Cover Image: Cross Her Heart

Cross Her Heart

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CROSS HER HEART (Bree Taggert Book #1) by Melinda Leigh is the first book in a new romantic suspense/thriller series that has everything I look for in this genre. A strong, intelligent female protagonist, an engaging cast of secondary characters and a thrilling, intense plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat which all come together in this exceptional debut.

Philadelphia homicide detective Bree Taggart receives a call for help from her younger sister, Erin. She drops everything and returns to her hometown. When she arrives, it is to a nightmare which is eerily reminiscent of her traumatizing childhood. Erin is dead and the main suspect is her estranged husband, Justin who is missing. Bree vows to get justice for Erin and her children.

Bree is not alone in her search for Justin. His best friend, former sheriff’s investigator and K-9 handler Matt Flynn knows Justin has problems, but he loved Bree and he does not believe he is capable of murder. Bree and Matt work together to uncover Erin’s secrets and to find Justin.

Bree and Matt do not realize how closely the killer is watching. Once again, Bree’s family is in danger and she may be the next Taggart in the line of fire.

This book is Melinda Leigh at her best! Bree and Matt are realistic, multifaceted characters that work very well together and complement each other. Bree and all the characters in this story come to life immediately. I found Bree’s compassionate handling of Erin’s children to be a great example of her internal character. The plot has a myriad of twists and turns that had me continually surprised and turning the pages.

I highly recommend this first book in the Bree Taggert series and I am anxiously waiting for the next in the series!
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I’ve never read a book by this author before, but I’m going to look out for her now. I loved this book, it gripped me from the start, and kept up the pace well throughout.
Bree Taggart is a homicide detective with a tragic and traumatic background. She receives a frantic call from her younger sister, Erin, which makes her drop everything and dash back to the town where she was born and where both her siblings still live. On arrival, she finds the police already on scene, her sister dead and her brother in law missing, suspected of murdering her. 
Loved it. Will definitely read whatever she writes next.
Thanks to netgalley and the publishers for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I really enjoyed reading this book. The first chapter gives us a glimpse into Bree's past and a traumatic event which shapes the main character and her siblings. The characters are well fleshed out and realistic, I found myself rooting for Bree and as more potential suspects are revealed the killer's identity isn't completely obvious. Although the story centres around solving a murder there are no detailed gory descriptions, domestic abuse and obsession are the main themes and drug addiction is touched upon. There is barely any romance, no more than a hint of attraction which leaves room for the main characters' relationship to develop in future books. This is a great series starter and I look forward to reading more from this author.
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If you've read a book, and lived on this planet, I'm pretty sure you've heard of bestselling author Melinda Leigh - who has, to date, sold over 8.5 million books!

Cross Her Heart is book 1 of 4 in the new Bree Taggert series and if you're looking for something that has you on the edge of your seat - look no further.

It's been 25 years since Philly homicide detective Bree Taggert's father murdered his mother and then killed himself. So when her sister Erin is murdered, in a situation very similar, it dredges up memories of that fateful night she's worked so hard to forget. Although there is one difference. The prime suspect, Erin's estranged husband Justin, is missing.

She teams up with Justin's old friend, a former K9 cop, and vows to avenge her sister's death. As they struggle to find evidence and protect Erin's children left behind, she is determined to get her family through this violent crime, once again, despite the looming danger that may prove to be too much for her to handle.

This was definitely one of those books that had me suspecting everyone and everything early on and I really enjoyed the mystery. It started with such a great foundation, and dramatic scene, that it set the tone throughout the book which was has you guessing the connection and was a fresh and unique plot point. I loved watching each clue unfold and enjoyed the supporting characters like Bree's partner Dana and brother Adam, as well as Erin's kids.

Although it's marketed as a romantic suspense, it felt very light on romance and heavy on suspense. Which I personally favor and was just fine with!

Bree was a real and relatable character (aside from all that murder business!) and I'm really looking forward to what the future holds for her in the rest of the series!
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This book never quite lived up to its promise.  After an exciting start, it became very long-winded and didn't have very much dramatic tension.  The idea was good, but it needs better editing.
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Bree is a detective working with the Philadelphia police. She is focused but reserved and does not suffer fools easily. Her past history was full of anguish - a murder/suicide of her parents which tore the family apart and the three siblings were brought up with separate families. Erin the baby of the family has always needed emotional support but her choices were never right, and Adam lived in a world of his own where he could not be touched by the day to day vagaries of what went on with people's lives.

When Erin is found dead - murdered and her partner is missing it seems like history repeating itself especially when he seems to have disappeared without trace. It points out to him being the chief suspect but when Erin's ex husband turns up on the scene Bree knows she has her work cut out to evade his scheme of getting his hands on his children whom he has never acknowledged nor seen, but for whom he now professes to want and love.

The mystery has several unlikely suspects and when they mount up, Bree does not known who is the most likely one as there seems to be several. The pace was quite swift but you knew it was coming to a point of reveal soon. The final was a surprise
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Wow, what a great who dunnit book, had me guessing to the end .....never read anything by Melinda Leigh but will definitely be looking to get more to read by her finished in less than 48 hours .......
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I requested Cross Her Heart from Netgalley based on Karin’s Slaughter’s Bookbub recommendation. Based on that recommendation, I was expecting something similar to her Will Trent series but with a female lead. Cross Her Heart is not necessarily what I was expecting, though it’s too soon to tell.
 
Cross Her Heart has an enjoyable mystery. It’s nothing too dark or complex in and of itself though its implications for the main character, Bree, are significant. Leigh uses this opportunity to slowly unravel Bree’s past trauma and how it made her into the person she is today. Those moments are easily some of the best in the novel; I enjoyed them much more than the actual mystery.
 
The best way to describe the characters are wholesome. Bree’ partner, Dana, is a character of convenience for the plot and I think she will continue to be as the novels progress. Despite that, I enjoyed her few moments since she’s written as a reliable character.
Matt, the future love interest, is a retired cop with baggage of his own. The hint of a relationship in the last few pages of the novel feel out of place since there’s little to no set up throughout the novel. In Leigh’s defence, it’s hard to write a worthy romance in the middle of a murder that becomes the crux of the main character’s emotional well being and past trauma.
 
Overall, Cross Her Heart is an enjoyable mystery with wholesome characters. While the mystery wasn’t very dark or complex, I’m still looking forward to the sequel.
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Did Justin murder Erin , his wife?  Only her sister Bree and, retired through injury, Matt could find out.  Working with the local police department the experienced couple making use of local resources identify the killer.  Along the way there's much soul searching and angst regarding Bree's past.  Who will look after Erin's children?  Loved it.
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Cross Her Heart by Melinda Leigh is the first book in the Bree Taggert series. Philadelphia Homicide Detective Bree Taggert has a violent family history, which looks like it is repeating itself. Bree’s parents were killed when she was eight years old, a murder-suicide, also leaving behind four year old Erin and newborn Adam. The siblings are split up between family members afterwards, but each has a special relationship when they need each other. In the case of Bree and her sister Erin, Erin reaches out to Bree when she is some sort of physical trouble. As Bree rushes to help her sister, she is faced with another tragedy, Erin’s murder. As all leads point to Erin’s husband, with whom she is separated from, the facts of the case start to blur because he has not only vanished, but clues point to the fact he may injured. Bree and her brother in laws friend, Matt, a former police officer injured in a friendly fire incident, team up to investigate this murder on their own. Many secrets of Erin’s life start to unfold, who was blackmailing her, what was she frightened of, who would want her dead? Bree vows to find answers for all of these questions, and will protect Erin’s children at all costs...even if it means putting herself in danger. 

Melinda Leigh is one of my favorite authors. I have read all the other series of books she has written, this book is just as good as her first one. If there is one word I could use to describe Melinda Leigh’s writing style, it would be consistent. She consistently delivers well flowing books that have well defined characters that blend so well together. Cross Her Heart is such a great addition to her series collections. I can honestly admit, I really had no idea how this was going to end, and I was pleasantly surprised how well it all came together. I am certainly looking forward to the additional books in this series, and to see what lays out between Bree and Matt in future storylines.

I would like to thank Netgalley, Montlake publishing and Melinda Leigh for an advanced reader copy of Cross Her Heart. I highly recommend this book as well as many others from Melinda Leigh.
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I love melinda leigh's book's. They are full of mystery, drama and romance. This one is no exception.   I really enjoyed the story line and the interaction between the lead characters.  Its a great start to a new series. .
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For some reason I couldn’t help but think of various mythologies when reading Melinda Leigh’s terrific Cross Her Heart (Bree Taggert#1). In a chilling and heartbreaking prologue we meet eight year old Bree Taggert, who is a true Artemis/Diana. Diana is the goddess of the hunt and protectress of the living world. On a tragically violent night Bree saves four year old Erin who escapes death once but meets him later in life. (Shades of Death in Samaara) Bree’s second save is baby Adam who later stays above the fray of human strife as a successful painter when he grows up. Not quite sure of his particular godly role. Not surprisingly, Bree grows up to be a Philadelphia homicide detective, Diana’s role to a tau., hunt and protect.
Erin second encounter with death comes at the hands of her husband Justin. Bree recently separated from Justin because he recently suffered a relapse into his oxy addiction. Erin has two children she didn't want to expose to Justin's addiction.
Justin’s best friend Matt Flynn, a former sheriff’s deputy and K-9 officer, isn’t too sure of Justin’s guilt and teams with Bree to determine the guilt or innocence of Justin.
Bree’s and Matt’s pairing is not problem free as Matt still has his K-9 partner and Bree is terrified of dogs. Also they start as coming from opposite ends of the investigation.
As usual Leigh’s writing is a perfect fit for those who love puzzles that are not an easy solve; maybe a 500 piece puzzle. A story with main characters fully fleshed out; as they should be since Cross Her Heart (Bree Taggert#1) is the beginning of a new series. Romantic suspense this may be, but this is really only the set up for a future romance. I am a fan of differing POVs, because truth is always relative. Leigh also does a terrific job in beginning to paint the small town of Grey’s Hollow. I like to compare Leigh's writing to a fine bourbon, smooth, mellow but with a definite bite.
Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange of a fair and honest review.
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Up until this point I had never read a book by Melinda Leigh, but I must say that I really enjoyed the first book in her new Bree Taggert series. 

This book involved a captivating plot line, it was well paced with plenty of suspense. I really like the main character Bree Taggart and the other lead character Mike who I’m sure we’ll hear a lot of in future books, and so I’m already looking forward to book 2 of this instalment. 

I’d to thank NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this book in return for an open and honest review.
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Review for 'Cross Her Heart' by Melinda Leigh 

Read and reviewed via NetGalley 

This book is the first book in the Bree Taggert series and I will definitely be looking forward to reading the next books. 

This book is very fast paced, filled with suspense, mystery, crime and red herrings. It was an explosive start to a new series and a true page turner. 

THE writing was excellent, as is the writing in all Melinda Leigh's books that I have read so far and the descriptions made me feel as if I was in the story with the characters. 

THE characters were all very strong, realistic and I loved them and can't wait to follow their story in her next books. 

THE storyline  itself was very compelling  and included examples of domestic violence, murder and romance. There were flashbacks which tied in perfectly with the plot. I didn't figure out the perp which is always a bonus when it comes to crime novels. 

I would highly recommend this book to anyone especially thise interested in crime, murder, mystery and fans of Melinda Leigh and of books with strong female roles. 

Rated 5/5 on Goodreads and Amazon (I loved it) 

Free on kindle unlimited or £3.98 to purchase. I think this is a very good price for this book. 327 pages long. 

Feel free to add me Goodreads for more reviews

#CrossHerHeart #MelindaLeigh #NetGalley #BookReview
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Fast paced, easy to follow murder mystery. Bree, a homicide detective living in Philadelphia, moves back to her home town to solve the mystery of her sisters murder. However, Bree has her own hurdles to overcome, including the horrific death of her parents. Can Bree, with the help of the mysterious Matt, solve the mystery before it’s too late. With realistic, likeable characters you will not want to put the book down.
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Bree Taggert is a homicide detective in Philadelphia. One afternoon she receives a panicked voicemail from her younger sister Erin indicating that she is in trouble.   When Erin doesn't answer her phone, Bree rushes back to her hometown. There she finds her dead sister's body in the home of her ex-husband.

This murder brings back memories of Bree’s parents who died in a murder-suicide when she was young. This led to an unhappy childhood and the need to escape from her roots. She wasn't close to her sister and barely knew her niece and nephew.  In spite of their sad history,  Bree decides to help with the investigation. While examining differing leads she puts herself in danger and is never certain who she can trust. 

Cross Her Heart is the first book in a new series by Melinda Leigh. This novel is an engaging mystery with interesting characters and unexpected twists.  I am looking forward to the next book.
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5 Stars
Melinda Leigh stars a new series and I am all on board. 
Strong Plot-Check
Strong Storytelling- Check
Plenty of interest in all of the characters- Check

Interest in the next book- Check.

What's not to Love.
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For me, reading a Melinda Leigh novel is like sitting down on the sofa and spending time with old friends.  Her latest book, Cross Her Heart, with Detective Bree Taggert, is the same kind of comfortable, enjoyable read.  After a childhood filled with abuse, Bree pursues a career in law enforcement.  When her sister is murdered, she is forced to return to her hometown to care for her sister’s children. With the help of former police officer, Matt Flynn, and his trained dog, Brody, Bree is determined to find her sister’s killer.  Melinda Leigh brings yet another strong female character to life in her newest book and has laid the foundation for another fast-paced, completely entertaining series. I already can’t wait to see what happens in book two!
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Love this author so thanks for giving me an ARC.  
As predicted, it was as good as the Morgan Dane series. 
I’ll be looking forward to the next book of this new series.
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Bree Taggert is a homicide detective, also troubled by her own violent family past. Her parents died in a murder-suicide and now, more than twenty five years later, her sister Erin is killed. Bree returns to her hometown to investigate her murder and look after her sister's two children. 

Bree teams up with a local ex-police officer, Matt, but they are puzzled by her brother in law, Justin and his disappearance during the investigation. To make matters more complicated, Matt happens to be friends with Justin and he doesn't suspect him as being involved. 

I absolutely love a police procedural and crime fiction, so this was of course really enjoyable for me.  I am so pleased that this is the start of a series and can't wait for more.
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