristine Mason in return for an honest and unbiased review.
5 Stars – Would Buy It For Them (lol)
When a deranged mother’s grief drives her to replace her dead son over and over, obsession leads to murder…
Chicago detective Jessica Donavan will never stop looking for her missing daughter. Her obsession has destroyed her marriage, but the search is the only thing that helps keep her sane and her mind off of everything she’s lost—her husband and her baby girl. When she uncovers a string of unsolved disappearances and reappearances of a number of baby boys, Jessica turns to her soon to be ex, Dante Russo, a former Navy SEAL turned investigator for the private agency, CORE, to help her fit together the pieces in this perplexing puzzle. But as Dante helps her, she realizes just how much she still craves his support—and his touch.
Dante is still in love with his wife and would do anything to have her back in his life again. He’s been miserable since she left him to deal with the grief over their daughter’s abduction, never understanding how much he grieves as well. When Jessica tells him about the case she’s working, he jumps at the chance to take part in her investigation. He’s hoping not only to save their marriage and ease his personal pain over the loss of their daughter, but to stop a serial kidnapper from taking another victim.
As Jessica and Dante work side by side, pregnant women begin to turn up missing or dead, and they start to uncover the consequences of another woman’s unfathomable grief. The childless mother doesn’t just want a baby. She wants a newborn straight from the womb.
And when forced to confront the dark and twisted perversion of a mother’s obsession, can Jessica and Dante find their lives again…or merely more death?
It was so hard to choose which excerpt to use. I love the multiple storylines Kristine creates, so, instead of the villain (which I found hard to hate) I wanted to share Dante’s POV.
As Dante entered the six-story brick apartment building, he thought back to the day he’d first met Jessica. He’d been twenty-three, in his fourth year with the Navy and on a two-week leave. His dad had owned a used car dealership just outside of Chicago, and he’d gone there that day to hang out and check out the new inventory. Jessica had stopped by looking for something inexpensive and reliable. Before his dad or any of the other salesmen could pounce on her, he had. Growing up around the dealership he knew cars, so pretending to be a salesman hadn’t been difficult. The thing was, he couldn’t have cared less if she’d bought a car from his dad, he’d been more interested in acquiring her phone number. Man, she’d been something else. Those eyes of hers had had him tongue-tied. They’d reminded him of an Olive Matuka fishing fly, dark brown with flecks of olive green. Her long and wavy dark blond hair had emphasized her eyes and that smile…
He reached her apartment door. Damn, he missed that smile. He missed everything about her. The press of her naked body against his. Kissing her, holding her, loving her. He shoved the memories he’d been clinging to aside. Their marriage shouldn’t have to end. They were stronger than that, and after knowing and loving her for nearly seventeen years, he couldn’t picture not having her in his life. But he had no choice. Self-preservation demanded that he give up the fight and let her go before they ended up hating each other.
With that last thought in mind, he knocked on her door. After giving her a few minutes to answer, he called her cell. Before he broke into her apartment, he wanted to make sure she was indeed MIA. Otherwise she’d probably raise holy hell for invading her space uninvited. Since she’d never asked him inside before, he suspected there were things she didn’t want him to know about. Like how much her search for their daughter had escalated into a full-blown obsession.
When she didn’t answer his call, he opened up his lock pick kit and went to work. Twenty years ago, he’d never thought he’d be adept at picking a lock. Who knew it would take working as a criminal investigator to master breaking and entering.
The lock gave. He pocketed his tools, then turned the knob. His stomach tightened again. If Jessica was keeping secrets, now was his chance to discover them.
He inched his way into the small apartment, then froze. “Is that thing loaded?” he asked Jessica and eyed the .38 Special she pointed at his head.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I didn’t pick up my first romance novel until I was in my late twenties. Immediately hooked, I read a bazillion books before deciding to write one of my own. After the birth of my first son I needed something to keep my mind from turning to mush, and Sesame Street wasn’t cutting it. While that first book will never see the light of day, something good came from writing it. I realized my passion and found a career I love.
When I’m not writing contemporary romances and dark, romantic suspense novels (or reading them!) I’m chasing after my four kids and two neurotic dogs.
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