ARC-Review: FIRST DO NO EVIL by Carey Baldwin

One killer is in her blood. The other is in her house.

There’s a killer lurking in Dr. Skylar Novak’s family tree: the gene for breast cancer. That’s why her brilliant brother invented the Bella vaccine. But even if the miracle drug protects her from the cancer that took her mother’s life, it can’t save Sky from the flesh and bone evil stalking her in secret.

When the killer strikes, detective Daniel Benson finds himself in the wrong place at the right time. The bold detective manages to save Sky’s life…just in time for her to return the favor. Survival leads to seduction, and Danny risks everything—his career, even his life, to keep Sky safe. But will the buried sins they uncover cost him her heart?

Danny’s strong arms may hold her close, but only Sky can stop the terror that’s coming next…

Product Warnings
Contents include: One heart-melting hero—good luck getting this delicious detective out of your head. One reluctant heroine—wielding a Glock was never on her to-do list. One crazed villain—an entire flock of baa baa black sheep won’t be enough to put you to sleep. And a lifesaving vaccine with one deadly side effect—murder.

Author: Carey Baldwin
Series: Blood Secrets, book 1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year of release: 2012, June 26
Format: eBook
Source: Received an e-ARC for review from author

First line:
Dr. Skylar Novak had awakened today with a premonition of happiness.

Last line:
He aimed his magnificently crooked grin—that three surgeries had not been able to straighten—at her. “All right then, Rocky, roll up your sleeve.”

Memorable Scenes:
– the first chapter > awesome start to a fabulous book
– Sky unraveling a part of the suspense plot and figuring out who the villain was > I was reading with bated breath

I was immediately grabbed by Carey Baldwin’s writing style. It’s fluent, clean and crisp with a knack for subtle humor in the dialogues. That first chapter had me at the edge of my seat, reading breathlessly.

Dr. Skylar ‘Sky’ Novak is suffering from survivor’s guilt and not taking care of her own wellbeing. She is stubborn, careful and guarded. I loved Skylar as the heroine of this book. She wasn’t flawless but I like my heroines not to be perfect so her character worked very well for me.

Dt. Sgt. Daniel ‘Danny’ Benson is an awesome hero and the perfect match for Skylar. He’s direct and honest but also persistent and a real stand-up guy. As a single father he tries to do what he can and he had my undying devotion from start to finish in this book.

The fact that the first sex scene was not between the hero and heroine normally is not what I like, but I understood why the author took this path in this particular story. I really can’t say more about it though because it would be too spoilery for the plot and believe me you do not want spoilers going into this book. The unexpected twists and turns are what make this book so awesome.

I also can’t tell you about the plot without the fear of saying too much so I’ll only say that the POV of the villain was perfectly intertwined with the rest and gave me chills. Even though it made the plot take precedence over the romance between the main characters, it worked because the suspense was so mesmerizing and the characterization of the villain was so brilliantly done.

I thought with Cindy Gerard and Shannon McKenna I’d read about the evilest and most disturbed villains there were but I have to add Carey Baldwin to the list. Her villain was so evil and sick I was reading in fear and was not so secretly wishing him a painful and cruel death.

FIRST DO NO EVIL is a perfect example of a well-balanced mix between suspense, romance and strong characterization. The villain’s motivation is disclosed little by little and made me speculate a lot about whom it could be. Fairly early in the story the identity of the villain is disclosed and instead of lessening the suspense it just made it even more intense. There are numerous characters killed off in this book and some of those kills literary made my heart ache in horror of seeing the villain take them out. The resolution to the plot and the culmination point of the suspense just took my breath away and I couldn’t stop reading till I was done

This book made me gasp in horror, bite my nails in suspense, cry with its emotional intensity and sigh with its romance. Carey Baldwin put her characters through hell and back and wooed me with her excellent writing, heart-pounding suspense and fabulous characters. She’s been added to my list of go-to authors for romantic thrillers! I was just blown away by this debut author and hope there is much more to come from her in the future because this first taste was beyond expectations.

Favorite Quotes:
“Look, I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure we’re having a moment here. And…” He paused and turned his palms up. “Please, correct me if I’m wrong, but when you’re having a moment, those rules you mentioned are suspended…momentarily. When you’re having a moment you gotta grab it by the balls, or else something wonderful might pass you by.” (Danny)

Averting his eyes from the swell of her breasts, he found himself staring at the lush fullness of her mouth, and even the remorse balling up in his stomach didn’t stop him from imagining what it would be like to lick that mouth until it opened beneath his. He raked a hand through his hair and pasted on his best choirboy face, afraid she could read the salacious thoughts running through his head. He didn’t want to burden her with that little piece of intelligence.

The sensations built and built, but Danny didn’t let up. “Look at me, Sky,” he said in rough, commanding voice that was hardly recognizable as his. And then he drove into her, so hard, so fast, so mercilessly that she was unable to stop herself from shattering.

Dropping the knife, she flung the door wide. Danny crossed the threshold. Their eyes met and held, and then she was in his arms. Wrapped and safe and floating, and for one ephemeral moment, the world was right again. Danny’s fingers wove through her hair, and heat radiated across the sensitive skin of her scalp. He tugged, and her chin tilted up. He pressed his mouth against hers, not gently, not at all softly, but the very fierceness of his kiss somehow comforted her more than any fragile brush of his lips could’ve done. His was the kiss of a warrior returned from battle.

“Do you really mean that, Sky?” The masculine timbre saturated the air with warmth, seeped through her skin and penetrated her bones. As if it were a fire blazing in the hearth, she basked in the glow of her name wafting from Danny’s lips.


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