An undercover FBI agent and a coffee shop owner who values her independence must team up when a local barista is found dead in their coastal Texas town in this new romantic thriller from New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin.
With two brothers on the police force, Leyla Breda is well aware of the rising crime in her small beach town, but she never expected it to show up on her doorstep. When Leyla finds one of her employees murdered in the alley behind her coffee shop, she’s deeply shaken, and as a new law enforcement officer in town begins to circle her place of business, her instincts only sharpen.
Sean Moran is on an undercover mission: The seaside community of Lost Beach may look like a picturesque postcard, but his team suspects it’s a point of intersection for several crime syndicates that the FBI has been investigating for years. Even so, when the brash and beautiful Leyla Breda starts bossing him around, he's immediately intrigued. He knows her brothers want him to back off, but every time he sees her, he feels more of a spark.
Leyla’s connections in the local community and Sean’s skills allow them to go deeper into the case together than they would be able to go alone. But when a single crime spirals into something much darker, Sean’s carefully planned mission takes a deadly turn.
Griffin showcases her suspense chops in her fourth Texas Murder Files romance (after Midnight Dunes). The brothers of coffee shop owner Leyla Breda, Owen and Joel, are on the police force in their small seaside town of Lost Beach, Tex.—and their protective instincts go into hyperdrive when one of the baristas, Amelia, turns up dead in the alley behind Leyla's shop. FBI Special Agent Sean Moran is in town both for Joel's wedding and to surveil a nefarious tech billionaire, and is drawn into the case. The chemistry between him and Leyla is instant, but as they race to solve Amelia's murder, the danger around them grows—including a compromised law enforcement officer who has it out for Leyla, a hair-raising helicopter ride, and a dramatic water rescue—meaning they may not live to see their happily ever after. Griffin packs the story with well-drawn characters— including plucky newbie detective Nicole Lawson and hard-bitten reporter Miguel Vidales—and keeps the twists coming right up until the shocking reveal of Amelia's killer. The result is an undeniable thrill ride.
A well thought-out romantic suspense novel
This was my first Laura Griffin novel, and I am sorry I hadn’t discovered her sooner. This was the fourth book in a series, but it functioned perfectly as a stand-alone novel. At no time did I feel like I was missing information that I needed to follow along. The book is primarily about the murder of a local barista as well as crimes that were connected to her death. The main characters are Leyla, the owner of the coffee shop where the murdered young woman had worked, and Sean, an FBI agent who had come to town for her brother’s wedding and stayed for some covert operation that was taking place in the area. The two are drawn to each other despite each having reservations about any involvement. Layla becomes very interested in Sean’s case and takes it upon herself to help, despite his insistence that she not be involved. Additionally the story follows the investigation of the murder by the lead detective, Nicole, who works with Sean regarding some overlap between her case and his. This was a very well thought-out romantic suspense story with well rounded, three dimensional characters. Her writing style was engaging and the book an enjoyable read from beginning to end. I would recommend this title to any who enjoy a good romantic suspense story and a looking forward to reading more of Ms. Griffin’s work. I am voluntarily submitting this review after listening to an advanced complementary copy of this book.
Good but not her best
This book felt like it was written quickly and thus the plot seemed thin. A lot of “I can’t talk about my job” was used to excuse a lack of plot building and just throwing in information on the case without any narrative as to how it was found. Overall it was fine, didn’t care for the main characters as much as I have other characters she’s written about.