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Before the Dawn
Author: Cynthia Eden
Publisher: HQN Books
Release Date: July 2017
ISBN: 9780373803217

Book 2 of Killer Instinct
Book Genre: Romantic Suspense/Mystery

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Before the Dawn

26 people found the following review helpful

Book Reviewed by Ashia (reviewer)

[ Review Posted: Jul 30, 2017 ] - See all my reviews
BEFORE THE DAWN is just as riveting as the first book in the series, After the Dark. We first see Tucker Frost in the first book and when I saw that he has his own book here, I just had to pick it up. The Killer Instinct series is about agents who are up close and personal with the villains, in this case, it's Tucker's brother who's the villain--well, someone who's using his MO anyway. This raises the stakes for our MC's and ups the suspense factor for us readers, too. And I like that its concept is a bit different from other suspense books, thus freshening up a tired genre.

I love Tucker, especially the way he took care of Dawn (it just dawned [pun intended] on me regarding the title) and loved her. It just...hit me where it counted. Dawn for me is a strong heroine who's a good match for Tucker. Their romantic development was believable and angsty (love it!) and their chemistry sizzling.

The plot has lots of twists and turns, making for a compelling read. I love it when authors make me go "oh!" and my mind blanks out for a moment at the revelation of the twist. The pace was just right, as is the mix of romance and suspense.
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11 people found the following review helpful

Book Reviewed by BookAddict (reviewer)

[ Review Posted: Aug 28, 2017 ] - See all my reviews
Originally posted at Reading Alley:

This is the second book in the series. Full disclosure, I read this book out of order. This book can be read as a standalone. I have read Ms. Eden's books before. Mostly, I tried her paranormal romance and enjoyed it. I tried her contemporary years ago and it fell flat. Not sure what to expect, I picked this book up. I am so glad I did. The growth in Ms. Eden's writing voice and plot development is impressive. From the very first page of this story, I'm hooked in.

This is a page turner as we learn about a Tucker Frost and his past. Tucker's intimate experience with a serial killer drives him in both his personal and work life. They say there are life changing events in a person's life who defines them. Tucker is lucky enough to have many; unfortunately most were horrifically abusive. Tucker is a complex character with questionable motivations when viewed from an outside perspective. When he is reunited with the one woman he loves, Dawn, it is due to a past he seems not to be able to escape. The chemistry between the two characters is unstable for me. This is because Tucker is a trigger for Dawn in several ways. Yet Dawn loves Tucker and wants to be able to reconnect with him. This conflict is poignant and depressing. I personally do not see how to overcome the trauma. The two of them still try.

There are several twists and turns in this story which make it more interesting. Ms. Eden does a nice job at dropping hints which allowed me to figure out the villain and how he ties into Tucker and Dawn well before the big reveal. This sad history filled with heavy baggage is turned around and gives Tucker and Dawn a second chance. This romantic suspense is recommended to romance lovers who love their happily ever afters.
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8 people found the following review helpful

Book Reviewed by Pip (reviewer)

[ Review Posted: Sep 08, 2017 ] - See all my reviews
‘Before the Dawn' is a bit more predictable than Cynthia Eden's first book in her Killer Instinct series, with a copycat serial killer (with a specific MO) that is typically a trusted ally. But it's also a second-chance story, where a couple separates for more traumatic reasons than usual—in this case, where neither really didn't seem to be in a good place to be together—only to be brought back together when a copycat killer emerges.

Romantic suspense—of the thriller kind—and I have a certain relationship: the story unravels as the clues go out while I do the guessing whodunnit game. It's always fun and entertaining and the stranger and more shocking the twists, the more memorable it is for me. Despite this, the predictability factor, or at least how far into the book I get before guessing who the perpetrator really is, isn't the only criterion for my rating and/or review of the book. In this case, I had my suspicions but Eden does throw out red herrings that do cause you to doubt your own conclusions.

What frustrated me however, was the push-pull that always comes when both Dawn and Tucker try to rationalise their own feelings away from each other and that sex came rather inconveniently before several truths were brought to light. Such delay tactics simply added to the layer of unrevealed secrets that tainted the relationship before when all they had to do was to sit down and put things out in the open before letting more bodily needs come into play.

‘Before the Dawn' is an absorbing read nonetheless, even if Eden's heroes and heroines in all her series do inevitably meld together, bound by the similarities in their tortured backgrounds and hidden pasts. And this probably makes this book less of a standout than it really is because it's not easy to differentiate between her plots and characters after a while. I'd love to continue this series however, as much as I'd love to have Eden's protagonists who are somehow more memorably unique in their own ways.
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