Cover Image: After the Dark

After the Dark

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Member Reviews

After the Dark was less a romance and more a police thriller, but that didn’t take away from the great storyline and drama that made this an entertaining book to read.

Ex-FBI profiler Samantha Dark has just been fired from her position with the bureau and has retreated to her hometown to regroup after letting a serial killer escape. The long standing friendship and physical relationship between her and Cameron, the suspected killer, caused her hesitation during the arrest, allowing him to escape. Now, she has gone home to a small town to seek solace, and her old partner Blake has followed her. He is acting on feelings he couldn’t when she was his partner.

But a serial killer has also followed Samantha back home.

As a thriller, this story was fantastic. It was smart and dark and psychologically twisted. It brought you into the mind of a killer and into the mind of the hunted as well, and I thoroughly enjoyed every character. Samantha was strong willed and tenacious. Blake was alpha and protective. Even Cameron was a puzzle, causing feelings of horror and pity (mostly horror) in me. I loved reading this whirlwind of a story with its twists and turns with a helping of sexy on the side.

My only regret is that I wish I had been aware of the prequel* that sets the stage for Blake and Samantha’s attraction before reading this story. I could feel the tension between these two as their relationship grew, but I would have liked to have seen it from the start. Instead, I was just told that they had an intense attraction for one another and felt as if I had missed something.

If you like your romance with a body count, this one’s for you!
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This was an amazing read.  I loved everything about it.  It had suspense, action and romance.  I loved how this story came together and how detailed it was.  I didn't feel lost at all and there were some spinners in this story.  Then there was the romance between Blake and Samantha, they were perfect for each other.  Cameron knew this and he knew that he needed to kill Blake but Samantha was in love with him and she would do anything in order for that not to happen.  Cameron was one of those psychopaths that believed he was in love with Samantha and that they were alike.  He believed that there was a sparkle in her eye when she talked about killing a man but the worst part was it that when he talked about this he was such a sweet talker that she believed it.  She knew deep down inside that she was different and that she understood killers more than what she thought.  She was able to get into their head and figure out their motives sometimes even their next move.  Samantha and Blake are going to have to work together and not let their feelings get in the way.  Cameron is going to try to manipulate them but their love will be able to overcome anything.
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Cynthia Eden continues to write books filled with the right combination of intrigue, suspense and of course romance. Her main characters are captivating and spot on each time. I truly love when a new book from Ms. Eden hits the shelves.
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This is book 1 in the Killer Instinct series, and it follows the prequel The Gathering Dusk. If you’ve been keeping track, Abduction fits in between the two books, but can be read as a stand-alone.

In the prequel, we’re introduced to Samantha Dark and her partner Blake, and while we see that she’s the latest up and coming profiler in the FBI, we also see that her boss cares a lot about how they present the Bureau in the media. When Sam botches a profile, and several girls end up dead, she’s fired. But, she didn’t really botch the profile. She was spot-on.

And that killer is still out there. Closer than she thinks.

Blake knows Sam wasn’t wrong.

Sam has returned home to both recover from the professional blow, and the fact that the on-the-loose killer was a friend (not a spoiler-it happens in the beginning). But while she’s home, she’s still working on the case. She’s going to bring him in. With or without her badge.

But when Blake shows up and tells her she needs to help stop the killer, she’s not interested in helping him. Blake disrupts her cool self-composure. He makes her feel too much.

The mind games the killer is playing are hitting close to home, and while Sam is convinced she can handle it, they still take their toll. Blake wants to be there for her, and not just as a partner. Sam doesn’t want him to get close, though. Although with the way those two are hitting sparks off each other, she may not have a choice.

While she thinks she knows what the killer is thinking, Blake thinks she’s too close to the situation to see clearly. And the killer thinks she’s meant for him and is torn between getting Blake out of the way, and showing Blake (and Sam) how much smarter he is. With the killer closing in, and a possible copycat out there now targeting Samantha, she knows they don’t have much time.

I think that my favorite thing about Cynthia Eden novels is that the mystery always feels fresh. Her bad guys have evolved and gotten even more intense. They are the perfect foils to her hero and heroine. She continues to keep me enthralled, and I really think I haven’t met a Cynthia Eden novel I don’t like. The intensity and the intrigue keep you hanging on each word, flipping pages as quickly as possible. If you’re new to her, pick up a Cynthia Eden book today!


***ARC courtesy of Harlequin
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After the Dark is the first book I've read by Cynthia Eden and it most certainly won't be my last. I am thrilled that it's the first book in a new series because I'm officially hooked and I give this novel 4.5 stars.

Samantha Dark is a profiler for the FBI. As the novel opens, she and her partner, Blake Gamble, are facing down a killer with a loaded gun. They've been on the hunt for who the tabloids have dubbed "The Sorority Slasher", and came to the house of Allan March, a custodian at Georgetown University, to ask some follow-up questions. At first, his holding them at gunpoint makes him look guilty, but Samantha feels that something is off--and she's right. He's the antithesis of her profile. The man ends up killing himself, rather than either Samantha or Blake, and her boss at the FBI is quick to point out that had her profile not been completely wrong, the deaths of 3 girls wouldn't be on her shoulders. She's fired from her job at the FBI, and heads off to her hometown in Alabama, depressed and devastated. 

Deep in her heart, she knows that the real serial killer is still out there, and he fits her profile to the letter--but what she has yet to learn is that he's also someone she knows. Blake finally tracks her down, because there's always been serious chemistry between them, although while partners they were forbidden from acting on it. Now that their FBI partnership is over, there's no way Blake is going to miss this opportunity to pursue a relationship with her. Unfortunately, Blake unintentionally leads the killer right to Samantha's door, and the chase is on. 

If you like a whole lot of suspense in your romantic suspense novels, you're going to get as wrapped up in this story and it's characters as I did. Since I won't spoil it for you and name the killer in a book review, let me simply compare his twisted mind to that of Hannibal Lechter in Silence of the Lambs. No, the killer in Ms. Eden's novel doesn't eat his victims, but he does enjoy torturing them for days, and he's brilliant, sophisticated, twisted, and as fixated on Samantha as Hannibal Lechter was on Clarice Starling. 

This is as taut a thriller as I've read in years, and if anyone reading this review is wondering why I gave it 4.5 rather than 5 stars, it's because I wish the author had provided her romantic lead, Blake Gamble, with some sort of backstory. He's rather obsessed with Samantha, and admits that he's been that way since the first time he saw her, so don't be surprised if you, as I did, begin to suspect him of being the serial killer--and no, that's not a hint.

All in all, this was an excellent read, and if you're not afraid of some gruesome details, graphic sex or violence, I'm happy to highly recommend it. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance reader copy of this novel and received no compensation for doing so. The opinions expressed are my own.
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Samantha has darkness in her and it's served her well as an FBI profiler, allowing her to get into the minds of evil. During one such case, her ability helped her perfectly describe the killer, however, planted evidence led her and her partner, Blake, to the wrong guy. This resulted in Sam's suspension. That night, as she's figuratively drowning her sorrows, her friend, and former lover, Cameron, finds her and takes her to his place to watch over her. But he didn't plan ahead and Sam, after waking in the middle of the night, noticed his computer, and knowing his password, looked into what she saw and realized Cameron was the real killer. As they struggled, Sam was injured and Cameron escaped. Unfortunately, how and where she was found impacted people's view of her, one of those being her boss, and she found herself unemployed.

Four months later, Sam is enjoying herself, or trying to, at her haven, her home. But her former life isn't done with her yet, Blake isn't done with her yet. Blake and Sam have been attracted to one another since being paired up over a year ago. Sam tried to keep her distance due to secrets in her past, believing he would see her differently, and rightfully so. Plus, they were partners and that was against the rules. But now he's come to her with a case, one in which other agents believe Cameron is behind the killing and the message for Sam. Both Blake and Sam know it isn't Cameron, but he's determined to bring her back, knowing the victims, current and future, need her to help solve their cases.

The proximity between them again, without any limitations professionally, allows them to finally act on their intense attraction for one another. However, there is a killer out there and he is focused on Sam, and willing to do anything to make her pay for her part in his mentor's ruin. This person knew if anyone would lead him to Sam after his message was delivered, it would be Blake, and he was right. Now to just complete his mission of having some "fun" with Sam before making her pay the ultimate price.

 “That I’m not who you want me to be.” - Sam
 “You are exactly who I want you to be.” - Blake

Can Blake protect Sam? Will Blake's feelings for Sam put him in danger as well? Will they uncover the killer's identity and his connection to Cameron? What did happen the night Sam discovered Cameron's secret? Is he in hiding? Will he come after Sam, intent on finishing his experiments? Or will he have a different reason for wanting Sam, for wanting Blake out of the way? Will Sam return to the FBI? And, if she does, will it be in the same capacity? Or has her personal knowledge of a killer actually become a blessing in disguise in some way? Will Sam share all of herself, her history, with Blake? Can Blake prove to her that it doesn't change how he feels about her? Will Blake and Sam finally get the chance to fully explore their feelings for one another? Will they have a HEA?

One-click now and follow along as former partners work together to take down a killer, while taking a chance on forever.

**I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.**
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Title: After The Dark
Author: Cynthia Eden

4 unexpected stars 

Almost a year ago I came across one of Cynthia Eden's sponsored posts on Facebook, then received an email from Amazon about upcoming releases of hers and I was curious to find out the types of novels she wrote. And they were as different as can be, not one book like the other. Which is what After The Dark became ~ a suspenseful novel that had me guessing every single moment as I kept reading along. The story about a profiler whose career is careening towards the depths and the only way she believes can bring her reputation back is by apprehending a serial killer she knows a little too well. The closer she gets to him, the more her life is in danger and only one person can help her stay safe, an ex military man with a rough exterior. 

4.5 sexy dreams 

I was absolutely enchanted and couldn't get enough!the first being in the series, After The Dark was the perfect introduction to what I know will be a thrilling adventure. Cynthia Eden has a way of taking two characters and making them come alive ~ to make them breathe, live, feel a full range of emotions and then make us want to really get to know them. Which is what I wanted; to know more about them, fall more in love with their struggles, the obstacles they faced and especially to finding exactly what is going to happen in the future for both Samantha and Blake. I can't wait for more in this series and am truly looking forward to more!

*ARC provided by Author in exchange for an honest review. Reviewed by Kathleen, The Small Girl from A small girl, her man and her books
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After the Dark is part of a new series featuring FBI  profiler Samantha Dark. I'm a big fan of Cynthia Eden after reading previous books by her and this was as good as her other novels I've been blessed to have read. I'll be anticipating her next novel and I recommend this to anyone looking for a well written Romantic Suspense novel that's engaging from beginning to end.
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Samantha Dark is a former FBI agent / most respected profiler in the bureau. She is an expert in getting into a killer's mind and forming a dead on profile. But this case is different, they find a man standing over a dead body but the scene just doesn't feel right. He's not the killer, she doesn't realize who the killer is until the next morning when she is sitting at her ex-lover's and best friend, Cameron Latham's, computer seeing pictures of the latest victim. Her career destroyed, being blamed by the assistant director that she let him go. 

Murder's with a MO similiar to that of her former best friend is showing up in the town that's her sanctuary.  She has to trust her former partner and the man she has always been drawn to. Blake Gamble, ex-military, has always been in love with Samantha Dark but will Cameron let her have her happily ever after if it doesn't include him?

What a story! Like always Cynthia Eden has written a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. No matter what happened Cameron was on the outskirts, watching, waiting, and planning. All of the characters were so dynamically written and had such a 3d perspective. I really liked Josh and Tucker and can't wait to see more of Blake, Sam, Josh, and Tucker in the future. I always know I've got a book I'm going to enjoy when I pick up a Cynthia Eden book, but I always wonder where she is going to take me this time? Just like usual, I can't wait to read the next in the series, about Tucker.
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Cynthia Eden brings a fresh breath of air into the romantic suspense genre with AFTER THE DARK.

I've read my fair share of books in the romantic suspense genre, and although there were a few variations, it was the same old, same old. Not that I was tired of them, mind, since I continued to read them. But from the first page, AFTER THE DARK was different.


1. You know from the start who the villain is.

2. The villain is a close friend of the heroine. In fact, all the books in this series feature villains who are close, in one way or the other, to the hero or heroine of the particular book.

3. Externally, there's the suspense and action of finding the villain and taking him down, which is common in the genre, but internally, there's another struggle going on in the Samantha, owing to the close tie she has/once had with the villain.

4. The author doesn't pull her punches when it comes to her characters. I've never seen main characters that bleed so much--both literal and figurative--and that computer scene--I really feel for them both. I just can't imagine how a person could stay sane after seeing the scene on that computer. I'm amazed at both Blake's and Sam's strength of character; that goes beyond the toughness required in their profession.

AFTER THE DARK is one hell of a ride, and I'm happy to see there are more books in the series.
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Oh, man, these stories were so great! The Gathering Dusk was a really great novella that introduced these characters, and After the Dusk just kept the ball rolling! It wasn't until I was halfway through After the Dark that I learned that this series is going to focus on different couples-which is great, because these two deserve a break after all that they went through!

Samantha is an intense profiler. She gets into killers heads-and they don't leave hers. She's really gifted in this area, from the darkness of her past, that we learn throughout both the books-and because of the events of this stories!

I thought that there was something off about Cameron. I wasn't sure, but then everything happened, very quickly, and then didn't stop, at least for us, though there was a time jump for them! Sam didn't trust her judgement, but that was a bit unfair to herself, because it's not like he did anything out of his ordinary. He was very good at blending, and his darkness was deeper than hers! 

After the Dark was really great! There were a few moving parts, like the kidnapping, the investigation into Cameron, and profiling the both of them. And well, Sam and Blake falling in love, after the attraction of about a year. Plus catching these bad guys! Those catches were really thrilling to read, and made for a fantastic ending!

I really enjoyed reading both of these, and I can't wait to read more!
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I enjoyed this a lot! It was filled with  suspense and pulse pounding action which was perfect for this story.I would love the hero to be more alpha but still I like it!
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This was quite an interesting story. It had a few twists and turns that were unexpected.
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After the Dark by Cynthia Eden is a romantic suspense but pretty dark which you might be able to realize from the title. The main character is Samantha which we met in Abduction where she helped her friend find a serial killer. We also met Blake in that story as he is her partner and came to help her out even when she didn’t ask. They have an attraction to each other but neither one would cross the line while they were partners. They are no longer partners as Samantha has left to hide out in her home town after the serial killer she was tracking turned out to be her ex-lover. Blake finally tracks her down and asks for her help in a case very similar. The serial killer is very creepy and likes to torture his victims before he kills him. He considers it his "experiment".

Sam has a very interesting background and I loved meeting the man who raised her. I was nervous the entire time that he was not going to make it through the book. I won't tell you how that ends so you can be in suspense as long as I was. I found her profiling abilities fascinating and loved how the author shared some of the tells and I loved it when she would profile the killers out loud as she brainstormed their style.

The relationship between Sam and Blake was a little too crude for my taste. I would have preferred it to be more romantic. I loved Blake. There was just something about him that I could not help but love. There were a few sex scenes and they were graphically described and not in a romantic way
I would like to see Josh get his own story. I really liked him as a secondary character.

Sexual content 4 - I rated this a four mostly because of the crude descriptions not the quantity of the scenes.
Violence - serial killer that likes to torture his victims
Language The F word is used 121 times. it was distracting from the story.
C0ck 14
B7tch 17
Ba5tard 68
Alcohol - I honestly cannot remember if there was drinking.
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I have read several erotic/romance/suspense novels by Cynthia Eden and I have to say, there are not many (if any) authors who do this genre better than her. Eden is really really good at character building, intricate plot weaving, and super hot romance. This book does not disappoint.

After the Dark is about FBI profiler Samantha Dark and her partner Blake. Since it's in the book synopsis I can tell you that this book opens in kind of a surprising way. Samantha has been hunting a serial killer. She was convinced she built an accurate profile of the killer but she and Blake are confronted with what seems like incontrovertible proof that Samantha was all wrong about her profile. Samantha winds up seeking refuge with her ex-lover and long time friend only to discover that he is actually the killer she has been searching for. We find out pretty quickly that even though nothing happened between Samantha and her partner Blake, she immediately cut the relationship with the psycho ex when she met Blake. Killer ex knew, even though Samantha wouldn't admit it, that Blake was in the way. Anyway, the night that Samantha finds out her ex is a serial killer, something happens in the confrontation between the two of them that nobody knows about. All Blake knows is that when he arrives on the scene, Samantha is bloody and half unconscious.

After that night, and because her boss was a major D bag, Samantha's career with the FBI is pretty much over. Samantha moves to a small town for the anonymity and peace. She leaves Blake behind and tries to pull the scraps of her life together. Samantha has been shaken to her core because everything she felt like she had been trained to do failed her. She couldn't see that she was sleeping with a psychopath so she figures she is probably the world's worst profiler.

As for Blake...I have to say, I kind of thought Blake could've used more layers. Blake appears to be the protective good guy who will take care of Samantha and that kind of turns out to be true. When it appears that Samantha's psycho ex is back and killing again, Blake goes to Samantha. He tries to get her to come back to NY with him but winds up leading a new and depraved killer straight to Samantha's doorstep. Even though Blake appropriately blames himself for doing that, I was just a bit irritated with him. I didn't understand why he didn't realize how his actions might put Samantha in danger. In the end Samantha just wound up being a much more compelling character than Blake.

The mystery and suspense aspects of this book are just really good as always. This book is perfect for you lovers of romantic suspense.
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After the Dark (Killer Instinct, #1) 

I love Samantha Dark. Actually, I love pretty much every character Cynthia Eden writes, super strong women and even stronger not quite good guys. Samantha was particularly interesting to read because she was so conflicted about her own inner darkness and so convinced that Blake was to good to understand her and accept her along with all of the killers she's profiled who remain struck inside her head. Blake has known he wanted Samantha from the moment he met her. He not only sees her darkness but is drawn to it. 

In recent months, Samantha has retreated to her roots in Fairhope, Alabama following what she viewed as her own failing. She doesn't trust her instincts anymore, but Blake does, and he has come to get her help. She's no longer his partner, so he's done letting her run from him. They are going to find the killer who has come back to taunt her, then Blake is going to make sure Samantha never hides from him again.

These two had some seriously sensational chemistry, and the action and intrigue were enthralling. This was one of my favorites by this author. I also love the Fairhope setting (Roll Tide!). 

I received an ARC from Net Galley for honest review.
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Yet another great success from Cynthia Eden. 

Suspenseful Romance with just enough action to grab your attention and keep you locked in.
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Cynthia Eden thrills in this new and exciting series!

I absolutely loved this book! It’s got everything you need: danger, deadly intrigue, thrilling suspense and a killer so vicious, you’ll need to read it with the lights on! Samantha is a strong and tough heroine who doesn’t let a pesky thing like fear get in the way of doing her job, or anything for that matter. Blake is a sexy by-the-book detective in over his head with his current case… and his feelings for his ex-partner Samantha.

AFTER THE DARK is a brilliantly methodical thriller that will capture your attention and won’t let go until the very last page! The Cape Fear-esque storyline and meticulously crafted characters will have you begging for more! In other words, it’s f*cking awesome! I can’t wait to read the next one!

If you’re into dark and dangerous suspense books, then this one’s for you! I highly recommend AFTER THE DARK or any one of Cynthia Eden’s books!

I read and reviewed a copy of the book offered to the blog by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own.
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Are you a fan of Cynthia Eden's Deadly series? If you loved those books you will certainly love this series too. After The Dark will have you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire story from one thrilling moment to the next. 

Like the Deadly series, this story has a slight darkness to it with unexpected twists that will keep you glued to the book. Yes, we do have a bit of the romance side too...the relationship between Blake & Samantha is very intense and who wouldn't want a take-charge guy like that watching out for your safety. 

The only slight downside to this book was that I didn't know there was a short prequel novella (Gathering Dusk) so this book seems to jump right in and I thought I may have missed something.
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Ms. Eden's books, keeps getting better and better.. FBI Agent/Profiler Samantha Dark, is a great profiler due to a personal reason. Her boss doesn't believe her, and fires her. She goes back to the small town, where she grows up...

The killer strikes again, and her former partner comes and finds her for her help on the case... Sparks fly between them, since she is no longer FBI she can cross that line and be with Blake. Her and Blake team, up to find the killer and things get HOT between them....

This book, is full of action, romance, dark suspense and will hook you from the first page to the last... You will fall in with Blake, he is so HOT and very Alpha male... This is the perfect read.... Get it today!
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