"My name is Devlin. But given our current ... predicament ... you can call me Devil." - Devlin Buchanan
Take the Key and Lock Her Up
A Deadly Games Thriller
Author: Lena Diaz
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Release Date: August 5th, 2014
Source: publisher for review
Purchase Links: Amazon - B&N - iTunes
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Lena Diaz returns with another sexy, thrilling Deadly Games novel and the darkest question of all: What do you do when your freedom could cost you your life?
Detective Emily O'Malley just stumbled upon a killer's lair—and the remains of a woman he kept locked away for years. But this killer isn't done yet. More women are missing, and all clues point to Devlin Buchanan—the man who seems to know just a little too much. Emily's instincts are rarely wrong, and now they're telling her this sexy, mysterious man is hiding something big …
As a trained assassin for EXIT Inc—a top-secret mercenary group posing as an international tour company—Devlin "Devil" Buchanan isn't afraid to take justice into his own hands. But when the hot new detective on his trail gets too close to the organization and a contract is placed on her life, Devlin does the only thing he can: he turns rogue agent and kidnaps her to save her life.
With EXIT Inc closing in and passions running hot between them, Emily and Devlin must work together to find the missing women and clear both their names before time runs out … and the key to freedom is thrown away.
After a fairly long hiatus from the genre, I seem to be reading a lot of romantic suspense lately. This works out to my favor because I finally picked up my first Lena Diaz book. Once again, I was clueless going into the book. I didn't know if it was heavy on the romance or heavy on the suspense. I didn't know if it was going to be gory or if it was going to be mild. I will say this, though. I freaking loved this book! It was the perfect mixture of a very cute romance and a healthy dose of suspense. It was gory, but not too gory. Lena didn't go out of her way to gross me out... Well, for the most part. There was one scene that made me turn a little green…
In Take the Key and Lock Her Up, Emily O'Malley and Devlin Buchanan are on a mission. Emily is focused on solving a heinous crime. As a new detective, she often stumbles along. She's impulsive, often jumping into danger without backup. She's rational and irrational at the same time, but under it all, Emily is really a strong character that will do whatever necessary to catch the criminals and protect the innocent. Although, she does often go about things a little backwards. Devlin, on the other hand, is everything Emily isn't. Devlin is hardened. He views the world as right and wrong. In his line of work, it is his job to eliminate the wrong at all cost. Devlin is being framed for murders he did not commit. All he has is his word and an adorable, yet slightly annoying, Emily on his tail. As they work together to solve the crimes and clear his name, their attraction to each other grows. Soon it becomes clear that they have everything to lose.
I loved Devlin. From the moment he first comes to Emily's rescue, I was hanging on his every word. He is intelligent and incredibly strong. He's all alpha, all the time. He wants nothing more than to protect Emily, but he's also drawn to her. It has been years since he's felt this way and he can't seem to help himself as he steals glances and hot kisses. Emily, on the other hand, took a little bit to grown on me. She reminded me a lot of Sandra Bullock's character in the movie Miss Congeniality. Intelligent, strong, but yet aloof and clumsy. At first, I kept wondering how the heck she became a cop. Not only is she clumsy, but she always seems to be forgetting the rules of being a cop. As I got to know her better, Emily proves to be very strong in her own right. She's smart and she'll stand toe to toe with Devlin until he backs down. I loved Emily and Devlin together, both as a couple and as partners in figuring out the murderer. I loved the banter between them. I loved how they bounced ideas off one another. Their relationship wasn't one sided. He needed her just as much as she needed him.
As I said, I loved this book. The romance kept me wanting more and the suspense kept me turning the pages. I had no clue who the murderer was. Of course I had my suspensions, but both ended up being wrong. My jaw dropped when it was revealed and I promptly messaged my friend asking her how in the world she figured it out so fast. Take the Key and Lock Her Up is a fun book if you like your romance with a suspenseful kick. You don't have to wait until the end of the book before the characters realize their attraction. It is there all along, waiting for the right moment to throw Emily and Devlin together. The ending did leave me wanting more as it set up Lena's next series, which is connected with this book. I won't say how, but I can't wait to find out more. In the meantime, I do have the previous three books in the Deadly Games series to get caught up on.
Originally from Kentucky, romantic suspense author Lena Diaz also lived in California and Louisiana before settling in Northeast Florida with her husband, two children, and a Shetland Sheepdog named Sparky. A Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finalist, she's won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense and has been a finalist for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. She loves to watch action movies, garden, and hike in the beautiful Tennessee Smoky Mountains.