Review: Deadly Lies by Cynthia Eden

Posted on April 2, 2011


Series: Deadly #3

Hero: Max Ridgeway

Heroine: Samantha Kennedy

She wants to hide the past

FBI Special Agent Samantha Kennedy is haunted by memories of the serial killer who abducted her. To keep the darkness at bay, she pretends to be a different, more confident woman. This Samantha doesn’t fear every unknown face. So she throws caution to the wind and shares a night of unbridled passion with a handsome stranger.

He needs to uncover the truth

One night isn’t enough for successful entrepreneur Max Ridgeway. He wants more of the sexy, smart, mysterious woman who slipped away before dawn. When they meet again, their attraction is undeniable-until his stepbrother goes missing, and Max realizes that Samantha isn’t who she seems. But they must trust each other to trap a ring of bloodthirsty kidnappers before the nightmares that terrorize Sam become irrevocably real.

As a merciless criminal spins a web of . . .


Deadly Lies by Cynthia Eden is, by far, a most aggravated book for me to purchase.  Thankfully, it was also a very satisfying read and more than made up for the exercise I got in hunting down a copy of the book.  But before I get to the satisfaction part let me confirm that, yes, you heard the term – aggravated – correctly because I searched not one, not two, and not three stores for Deadly Lies but eight, yes, EIGHT, book stores for this book.  Seven of the book stores I searched were in my home state Pennsylvania with the eighth one in a visiting state (Georgia) which I happened to be in for work training.  The book hunt was done during the laydown date in which the bookstores are supposed to have the book out on the shelves (not to be mixed with the official release date) and I was so determined to read the book that I couldn’t wait until the following week (hence, the mad hunt) but luck wasn’t with me and indeed I had to wait.  Even then I couldn’t locate a paperback copy of the book so I ended up purchasing the e-book from Amazon.  Sigh.  But I remind myself to take comfort in that I can access this wonderful book anywhere and anytime now.

Anyhow, now onto the satisfaction that made all the running around worth it!

A mastery with computers, Special Agent Samantha Kennedy — a member of the FBI’s elite Serial Services Division (“SSD”), a team for catching serial killers — is still recovering from an abduction that took place in the first book in the series.  Forced to die and brought back to life several times by the very person who captured her, Samantha’s emotional and psychological trauma suffered twofold because as a trained agent she was powerless to stop what had happened to her.

Her boss doesn’t think she is ready to be out in the field and while Samantha inwardly agrees with him she couldn’t let herself hide from the trauma which would mean the killer succeeds in destroying her.  Pretending to be her old self Samantha puts on a strong and confident face as she goes from bar to bar searching for clues on a new case.  It was at one of the bars that she meets Max, a man who was able to make her feel again and though the feelings that exploded was of passion it was better than the walking stiff that she was without it.  Their affair is not only no-strings but elusive as well since identities are not exchange (though only on Max’s part as Samantha is aware of Max’s identity from the start).

Up until I read Deadly Lies I didn’t think there was any author who could make me enjoy a Romantic Suspense without thinking that one of Karen Rose’s books are better.  Because you know Karen Rose is the queen of my RS love.  But Deadly Lies comes a very, very close second.  The romance is so explosive you can feel the attraction, the lust, the emotions that Max pulls out of Samantha – the very foreign feelings that she has buried after her trauma. And it’s not just Samantha whose feelings are pulled to the top.  Max’s desire for Samantha encompass all that he’s felt with other women and you can feel his frustration, his hunger, for the mysterious woman who lures him in but leaves him soon after she uses his body.  As a man without a badge Max oozes quite a depth of strength, confidence, and character that is built from the choices he made when he was young.  Watching over his stepbrother to honor his mother’s dying request, Max is an honorable and loyal man to have at the back.  And because of his sense of loyalty and integrity that will be Max’s downfall.

The suspense here is as intricate and intense as a Karen Rose plot. The twists and turn of the kidnappings and exposure of the villain is truly deceitful yet so very evident – and which statement makes no sense except that you would have to read the book to understand and appreciate the convolution of the plot.  A reader new to the series will still enjoy this book but the connection, understanding, and growth of Samantha’s character is more acute when read from book one, Deadly Fears.

The reason the book isn’t an ‘A’ grade is because the number of sex scenes — and the very fact that they could think of doing it during certain intense moments — had me scratching my head and thinking, “they’re having sex AGAIN? NOW?”  There were a few other little quibbles that I could pick on but going off my feeling when I finished it, this book is a true keeper meaning a re-readable for years to come.  The (fast) pacing of the plot, the characters’ drives, the intricacy of the lies, Deadly Lies has made it one of my top reads of the year.  I enjoy many books but very few leave impressions once I close it which this book has done…and it’s not just due to the aforementioned frequent (but oh very hot) love scenes.

According to Cynthia, there’s no contract on additional Deadly books after this one but I really hope that the series hasn’t ended.  The epilogue at the end of Deadly Lies is such a teaser for Hyde, the head of the SSD, that it calls for — no, needs — its own story to be told and I hope that he will get that story of his own.

Grading: B+

Posted in: B Reviews, Reviews