Formats available: ebook, mass market paperback
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: The Hunted, #2
Length: 100 pages
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Date Released: April 9, 2013
Purchasing Info: Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository
The Hunted series continues as Special Agent Sam Turner discovers that protecting the FBI’s star witness is more difficult than he thought!
Bakery owner Elizabeth Hamilton’s quiet life is filled with sweet treats, good friends, and a loving family. But all of that is about to turn sour when an odd sound draws her outside. There’s a man lying unconscious in the street, a car speeding toward him. Without hesitation, she gets the man out of harm’s way before they’re run down.
Unwittingly, Elizabeth has put herself in the path of a serial murderer, and as the only one who can identify the FBI’s Silver Fox Killer, she’s ended up in the hospital with a target on her back.
All that stands between her and death is Special Agent Sam Turner. Against his better judgment, Sam gets emotionally involved, determined to take down the double threat against Elizabeth—an ex desperate to get her back, despite a restraining order, and a psychopath bent on silencing her before she can identify him.
They set a trap to catch the killer—putting Elizabeth in his hands, with Sam desperate to save her. If he’s lucky, he’ll get his man … and the girl.
In this second entry in Jennifer Ryan’s Hunted series, her heroine is also being stalked by an ex with creepy motives.
But there are two key differences between Lucky Like Us and Saved By the Rancher that make Lucky Like Us a much better story.
Elizabeth Hamilton, the heroine of Lucky Like Us, starts out the story by saving the hero, Sam Turner. She saves the FBI Agent’s life from a serial killer who nearly kills them both. It’s a refreshing role-reversal that she saves his life before he saves hers.
Second, and even more important, Elizabeth Hamilton was never abused by her creepazoid ex. He didn’t get a chance to even become her boyfriend, let alone her ex-boyfriend. Her sense of self-preservation kicked in way too early for that, and good on her. She was a bit naive about his stalkerism, but she was spot on when she figured out that the jerk was only interested in her for her wealth and connections, and not for herself.
The Hamiltons are very wealthy, and her father is an influential judge. Everyone in her family can be reckoned among the rich and relatively famous. Elizabeth wants to be loved for herself, and if that isn’t possible, she’ll settle for being surrounded by friends.
Then Sam Turner falls into her life, along with his pursuit of the man the FBI has dubbed “The Silver Fox Killer”. When she rushes into the street to rescue Sam, she tears off the killer’s mask, making herself his prime target. He leaves her beaten, shot and sliced. She has his face etched in her memory and his DNA under her fingernails.
And that’s where the long road to recovery begins. Elizabeth is at death’s door. Sam has been poisoned. The police almost don’t find them in time.
Protecting Elizabeth, saving her, becomes the most important thing that Sam Turner has left to do. He’s been close to burnout for two years. Watching this brave and beautiful woman fight for her life because she protected him is almost more than he can bear, so he dedicates himself to protecting her.
They save each other. They bring each other back from the brink. And hopefully, they’ll catch a killer.
Escape Rating B+: Lucky Like Us worked better for me than Saved By the Rancher because Elizabeth doesn’t start the story in a state of extreme psychological trauma. She is being hunted by someone, multiple someones, but neither of them is her multiple-times abuser. In other words, Elizabeth falling in love with Sam doesn’t make my head explode.
It’s not that her would-be ex wasn’t planning to abuse her, but he hadn’t done it yet. She doesn’t have that damage to heal that made the relatively quick sexual relationship in Saved by the Rancher seem implausible.
There is a certain amount of insta-love in Lucky Like Us. Sam and Elizabeth fall in love during the time while Elizabeth is unconscious most of the time, and Sam is still recovering from burnout. They latch onto each other in a time of shared crisis, when they are both feeling extremely lucky to be alive.
Sam feels responsible for Elizabeth’s injuries, and Elizabeth feels like Sam is interested in her for a reason other than her family’s wealth and influence. He is very protective, at least in part because he feels guilty.
But this story works. They are both hurting, and they come together to heal each other. Well done!