Cover Image: After the Dark

After the Dark

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Member Reviews

After the Dark is straight-up romantic suspense at it’s very finest. It’s dark and twisty and had me on edge with each and every flip of the page. I adored it entirely.

The thing that really hooked me about this book was that it felt so believable. The suspense was dark and twisty, but never once did it seem outlandish. I could clearly understand the motivations of both Samantha and Blake (our hero and heroine).  Even most of the secondary character’s motivations were intelligible. Those clear motivations all around led me to be completely invested in the outcome of this book from the very beginning. In this case, a strong cast of characters really did lead to a strong book. 

Blake’s back story, or lack thereof, was the one thing that felt incomplete to me at the story’s conclusion. In the end I knew a lot about Samantha’s childhood, education and career. Heck, I even knew a lot about the villain/serial killer/former lover’s childhood, education and career. Blake was pretty close to a blank slate though. He was former military and in the FBI. He was instantly attracted to Samantha when they met and...that’s kinda it. I mean, Blake’s a babe and all. He was protective, and loving and sexy as all get out, but I wanted more of him. Perhaps that backstory was covered in the prequel novella, The Gathering Dusk. If so, it seems a shame that at least a small piece of the puzzle was not included in this full-length story.

Really though, romantic suspense fans should read this book. Fans of dark romance should read this book. Crime drama fans who also like romance should read this book. Dare I say it...pretty much everyone should read this book! 4.5 stars for After the Dark by Cynthia Eden.
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After the Dark is perfect if you like Criminal Minds, true crime, and the likes. Samantha Dark is a profiler for the FBI. Well, she was, until a mistake cost her. That mistake? Her former lover was the serial killer she had been hunting. Now, he is on the run and there is a copycat hunting Samantha. Her former FBI partner, Blake, found Samantha and is determined not only to get her back as his partner, but explore the feelings between them.

The story is nonstop action as you can imagine. Told in 3rd person, you get into the mind of the killer which I always love in a book. Eden is probably my favorite romantic suspense author because she really brings the tension to a story. You have multiple killers, multiple motives, multiple victims. The plot never slows and while you know who the killers are, you don't know what their next move would be, and you don't know if Samantha and Blake can get ahead of them. I will say this book is pretty graphic in its descriptions of violence. I wasn't bothered by it, but if you aren't really into that, this book might be a bit much. The murders are fairly grizzly; its not gratuitous because the killings really ARE the story.

The romance is probably the only part of this book I felt was weak. Its not that Samantha and Blake aren't developed characters, it was just that I didn't particularly 'get' why he loved her. I understood why she didn't want to have a relationship with him, I understood his desire, but I didn't understand the motivation. I never really got why he loved her and she loved him. It just was sort of...expected. So, they jump into a sexual relationship well before they had worked through any of their emotional issues, but that didn't even really bother me. I just kept waiting for Blake to explain WHY he loved Samantha and for Samantha to explain why she loved Blake. What was it about the other that was different and worth fighting this hard for?

I can't wait for more of this series. Eden is already one of my favorite authors, but this series is probably one of my new favorite series!

Link will be live on 3/23/17 (preview link: https://thebookdisciple.com/?p=6660&preview=1&_ppp=a81bc8c48c )
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Intense, psychological thriller! From the first pages readers are spellbound as a murder unfolds. Eden does an excellent job of getting readers up close and personal with the killer.  Detailed  descriptions and sensational use of profiling jargon drives the story home. Circumstances allow Samantha and Black to finally cater to  their passions. After the Dark will keep you on the edge of you seat!
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I love this author's writing! With this being a new series, I am really looking forward to reading the other books. I loved reading about Samantha & Blake. I love how even after she left the force Blake does not think twice about runing to protect her when her life is in danger. Yes her story is like many others, Where the killer targets one of the officers but Eden puts her own touch to the story that will still have you drawn in. She keeps you wanting to read more to see what else is going to happen.
I am soo looking forward to the next book!
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After the Dark kicks off a brand new Romantic Suspense series from Cynthia Eden. I am in love with how this author can create such entrapping novels and she always has the ability to suck me into her stories. In this book we meet Samantha Dark, an FBI profiler now off the force, and her ex-partner Blake Gamble. Sam left the FBI after they placed the blame on her for letting a serial killer get away, so she went home to Alabama. But now there's a very familiar killer after her and Blake runs to her to protect her. Sam knows Blake always wanted more from her, and now that she's off the force she may actually let that happen. 

I honestly don't know another author that can have me so captivated by a suspense like Ms. Eden does. She has the ability to put me in, not only the Main Characters', minds but also the killers and I love that. She effortlessly works what the murderer is thinking into the story and it always makes me sit up and take notice. I love that she does that and makes it work so well with the story. 

Samantha Dark was an amazing heroine and her story is one that I will definitely be re-reading many times over. This book is the epitome of why I love this genre because it had all of the main reasons to read. The mystery, the suspense, the sweet romance thrown in, the shocks that will leave your jaw on the floor. It's just all great! 

Overall, definitely read this book. If you haven't read a book from this author yet then this would be a great story since it's not only the first in a new series, but one her best Romantic Suspenses yet. 

After the Dark Playlist:
Right Here - Ashes Remain 
Everybody Wants To Rule The World - Lorde
Lucifer - XOV
The Phoenix - Fall Out Boy
Ready to Fight - Roby Fayer, Tom Gefan 
Warriors - Imagine Dragons
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**4.5 Stars** 

After the Dark is the first book in a new romantic suspense series by an author who does suspense so well. I’ll pretty much follow Cynthia Eden wherever she goes, but I love when she writes a good, thrilling story with a twisted killer the most.

Samantha may be my favorite Eden heroine yet. A disgraced FBI profiler, Samantha isn’t one to stay down for long. Her determination and drive constantly force her forward, even when there are twists and turns in every direction. She’s gutsy, ballsy, and a little on the stubborn side (okay, a lot). Her skill to see things others can’t, to want to find all of the answers whether it puts herself at risk, to constantly want to be better–lovers of romantic suspense will love this kickass heroine for all of that alone. What better way to complement her than to give her a strong, skilled man by her side who has the ability to let her lead, to give her the freedom to do things her way even if it’s scary to risk her. Their romance sparked quickly and carried throughout the pages. In a high-risk job, attraction can be detrimental, but here, in this story, it made the characters stronger, more brave.

I’ll admit I didn’t read the prequel, but I got along just fine without it. Eden writes some of the darkest and genius-like killers in her stories, and she always writes such fascinating material around them. I love trying to figure out who the bad guy is, what the motives are, and how all of it will end because most of the time I’m wrong, and there’s a twist embedded somewhere in the story, which is the funnest part of reading her tales. I’m greatly looking forward to the next novel in the series and seeing where else this series will take me. If you love romantic suspense, I know you’ll love this story and where Eden beautifully takes us with her masterful storytelling.
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Cynthia Eden has become a pretty reliable author for me. Her books never totally blow me away, but they’re always  very solid, enjoyable reads, and After the Dark was no exception.

Samantha Dark was a genius criminal profiler with the FBI, but she left the Bureau in disgrace after her former boyfriend turned out to be a serial killer. She hides away in a small town in Alabama until her old partner, Blake, comes calling looking for help with a case. Blake had the hots for Samantha from the start, but obviously being partners complicated that attraction, and he never acted on it. Now, he wants her back, both in the FBI and in his own life, but Samantha doesn’t trust herself and certainly doesn’t think she’s good enough for a decent man like Blake. However, she’s the only one who can stop the killer who’s become fixated on her.

I really liked the premise of this book. The idea that a profiler could miss that her own friend was a serial killer was very compelling. Plus, Cameron wasn’t just Samantha’s friend but her past lover and confidant with whom she had shared her deepest, darkest secrets. While it’s not really addressed in the book, it seemed to me that Cameron had probably been emotionally manipulating her for years. He convinced her that there was this darkness in her that only he understood, and even after she’s left the Bureau she still holds on to this idea that she’s got some kind of not-entirely-good core. Couple that with her disgraceful exit from the FBI and it made sense why she would be so reluctant to help Blake and to get personally involved with him. It was a unique twist on a serial killer story I haven’t seen before. I also liked that the case wasn’t quite as simple as it first appeared. There were some big twists and turns, and they made for a fast paced and exciting story.

Blake was kind of a mixed character for me. He was one of Eden’s trademark alphas, bossy and in charge. He is the one who comes to Samantha for help, but then he also tries to edge her out when things get dangerous. That was stupid and unnecessary, I thought. Still, his genuine care for Samantha is clear. He stands up to his boss when his boss doubts her, and he isn’t afraid to go after Samantha once he's found her again. He insists he too has a “darkness” in him, but I didn’t really feel like that went anywhere. To be honest, this story is more about Samantha and her struggle to overcome her past and her self doubt, which was fine by me.

This was an engaging story with a fascinating heroine, and I’m glad I read it.

Grade: 4 out of 5
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This was such a good book from Cynthia Eden. It had a great romance element and the suspense was off the charts. So we'll written that you didn't suspect what was going to happen next. Samantha was a good, strong, intelligent main female character.
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This book was fastpaced and suspenseful! I couldn't put it down.
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FBI agent Samantha Dark has lost her job with the FBI. She was a profiler and her boss claims her profile was totally off on the last case. She is being blamed for the The FBI's failure on the case. She has retreated to her home town. Four months later her former partner tracks her down. He always thought Sam got a raw deal and now either the original killer has surfaced or there is a copy cat operating. 

This book takes you into the mind of a twisted diabolical serial killer. He is obsessed with Samantha. Sams personal knowledge of the killer makes her the best person to track him down. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat with all the twists and turns. It is the 3rd book in the Killer Instinct series but it could stand on its own. Thank you to net galley for an advanced readers copy.
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AFTER THE DARK is a thrilling, intense ride from start to finish, with the perfect blend of suspense and romance.  Samantha Dark, an FBI profiler is devastated when she is forced to leave the FBI.  She and her former partner, Blake Gamble worked well together.  They trusted each other, had each other’s backs and tried to ignore the sizzling chemistry between them.

Now that Samantha is no longer working for the FBI, and there is a serial killer after her, Blake wants to claim Samantha for himself.  Samantha tries to hold back her feelings for Blake because she is sure if he discovers her secrets, he will not want anything to do with her.  Blake is protective, loyal and totally committed to Samantha.  He has to convince her nothing will ever change how he feels and Samantha has to learn she can trust Blake with her heart.

This is a fast paced, action packed thriller full of suspense and grisly crime scenes.   As a profiler, Samantha is able to get into the killer’s head and she understands his motives, but the killer always seems to stay one step ahead of them.  Samantha will do whatever it takes to stop the killer and Blake will do whatever it takes to keep Samantha safe.  I liked Blake and Samantha.  They each have flaws and vulnerabilities but when they are together, there is a lot of chemistry and passion sparking between them.
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Good teaser for this series featuring Samantha Dark.  You will become invested in following the characters.
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5*

Cynthia Eden has one of the best voices in dark romantic suspense, and her latest Killer Instinct series echoes her superb Deadly series (one of the best, IMHO) to great effect. AFTER THE DARK is the first full-length novel in the Killer Instinct universe, after the prequel novella THE GATHERING DUSK (which sets the stage for AFTER THE DARK but is not a requirement for understanding and appreciating it) and the Harlequin Intrigue title ABDUCTION. Channeling her best novel to date (DEADLY FEAR), Ms. Eden crafts a realistic, emotionally compelling FBI profiler who knows and understands killers like none other in heroine Samantha Dark, a true-blue, sacrifice-everything-for-the-woman-he-loves Violent Crimes Special Agent in former partner-turned-lover Blake Gamble, and a chilling, depraved villain in urbane, academic psychopath Cameron Latham… all wrapped in a tautly-paced package of non-stop action, tension so hick you could cut it with a knife, and love scenes so hot they’ll scorch your eReader. Classic Cynthia Eden at her best. My only gripe with Ms. Eden’s romantic suspense work is that her tortured heroines, alpha heroes, and dark, twisted storylines are fundamentally the same… but her superb storytelling talents suck you into each tale and make it feel relatively fresh, even if you’ve read the same basic storyline before. Definitely looking forward to more from the Killer Instinct universe.

**ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Samantha is a talented FBI profiler who takes her job very seriously. Her partner, Blake, is attracted to her but wants to remain professional so he keeps his distance until a serial killer comes after Samantha. Great romantic suspense novel!
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Former profiler Samantha Dark was supposed to be the FBI’s secret weapon against crime. Only one massive mistake has Samantha out of a job and on the run from the public eye. Despite leaving town, Samantha’s past has caught up with her and a serial killer is out for blood. Only her former FBI partner Blake Gamble might be able to save her.

Verdict: This is the first book in a new series by Cynthia Eden. YAY! For the most part, I’ve enjoyed reading Eden’s romantic suspense novels and this one was no different. That being said, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as Eden’s Lost series. To be fair, my not “absolutely in love” stance doesn’t have anything to do with Samantha or Blake, or even the writing. Everything was really well done. For me, it had more to do with the premise’s plausibility. When I read these types of books I want them to somewhat seem believable. In this case, I find it hard to believe that someone can run from a serial killer and investigate him at the same time. In my opinion, it just didn’t work for me. HOWEVER, like I said, everything else was really well done and worth picking up for a cozy afternoon of reading.
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This is how you do serial killer/FBI thrillers. I was taken in from the beginning and didn't want to put the book down even when it was going to make me late for work!
The twists, turns and just brutal storytelling was everything. Great crafting and will be looking for more.
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After the prequel, I was very excited to read this first full length book featuring former FBI agent Samantha Dark, and her most recent partner, FBI agent Blake Gamble.

A devastating case has driven Samantha into leaving the FBI and spending her time in a small Alabama town. Blake approaches her for assistance on a case. When Samantha very reluctantly lends assistance, it soon becomes clear that a killer is seeking her out.

Blake and Samantha are great characters, and I enjoyed seeing their relationship change and develop in this book. It had a good balance of romance and suspense, and I enjoyed the storyline.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a copy of the book in return for an honest review.
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This story did not engage me. It seemed pretty typical cat and mouse.
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Sexy, Suspensefull, Spellbinding, and a whole bunch of other 's' words!! 5 stars all the way!

Full review featured on blog.
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