Cover Image: Cross Her Heart

Cross Her Heart

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Member Reviews

A gripping story from the beginning to the end! 
Many people are running away from their past and painful memories and are trying to build a new life for them. But as always, that past comes back and everything changes. 
I was on the edge of my seat at all times while reading this book and I honestly can’t wait to read the next in the series. 
The mix of a psychological thriller with a romance story is my to go every single day and the author has done such a great job with this book. 
I can’t recommend it enough for all the crime thrillers lovers.
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Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for this ARC.  

I found this book a good read.  Bree’s sister Erin is found murdered and Bree returns to her home town to investigate alongside the Police Department who killed her sister.   The prime suspect is Erin’s partner Justin who is now missing.  There are lots of twists in the story, and a number of suspects who had a motive.   Very likeable characters with good, believable background history.   I wasn’t surprised when the murderer was revealed, as I’d guessed who it was.   All loose ends were tied up at the end of the book and I would read another book by this author.  4 stars
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With  thanks to the publisher and Net Gallery for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book.  Bree makes a great lead and I love the relationship between her and Matt.  It's pacy and well written and I'm looking forward to book 2! 

Bree is haunted by her past and when her sister is found murdered she wonders whether it's a case of history repeating itself.  With the help of ex deputy sheriff Matt can they get to the bottom of who killed her sister before someone else is killed?
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Bestselling author Melinda Leigh introduces readers to Detective Bree Taggert in Cross Her Heart, the first book in her new series of romantic suspense novels.  It’s an excellent start, a solid, intriguing and well-paced mystery that introduces and starts fleshing out the central characters and the relationships between them at the same time as it presents a mystery that is very personal for Bree, whose tragic past is brought abruptly back to her in the worst possible way.

The book opens on a harrowing scene taking place at eight-year-old Bree’s home in Grey’s Hollow in upstate New York.  She is desperate to protect her younger siblings – Erin and baby Adam – from their violent, abusive father, as he rages at and beats their mother. Bree has managed to call the police and to keep herself and her brother and sister safe, although when the police arrive, it’s too late for their mother – and their father then turns the gun he used to shoot her on himself.

While Adam and Erin were taken in and brought up by their grandmother, Bree, who was something of a handful, was brought up by a stern cousin in Philadelphia. Looking back, Bree can see that their childhood separation has had a negative effect on their adult relationship; they’re not close, and although Erin continues to live in Grey’s Hollow, Bree has rarely been able to get past her issues to visit there, so Erin and her two kids visit Philly once a year instead.  When we meet Bree again, she- now a homicide detective with the Philadelphia PD – and her soon-to-retire partner, Dana Romano,  have just chased down a suspect when Bree picks up a panicked message from Erin saying she’s in trouble, but when she calls back, only gets voicemail.  Worried because Erin is the head down, go to work, raise her kids sort who’s never in trouble, and still unable to contact her, Bree heads to Grey ‘s Hollow – and her fears for Erin only ratchet up when she arrives at her sister’s house to see two sheriff’s department vehicles parked outside.  Something is very, very wrong.

Erin has been killed, and the chief deputy explains that their main suspect is her estranged husband, Justin, who is currently missing.  Erin’s body was found by Justin’s friend, Matt Flynn, a former sheriff’s investigator and K-9 handler, who was at the house to collect Justin to take him to his Narcotics Anonymous meeting.  Drugs were the cause of Justin and Erin’s split; he became addicted to pain meds following a car accident, and she didn’t want him around her kids while he was using.  But they were still seeing each other and intended to work things out, and Justin has been trying, with Matt’s help and support, to get clean.

Matt left the sheriff’s department three years earlier after he was shot in his right hand and, due to nerve damage, is no longer able to fire a weapon.  Matt is sure Justin isn’t responsible for Erin’s death and is concerned for his safety;  he’s also not completely confident that the sheriff’s department, which is short on personnel following  the dismissal of the former sheriff and other officers for corruption, is going to pursue the investigation properly – or that the corruption has been completely eradicated.

Chief Deputy Todd Harvey knows that Bree and Matt aren’t going to sit quietly by while his department investigates, so he makes a deal with them; he won’t try to stop them, but wants to be kept informed of what they find out and will share information with them in return.

As I’d expect from Melinda Leigh, the mystery is well-put together, with plenty of twists and turns and gradually building tension and suspense as Bree and Matt work together to find Justin and identify Erin’s killer.  Alongside the mystery we get the gradual unveiling of Bree’s character, a smart, competent, resilient yet flawed individual who is suddenly faced with a shedload of new responsibilities she’d never thought to have, two grieving children she doesn’t know all that well and her own grief and guilt at not keeping her sister safe as she’d vowed to do so many years ago.  I enjoyed the focus on the family as Bree slowly absorbs the fact that her life is never going to be the same;  Morgan Dane, in the author’s previous series, had a strong family unit which rounded her out and grounded her as a character, and I was pleased there’s to be something similar happening here.

I liked Matt, who is being set up as Bree’s future love interest.  He’s a good guy; dependable and supportive, he clearly cares a lot for Justin, and comes to care for and respect Bree and her abilities as an investigator.  There’s the merest frisson of attraction between them at this stage, but fingers crossed that will develop as the series progresses. Dana is a great addition to the family unit; Bree’s closest friend and work-partner, she’s about to retire from the force and goes to Grey’s Hollow to deliver Bree’s cat Vader (!) and to help out while Bree decides what she’s going to do next.

Cross Her Heart is an entertaining story featuring attractive and engaging leads and a supporting cast I look forward to getting to know in future books.  I enjoyed the balance between plot-  and character- driven elements in the story, and my one real complaint is that the identity of the villain came as something of a surprise, but not in a good way.  This character was present in one scene (apart from the few short chapters told anonymously from his PoV) and was mentioned only a few times, so when he was revealed to be the killer it didn’t feel organic or as though the clues had really been leading to that point.

In spite of that, however, I enjoyed the book and would certainly recommend it to fans of the author or to anyone looking to try her work for the first time.

4.5 stars / B+
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Cross her heart by Melinda Leigh was an absolute delight to read. I’ve read quite a few books recently but was so delighted to be gripped by this one rather than feeling I needed to persevere to get to the core. This book has all the best ingredients, from a gripping storyline and great character development to strong female characters and the blessings of good friends. There was plenty of action and enough red herrings to keep me guessing. The end seemed to come very quickly, although that may have been because I was enjoying it so much. Definitely a five star read and I’m delighted to see that we’ll hear more from Bree, Matt and Dana.....
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Cross Her Heart is the first book in a thrilling new series by Melinda Leigh. Bree Taggert witnessed the murder-suicide of her parents as a young child and was torn away from her younger siblings. Bree finds herself returning home after her sister is found murdered in her estranged husband's home.

As with most books by this author, this story is very heavy on the suspense and extremely light on the romance aspect. I expect there will be more to come between Matt and Bree. As for this story though, be prepared to be kept on the edge of your seat and guessing until the very end.
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A parents murder suicide. A sisters strange murder resembling their deaths. Bree's in a death grip!
Justin has now vanished after Erin's death and may hold the secrets needed to unlock this crazy situation at hand.
Cross Her Heart was explosive, tension building suspense, with non stop- heart pounding action!
Bree was a strong feminine character that exudes tenacity with every word and takes up arms with Matt to try to find answers.
Could Erin's killer be nearby? Could her spouse Justin have taken her life?
What if there's a twist and Justin was framed? 
As it turns out the excitement is heating up because another male counterpart may have had a motive or surely at least enough hostility against Erin to have wanted her silenced.
Could drugs have played a role?
So many unanswered questions which means plenty of twists and turns to find solutions.
The issue with those left behind including Erin's kids was just heartbreaking but this ending-OMG! This ending was perfection!
Thank you to Melinda Leigh, the pub, NetGalley, and Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this fast paced, action packed suspenseful thriller. The plot was engaging, the characters carefully crafted, and I couldn't put it down. Looking forward to the next book.
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In her Morgan Dane series, Ms. Leigh suckered me in to reading what is a basically a romance series by liberally sprinkling enough murder and mystery to keep me involved. I loved her character development and the great story lines. The first book in this new series is the same! Ms. Leigh does a terrific job of building a foundation for her characters. Romance took a back seat to learning about the characters but that didn't mean that the story line suffered. I also really enjoy how her families are outside the normal nuclear structure. She does a terrific job of reminding us that a family is what you make of it! I hope to see more of this in future books and encourage those who are looking for a full story line in addition to the mystery itself to check this book out!
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I received an ARC copy of this book from the Publisher via Netgalley and voluntarily leaving my review.

Detective Bree has survive a tragic family history. When a frantic call from her sister  Erin has her worried she decide to go to her hometown to see what up. When she arrived she learns she it’s too late her sister has been murder and it looks like same scenes of their parents murder-suicide but the different is Erin husband Justin has disappeared. 

As she investigate she teams up with Justin friend Matt who is k-9 handler he wants to make sure Justin doesn’t get the blame because he the obvious choice but also to make sure he ok and if he is he didn’t really knew his friend. 

This was a good mystery Bree is a flaw woman but she strong and smart and even though I like the team up between Bree and Matt and I wouldn’t mind in the future books I just don’t want it to be romantic but if it does I hope it’s doesn’t overpower the story.
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Melinda Leigh is one of my favorite authors. This book was great and is a great start to this series. I’m excited for the rest of this series!
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I have always loved Melinda Leigh books and this one is one of her best yet.  Bree Taggert is one tough cookie and I can’t wait to read more about her.
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Homicide Detective Bree Taggart gets a frantic call from her sister and she rushes to their hometown but it's too late. Her sister, Erin, is murdered in way similar to their parents' death 25 years ago. And Erin's husband Justin is missing and a person of interest. Matt Flynn is a former sheriff's investigator and K-9 handler who survived an incident of friendly fire along with his K-9 partner Brody. Matt is a friend of Justin's and wants to be sure that Justin isn't blamed for the murder simply because is a convenient suspect. Bree and Matt investigate Erin's murder and the couples' lives in order to find the killer.  Bree is a dedicated detective with an aversion to dogs, which makes her afraid of Matt's dog Brody. Matt is sure that Justin did not commit the murder and they must work together to find the truth. There relationship is starting slowly and I am sure will develop more in future books. 

This is the first book in Melinda Leigh's new series and definitely does not disappoint, Leigh's style of intertwining complex characters and storylines continues in this series. She writes easy to read, multi-layered  stories that keep you interested from beginning to end. Looking forward to the next book in the series. 
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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It all started with a desperate call from her little sister Erin asking for help.  Bree was busy apprehending a perp when her phone rang.  Retrieving the voice mail, she was deeply disturbed her sister was calling for help.  Erin never called unless it was to just stay in touch and never asking for help.

This is the story of a complex crime not only deeply impacting her family but also with echoes from the past.  Bree travels five hours to her sister's home worried about the worst that could happen.  Calling repeatedly, she was never able to reach her sister after the distress call.  Working with a retired deputy, Bree puts all her skills to work on solving her sister's murder and the disappearance of her displaced husband.

This is a non-stop who done it that will keep you riveted.  I read it in one sitting because I just could not put it down.  For all of you wanna be detectives, this is a gem!

I am voluntarily reviewing this book.  Thanks to the author for sharing a copy with me.
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I am so excited for this new series from Melinda Leigh! This book was a great start and I can't wait to read more! 

Bree Taggert has left her childhood home and trauma behind for years. When her sister is murdered, however, she is forced to go back to the town she grew up in and forced to confront some of the memories. Can she team up with former Sheriff's investigator Matt Flynn to help the Sheriff's office solve the chilling murder?

I loved Bree and all her family. I'm excited to get to know them throughout this series and to dig deeper into their stories. Bree was a strong woman, even when she was little in the very beginning of the book. She is really inspiring. I also really liked Matt and his devotion to his friend and to the dogs. I can't wait to see how the relationship between the two of them develops through the series. I did feel like the ending was a bit abrupt and was too perfect. I actually got surprised by the big reveal because I didn't think that that could be it. It didn't feel big enough to me. But overall, I loved this book and I can't wait to continue with the series!
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More than twenty five years ago three young children are left alone after a tragic murder suicide of their parents. The children have worked hard putting the past behind them and healing from the tragedy. Now, the oldest, Bree Taggart is a homicide detective who receives a panicked call from her sister Erin. She can’t get a hold of her sister, so she packs up and heads home to see what has happened. When she arrives, she finds out Erin has been murdered. Who would want to hurt her and leave Erin’s two children without a mother? Has the past come back to haunt them once again?

Matt Flynn is a retired K-9 handler who is also Erin’s husbands’ best friend. When he goes to pick up Justin, he finds Erin’s body and Justin has gone missing. Has Justin murdered his wife?
Bree and Matt team up to find the murderer with the local police. They vow to uncover the secrets of Erin’s life and to find Justin if he is still even alive. Bree is torn between the investigation and trying to be there for Erin’s two children.

I loved the chemistry and friendship that develops between Bree and Matt as they race to find the killer. The supporting characters are well written, and the story keeps you enthralled until the very last page. The author did a brilliant job of developing the characters and leaving you wanting more. I was thrilled to learn this is the first book in a series featuring Bree, so I am anxiously awaiting the next book. Thank you so much to Melinda Leigh, Montlake and NetGalley for an advanced copy of the book to read and review.
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First off I want to thank Montlake Romance/Amazon Publishing & Melinda Leigh for my free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
This was my first Melinda Leigh book and definitely not my last. I devoured this thriller/mystery novel like no other. 
This book is so well written, the details that Leigh incorporates into each sentence makes you feel like your in the story yourself. It had such a great buildup from beginning to end, it kept me on the edge and I needed to know what would happen. From the first page it's non stop suspense. I fell in love with Bree she is such an amazing, strong and selfless woman. Of course there's a little hint of romance. 
She will definitely be an auto buy author for me now. If you're a fan of slow build mysteries/suspense/thriller definitely pick this one up.
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Bree has a past she needs to face and a town she is avoiding. When Bree goes back to her hometown to find out what happened to her sister things are brought from her past. Bree and Matt make a great team and I can't wait to watch that relationship unfold. This was a great first book in this new series. As Bree comes back to her old hometown to solve a murder and help her niece and nephew cope, she realizes that things can get worse and better. I look forward to seeing where this series goes.

*I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review.*
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Really enjoyed this book. I am a fan of Melinda Leigh. I like a book that has action, romance and a crime to solve. A great read.
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5 stars !!!

This author is one my queens of suspense romance. She could no no wrong! The characters are well written., the suspense Keon’s me at the edge of my seat. The writing is perfect!
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