Out of the Darkness by Anne Patrick

Out of the Darkness by Anne Patrick
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (140 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

FBI profiler Alex Michaels’ life was shattered when a sadistic serial killer murdered her twin sister and left Alex with a career ending injury. Hoping to put the past behind her, she sets off across country with a truck driver she barely knows.

Royce McIntire knows Alex is on the run from something or someone, but he doesn’t care. He’s fallen in love with her and is finally getting his life back on track and wants to win back custody of his son.

The killer is hot on Alex’s trail though, determined to find the one victim who got away. As more bodies turn up dead Alex has no choice but to tell Royce who she really is. Will the love that has blossomed between them be strong enough to sustain them, or will the killer get to Alex before they even have a chance to find out?

Alex’s job was her life. What will she live for now that her career is over?
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In just a few minutes, Alex lost everything that she cared about. Determined to leave her past and the pain of her losses behind her, Alex cuts ties with everyone she knows and takes off with Royce, a complete stranger. At first, Alex manages to find some semblance of happiness. Unfortunately, it soon becomes clear that Alex can’t hide forever, and the killer will never let her go.

Alex is obviously a tough woman. Not only did she survive the death of her sister, but also a career ending injury. When she quits her job and sets off across the country, some might assume she is simply running away. I don’t see it that way. I see a woman who needs some time and space to evaluate her priorities, her faith, and salvage her sanity. One of the things I like most about Alex is her rare ability to be direct and honest without being rude. Her straight-forward manner made me chuckle several times as I read, especially when Alex met Royce’s former mother-in-law.

Despite the odd way Alex and Royce met, their relationship felt very natural. There were a few awkward moments in the beginning that stemmed from Alex’s trust issues. However, it wasn’t long before their common faith in God, and Royce’s patience and gentle manner won her over. When Alex and Royce are together, it just seems right. I couldn’t help but smile as I watched them inch their way to a happy ending.

Alex is definitely the focus of this book, and as much as I liked getting to know her, I do wish some of the secondary characters had been more rounded. A few characters, like Royce’s son and Alex’s coworkers, had potential, but they never really grew beyond being types. Consequently, they didn’t seem as real to me as Alex.

Ms. Patrick did an excellent job building suspense around the serial killer stalking Alex. The sections of the story that focused on the killer gave me goose bumps, but weren’t overly graphic. I was on the edge of my seat wondering how close the murderer was to Alex and when he would make his final move.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Out of the Darkness. It is a chilling, fast paced suspense laced with romance. Anyone looking for a quick and entertaining read should definitely give Out of the Darkness a try.

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