The Intended Victim (The Agency #4)
ONCE, SHE GOT AWAYThe body lying on a cold steel slab bears all the hallmarks of the Chicago Butcher. There’s a cruel slash across her throat, deep enough to sever the carotid artery, and a small crescent carved into her right breast. Her delicate features are painfully familiar to Ash Marcel, once a rising star in the Chicago PD. But though the victim resembles his former fiancée, Remi Walsh, he knows it’s not her. BUT THIS TIMEThough Remi escaped a serial killer five years ago, her father died trying to save her. Grief and guilt caused her to pull away from the man she loved. Now Ash is back in her life, insisting that Remi is still in danger. IT’S A DEAD END . . .Someone is targeting women who look just like Remi. With or without a badge, Ash intends to unmask the Butcher. But the killer isn’t playing games any longer. He’s moving in, ready to finish what he started, and prove there’s nothing more terrifying than a killer’s obsession . . .

The Intended Victim (The Agency #4) Details

TitleThe Intended Victim (The Agency #4)
Author
ReleaseDec 31st, 2019
PublisherZebra
Rating
GenreRomance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Fiction

The Intended Victim (The Agency #4) Review

  • Tammie
    January 1, 1970
    The Intended Victim, a mystery/thriller book, was a solid 4 stars. The book centers around main character Remi-a woman who managed to escape a serial killer dubbed The Butcher 5 years earlier. Remi is desperately trying to get her life back on track after the horrific ordeal five years earlier that ended with her detective father dead and a destroyed relationship with Ash (her father’s former partner). When a woman who looks eerily like Remi is found murdered in present day, it seems like The The Intended Victim, a mystery/thriller book, was a solid 4 stars. The book centers around main character Remi-a woman who managed to escape a serial killer dubbed The Butcher 5 years earlier. Remi is desperately trying to get her life back on track after the horrific ordeal five years earlier that ended with her detective father dead and a destroyed relationship with Ash (her father’s former partner). When a woman who looks eerily like Remi is found murdered in present day, it seems like The Butcher is back and Remi is his intended target. The Intended Victim was a very entertaining book, it is filled with mystery and romance that many readers will enjoy. I not only enjoyed the well-developed characters in the book but also the twist at the end! Recommended to fans of mystery and romance books. Thank you NetGalley for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    First, I absolutely love the cover. Secondly when I pick up a romantic suspense book by Ms. Ivy, I always know that I am going to get something good. A great plot, great characters although the author does tend to go with second chance romances a lot but hey why fix it when it ain’t broke?5 years ago, Remi Walsh was nearly the next victim of the Chicago serial killer The Butcher, but her father sacrificed himself to save her. The guilt weighed her down and, in the end, she ended up pushing First, I absolutely love the cover. Secondly when I pick up a romantic suspense book by Ms. Ivy, I always know that I am going to get something good. A great plot, great characters although the author does tend to go with second chance romances a lot but hey why fix it when it ain’t broke?5 years ago, Remi Walsh was nearly the next victim of the Chicago serial killer The Butcher, but her father sacrificed himself to save her. The guilt weighed her down and, in the end, she ended up pushing everyone away. The Butcher was never caught and 5 years later he/she is back to finish what he/she started.Ash Marcel lost his fiancée to the Butcher, but he has loved her all this time. But new victims keep on turning up that look extremely like Remi. The countdown is on and it is for the police and Ash to find out who it is. Ms. Ivy knows how to write suspense and I enjoy her books a lot. I can’t give it the full 5 stars though because I called it and well, I found that to be disappointing to say the least. I would love for Jax Marcel to get a book, just saying.
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  • Anita
    January 1, 1970
    Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.This second chance romance is wrapped in the pursuit of a serial killer. The romance is wonderful and the mystery/suspense keeps the plot moving, even though I spotted the baddie early on.When Ash's brother, Jax, shows up in his office, he knows that something is terribly wrong. Ash refuses to believe what Jax tells him: his ex-fiancée is dead. When he views the body, it turns Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.This second chance romance is wrapped in the pursuit of a serial killer. The romance is wonderful and the mystery/suspense keeps the plot moving, even though I spotted the baddie early on.When Ash's brother, Jax, shows up in his office, he knows that something is terribly wrong. Ash refuses to believe what Jax tells him: his ex-fiancée is dead. When he views the body, it turns out he's right, the body doesn't belong to Remi. But, the body looks exactly like Remi and it bears the Butcher's signature.Five years ago Remi was attacked and her father, Chicago Police Detective Gage Wash, was murdered by the serial killer, the Butcher. Remi doesn't remember what happened and she closed herself away from Ash. She moved on and is now teaching underprivileged at risk kids. When Ash shows up and tells her she is in danger, she knows there is no protection for her heart.
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  • Marta Cox
    January 1, 1970
    I've really enjoyed previous stories in this series as the author who I usually associate with paranormal stories really pushes the boundaries. This time it's a second chance romance set amidst what appears to be the reappearance of a Chicago serial killer. When Remi was attacked five years ago her father was apparently also the killers victim but as Remi has no memory of that night she cannot say exactly what happened or indeed where her father's body is ! The stress, strain and sheer grief I've really enjoyed previous stories in this series as the author who I usually associate with paranormal stories really pushes the boundaries. This time it's a second chance romance set amidst what appears to be the reappearance of a Chicago serial killer. When Remi was attacked five years ago her father was apparently also the killers victim but as Remi has no memory of that night she cannot say exactly what happened or indeed where her father's body is ! The stress, strain and sheer grief drove her and Ash apart but when a body is found that's been surgically altered to look like Remi there's no way Ash won't be by her side.For this reader second chance romance is never really a trope I enjoy and sadly this lacked that special something in the romance department. I think I just didn't understand exactly why Ash left town, changed career and just gave up on the woman he apparently loves so much ! I actually could understand how devastated Remi was although when Ash comes back to Chicago there was sadly a lack of tension between the couple which I would expect. The killer was unfortunately not that believable although I do applaud the author for her originality and I hope when we get Jax's book that I can rate it much higher.This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
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  • Dísir
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve not read the rest of the books that preceded ‘The Intended Victim’ by Alexandra Ivy, but this is easy enough to get into as a standalone. The premise is undoubtedly quite an intriguing one: a serial murderer—a.k.a. The Butcher—who’s apparently back after five years and is now strangely obsessed with altering his victims’ faces to resemble Remi Walsh before killing them. The suspense plot itself is sort of unique, with a twist that I sort of saw coming but was left skeptical in the end. It I’ve not read the rest of the books that preceded ‘The Intended Victim’ by Alexandra Ivy, but this is easy enough to get into as a standalone. The premise is undoubtedly quite an intriguing one: a serial murderer—a.k.a. The Butcher—who’s apparently back after five years and is now strangely obsessed with altering his victims’ faces to resemble Remi Walsh before killing them. The suspense plot itself is sort of unique, with a twist that I sort of saw coming but was left skeptical in the end. It did lack a bit of forward momentum even as the process of getting to know more about the strange spate of murders was ongoing, getting even disconcerting at times with different POVs belonging to secondary characters popping up from time to time. There’s a second chance romance in here as well, but this was probably the weakest part of the story for me. Ash/Remi’s history was sort of glossed over; we weren’t told much, only that Remi had pushed Ash away after tragedy touched their lives and that he was only back because she seemed to be in the sights of the same killer again. I was obviously hoping for harder soul-searching on Remi’s part, but most of it dealt with her determination to try to just look at the future and not the past—and that she only looked at Ash with regret. In this way, Ash/Remi’s second chance romance didn’t quite feel like a justified or a convincing one at all: a pairing brought back together incidentally and not because both wanted it enough to look for each other. Five years on, all we really had of Remi was her weak excuse of wanting to ‘protect’ others by pushing them away and internalising her own mental mess that she’d never bothered to sort out. Through it all, I never quite got the idea that she wanted them as much as Ash pursued her, merely caving to Ash’s insistent pressure and going along with it. The uptick in the narrative happened at the last quarter, after which, it got engrossing, though everything was wrapped up quite neatly—too neatly perhaps—in the last chapter. Would I recommend this? Maybe. It’s a decent read if you like the usual red-herrings and the clues that come with solving a murder mystery, though romance-wise, it’s not quite a satisfying one. *ARC by the publisher via Netgalley
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    This is my first book of the Agency series but was able to read it without having read the previous books. There is plenty of romance, suspense and mystery to keep me very engaged in this book, I really enjoyed it and look forward to going back and reading the others.
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  • Dawn
    January 1, 1970
    If you love mysteries this book is for you. And wow I didn't see the ending.When a serial killer has returned and he has to tell his brother that his ex-fiance is in the morgue Jax Marcel isn't prepared for what's to come, and neither is Ash. So when Ash looks and takes a good look and realizes it isn't Remi they are both equally relieved and petrified at the same time. The Butcher tore their lives apart once and it looks like he's back to try and finish the job.I received this ARC in exchange If you love mysteries this book is for you. And wow I didn't see the ending.When a serial killer has returned and he has to tell his brother that his ex-fiance is in the morgue Jax Marcel isn't prepared for what's to come, and neither is Ash. So when Ash looks and takes a good look and realizes it isn't Remi they are both equally relieved and petrified at the same time. The Butcher tore their lives apart once and it looks like he's back to try and finish the job.I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Suzi (Obsessive Reading Disorder)
    January 1, 1970
    This is the fourth book of the series but could be read as a stand alone. Previous characters pop up in this one but the relationship is easy to follow. I am a self proclaimed wuss for romantic suspense. They drive me bananas mostly because I can't read them at the speed I would like to. Too much information and brain bending to go quickly. That said, this author is a go to recommendation if you love romantic suspense. This story has all the thrilling elements of the genre: twist and turns, a This is the fourth book of the series but could be read as a stand alone. Previous characters pop up in this one but the relationship is easy to follow. I am a self proclaimed wuss for romantic suspense. They drive me bananas mostly because I can't read them at the speed I would like to. Too much information and brain bending to go quickly. That said, this author is a go to recommendation if you love romantic suspense. This story has all the thrilling elements of the genre: twist and turns, a serial killer back from the dead, a gorgeous cop looking to protect a woman who refuses to be a victim any longer, a creepy setting and weird secondary characters who seem to all be possible suspects. Wrap yourself up tight and hold on. This one is intense. Loved the connection with Remi and Ash. So happy to see him take things at her speed and make sure their relationship was strong first. Lovely twisted ending. Broke my heart but it seemed the right choice for the story. Great read!Complimentary copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review.
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  • Les Romantiques
    January 1, 1970
    Posted on Les Romantiques - Le forum du siteReviewed by FabiolaReview Copy from the PublisherI voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.The Intended Victim is the fourth volume in the romantic suspense series by Alexandra Ivy titled The Agency. The previous volumes are Pretend you’re safe (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... ), What are you afraid of? (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... ) and You will suffer ( Posted on Les Romantiques - Le forum du siteReviewed by FabiolaReview Copy from the PublisherI voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.The Intended Victim is the fourth volume in the romantic suspense series by Alexandra Ivy titled The Agency. The previous volumes are Pretend you’re safe (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... ), What are you afraid of? (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... ) and You will suffer (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... ). The story features Ashland “Ash” Marcel (brother of Nate, hero in the third volume) and Remi Walsh. Totally personally, because I’m French, let’s say I had trouble with Remi’s name for two reasons: in the book she’s a woman, and my husband’s name is Remi. Lol. Apart from this little inconvenience, I really liked the book and the suspense once again well done. Ash and Remi were in love and betrothed. But five years ago, Remi was the victim of a serial killer nicknamed The Butcher and she was saved by her father, who she knows is dead but his body was never found. Racked with guilt, she withdrew on herself and that destroyed her couple with Ash. He left Chicago and his job as a policeman to become professor in the town of Normal. The book opens on a girl who’s going to buy drugs and is killed by a mysterious person. Then Jackson “Jax” Marcel comes and tells his brother his ex-fiancé Remi was found dead, her throat slit. In spite of their break-up, Ash still has strong feelings for Remi so let’s say he takes the news very badly. But when he comes to the morgue to see the body, he realizes it’s not Remi. What’s more, the coroner tells them the victim had a surgery to her face a little time before. The two brothers understand The Butcher is back. Ash goes back to Chicago to protect Remi.She’s a volunteer in an educational support center for young persons with social and school difficulties. She still has not recovered from what happened a few years ago and knowing a girl looking like her was killed makes matters worse. She’s not really thrilled by Ash’s return but she also has feelings for him and little by little she understands her behavior wasn’t really the better one. I really liked the two heroes together. My only problem is that 5 years, it’s too long for such a “simple” reunion, even if we feel the deep feeling Remi and Ash have for each other. That makes sense especially as they didn’t break with pain and shouts but I was frustrated all the same by it. However, the suspense is really well done. The plot turns around the serial killer but also the fact the new victim looks like Remi, which is different from the previous ones. Knowing a little Alexandra Ivy’s style, I began suspecting the bad guy at one point and my hunch turned out being right. That didn’t prevent me to be very stupefied by the plot resolution that will surprise a lot of readers. As for the secondary characters, we have the heroine’s circle as the hero’s circle, especially his brother Jax who has a great importance in the book as he’s the cop charged with the case and we follow his thoughts. Nate and Ellie, heroes of You Will Suffer, are mentioned and we see them at the end of the book during their wedding. If Alexandra goes on with this series, I bet on Jax for the next hero. But for now, I don’t know if she’s intending more. Case to follow especially as I said at the end of my two previous reviews that there shouldn’t be other books and yet there are… LOL In the meantime, you’ll have a very good time with The Intended Victim and fans of romantic suspense who want to discover Alexandra Ivy will be able to appreciate it, knowing it can be read totally independently.
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  • Sandy S
    January 1, 1970
    4 starsAbout the book: Release Date December 31, 2019 ONCE, SHE GOT AWAYThe body lying on a cold steel slab bears all the hallmarks of the Chicago Butcher. There’s a cruel slash across her throat, deep enough to sever the carotid artery, and a small crescent carved into her right breast. Her delicate features are painfully familiar to Ash Marcel, once a rising star in the Chicago PD. But though the victim resembles his former fiancée, Remi Walsh, he knows it’s not her. BUT THIS TIMEThough Remi 4 starsAbout the book: Release Date December 31, 2019 ONCE, SHE GOT AWAYThe body lying on a cold steel slab bears all the hallmarks of the Chicago Butcher. There’s a cruel slash across her throat, deep enough to sever the carotid artery, and a small crescent carved into her right breast. Her delicate features are painfully familiar to Ash Marcel, once a rising star in the Chicago PD. But though the victim resembles his former fiancée, Remi Walsh, he knows it’s not her. BUT THIS TIMEThough Remi escaped a serial killer five years ago, her father died trying to save her. Grief and guilt caused her to pull away from the man she loved. Now Ash is back in her life, insisting that Remi is still in danger. IT’S A DEAD END . . .Someone is targeting women who look just like Remi. With or without a badge, Ash intends to unmask the Butcher. But the killer isn’t playing games any longer. He’s moving in, ready to finish what he started, and prove there’s nothing more terrifying than a killer’s obsession . . .••••••••REVIEW: THE INTENDED VICTIM is the fourth instalment in Alexandra Ivy’s contemporary, adult THE AGENCY romantic suspense series. This is former Chicago police detective / college professor Ashland ‘Ash’ Marcel, and youth center counselor Remi Walsh’s story line. THE INTENDED VICTIM can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous instalments is revealed where necessary.Told from dual third person perspectives (Remi and Ash) and first person (killer) THE INTENDED VICTIM follows in the wake of the possible return of a serial killer. Five years earlier Remi Walsh was the intended victim of a serial killer known as The Butcher but Remi’s call to her father, police officer Gage Walsh, resulted in the death of her father, and Remi with no memory of what happened that day. Fast forward to the present, wherein a series of murders where all of the victims have been surgically altered to look like Remi Walsh, pull Ash Marcel, Remi’s former fiancé into the investigation. What ensues is the rebuilding romance and relationship between Ash and Remi, and the potential fall-out as the killer hits too close to home.Ash Marcel was destroyed the day Remi Walsh walked out of his life but Remi struggled in the aftermath of the death of her father, the attack on her life, and Ash Marcel’s obsession with finding the killer. Ash Marcel had never stopped loving our story line heroine and a change in careers meant pulling away from the life that he loved.The relationship between Remi and Ash is one of second chances; a rekindling romance between two people torn apart by death and destruction, and brought together by memories from the past. The $ex scenes are intimate and passionate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. We are introduced to Remi’s mother Liza, and Ash’s brother Detective Jax Marcel. There is a large list of suspects who are questioned yet remain a person of interest.THE INTENDED VICTIM is a romantic suspense thriller; a story of betrayal and obsession; family, friends, jealousy and madness. The premise is intriguing and entertaining; the characters are colorful and dynamic; the romance is seductive and captivating. Copy supplied by Netgalleywww.thereadingcafe.com
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  • buzy_reading
    January 1, 1970
    Someone is targeting women who look like Remi. Remi was Ash’s fiancé five years ago until the Chicago Butcher destroyed both of their lives. The return of the Butcher not only reminded her that she was in constant danger, it had ripped open the wounds of her father’s death.The Marcel brothers return in book 4 with Ash and Jax investigating a cold case from five years ago on the Chicago Butcher. Ash was once a Chicago police officer until the Chicago Butcher destroyed what was left of his career. Someone is targeting women who look like Remi. Remi was Ash’s fiancé five years ago until the Chicago Butcher destroyed both of their lives. The return of the Butcher not only reminded her that she was in constant danger, it had ripped open the wounds of her father’s death.The Marcel brothers return in book 4 with Ash and Jax investigating a cold case from five years ago on the Chicago Butcher. Ash was once a Chicago police officer until the Chicago Butcher destroyed what was left of his career. No longer a detective Ash returned home after Jax alerted him to a dead’s woman’s body which looked like Remi’s. While his skills as a detective are rusty he no doubt is determined to close this Chicago Butcher case once and for all. Overall:The transitions between paragraphs within chapters wasn’t smooth. One minute I’m reading about Ash and Remi in one paragraph then I’m reading about the Butcher in the next with no indicators. Kinda confusing trying to decipher who is communicating. The rekindling of a relationship with his ex fiancé was sweet and enduring, a nice mix to go along with detective work. A little business with pleasure is always fun. However, this second chance romance had me questioning whether book 1 or 2 was devoted to them because several references are made regarding their past relationship of which I would like to understand.With this being book 4 in the series I came in at a disadvantage having read book 3 but not books 1 and 2. Everytime this book mentioned Ash and Remi I felt like I missed a book dedicated to their relationship. I’m not sure if the story was intended this way or not. Yet, these books can be read as a stand-alone. However, I’m not convinced that’s a good idea with prior characters being mentioned in previous books.With Ash’s arrival and the fear of the Butchers return the story held a nice balance between the two topics. Although I did prefer the paragraphs with the scenes regarding the Butcher. I thought it was clever how the author took the guess work out of each suspect by proving Ash’s theories which coincidently coincided with my hunches. It’s good but not epic by any means. I like trying to piece together the clues even though they are few and far between. The romantic relationship between Ash and Remi is a nice distraction from the detective work, yet it is a distraction from the detective work. It was a double edge sword.Every character seemed to behave suspiciously making it difficult to pinpoint who the killer was. The nature of detective work is finding hundreds of promising leads that fizzle out before finding the one that doesn’t fizzle. These scenes are what carry the story...need more of that.The ending was both shocking and not so shocking. I kinda suspected who the butcher was although I wasn’t certain about the reasoning. The reasoning was more shocking than revealing who the butcher was.
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  • Jeannie Zelos
    January 1, 1970
    The Intended Victim, Alexandra IvyReview from Jeannie Zelos book reviewsGenre: Romance, Mystery and thrillersI've read a few of Alexandra's fantasy reads, couldn't recall reading a romantic suspense by her before though. I really enjoy her writing style and the way she weaves a story together. This starts in the classic detective story way with a body. However what results from investigation is that this body has had surgery, to make her resemble an escapee of the serial killer known as The The Intended Victim, Alexandra IvyReview from Jeannie Zelos book reviewsGenre: Romance, Mystery and thrillersI've read a few of Alexandra's fantasy reads, couldn't recall reading a romantic suspense by her before though. I really enjoy her writing style and the way she weaves a story together. This starts in the classic detective story way with a body. However what results from investigation is that this body has had surgery, to make her resemble an escapee of the serial killer known as The Butcher. She's the only one to have escaped, though her father died in the attack, and Remi has lost her memory of the events leading up to it. She was engaged to Ash, but in the aftermath they grew further apart and now its been five years. I found that a bit of a weak spot, I couldn't see Ash just letting go like that. Still, he needed to for the story. Now he's back, his detective brother working on the current murder. Ash is scared for Remi, and determined to protect her. Its a good read, neat build up of suspense, classic red herrings thrown in to keep the reader guessing. Although its romance, its more a pick up of past romance, and from the off its pretty clear that neither have forgotten the other, got over the love, so the bulk of the story is the suspense, the murders, the tracing of a killer. I'm not a huge mystery/suspense reader but do like to dip into the genre on occasion and I really enjoyed this. * confession time: I sneaked a look at the end about halfway through, I just couldn't take guessing “who dunnit” any more. For me though that doesn't spoil a story, I catch things reading that otherwise i'd have missed. I often re-read favourite books, even knowing how they end. Some folk can't do that, I do, I love to get stuck into a favourite series. Stars: Five, Its a great read, genuine characters and actions, and neatly building up the suspense and alternate possible murderers.   Arc via Netgalley and publishers
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  • Marsha Keeper Bookshelf
    January 1, 1970
    Reviewed at Keeper BookshelfThe Intended Victim is the fourth title in The Agency series, and although it could be read as a standalone I do wish that I had started this series from the beginning. (there’s that pesky habit of mine kicking me for not following my own suggestions) I don’t know that I “should” have read the earlier books first yet I have a strong sense of things I should have been aware of throughout Reni’s and Ash’s race to finally reveal the serial killer who has played a part in Reviewed at Keeper BookshelfThe Intended Victim is the fourth title in The Agency series, and although it could be read as a standalone I do wish that I had started this series from the beginning. (there’s that pesky habit of mine kicking me for not following my own suggestions) I don’t know that I “should” have read the earlier books first yet I have a strong sense of things I should have been aware of throughout Reni’s and Ash’s race to finally reveal the serial killer who has played a part in both their lives. It is my intention to go back to pick up what I didn’t know this time around – perhaps not necessary but my curiosity is engaged now about what went on to get to this point.Remi and Ash make a great team as they attempt to finally put a serial killer behind bars. There is danger, confusion, red herrings, lots of questions until the final reveal. It’s also an interesting second chance romance as a couple who once were close to marriage only to see the actions of a killer change both of their lives get the chance to fall in love again, perhaps even deeper with eyes wide open. Not that their second chance is going to be easy, nothing about this latest development is easy but it does force Ash and Remi to face each other once again.I had several suspects along the way to the reveal. For several reasons, none of them stuck in my mind as fitting right until that reveal. I enjoyed myself (I do think I’d have enjoyed myself more if I had a background that I believe I missed from the earlier books) and in the end, that’s really all that matters.*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
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  • Colour Me Purple
    January 1, 1970
    The Intended Victim, is Book 4 in Alexandra Ivy’s The Agency series. Although this “second-chance” romantic suspense centres around Remi Walsh and Dr. Ash Marcel, their immediate families play a significant role. Ash is an ex-Chicago Police detective who worked alongside his brother, Detective Jax Marcel, and was partner to Remi’s father, Detective Gage Walsh. Five years in the past, Remi escaped the clutches of a serial killer dubbed “The Chicago Butcher” but her father, Gage, dies at the hands The Intended Victim, is Book 4 in Alexandra Ivy’s The Agency series. Although this “second-chance” romantic suspense centres around Remi Walsh and Dr. Ash Marcel, their immediate families play a significant role. Ash is an ex-Chicago Police detective who worked alongside his brother, Detective Jax Marcel, and was partner to Remi’s father, Detective Gage Walsh. Five years in the past, Remi escaped the clutches of a serial killer dubbed “The Chicago Butcher” but her father, Gage, dies at the hands of the Butcher. The tragedy leaves Remi will deep feelings of guilt and no memory of the nights events. The engagement between Ash and Remi is broken as Remi retreats and Ash leaves Chicago and the police force. Now, five years later, The Butcher has returned, Ash is back in Chicago for the holidays, and Jax is losing his mind in his never ending efforts to stop The Butcher. Parts of this story had me wanting to keep turning pages to see what was next, other parts seemed to drag. There’s a very good and solid story here, and an interesting plot, but I found the flow awkward and some essential plot elements very difficult to believe. I also found some of the actions of the three principle characters very difficult to accept. There is no question I enjoyed the previous books in the series more. It’s unfortunate that very early in the story, I was 90% convinced I knew the identity of the killer despite the fact that there being several persons of interest under investigation. I did immensely enjoy many of the very interesting characters and would hope that Ms. Ivy includes them all in subsequent romantic suspense. Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an ARC copy in return for an honest review.
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  • Avid Reader
    January 1, 1970
    The Intended Victim (The Agency #4) by Alexandra Ivy4 starsM/F Thriller RomanceTriggers: Stalking, Murder, KidnappingI was given this book for an honest review by Wicked Reads.This is the 4th book in the series, but I have not read the previous books. I never felt that I was missing anything in the story. Remi survived the Chicago Butcher. But what she lost in the process was her lover, father and sense of security. Now that she is doing something she loves, seeing Ash back, Remi knows that it The Intended Victim (The Agency #4) by Alexandra Ivy4 starsM/F Thriller RomanceTriggers: Stalking, Murder, KidnappingI was given this book for an honest review by Wicked Reads.This is the 4th book in the series, but I have not read the previous books. I never felt that I was missing anything in the story. Remi survived the Chicago Butcher. But what she lost in the process was her lover, father and sense of security. Now that she is doing something she loves, seeing Ash back, Remi knows that it can't be good news. Ash removed himself from Remi's life after she was almost the victim and he lost his partner. He also left the police force. But, when an eerily similar crime to the Chicago Butcher shows up at his brother Jax's desk, Ash comes back to protect Remi and finally figure out who is killing these women.With a rush on time and people not telling the truth, Remi's dad's clues from the grave just leave more of a puzzle to solve. Jax, Ash's brother, Ash and Remi have their work cutout. Can they figure out who has been killing women like Remi before she becomes a target again? Ash will stop at nothing to protect her and figure it out. This book is full of secrets and twists and turns. It's haunting and thrilling all in one. The romance was very much a secondary part of the story for me and I'm glad that it was. I think had it been a more prominent part of the book, I wouldn't have liked it as much. The only minor issue I had with the writing style was that when the killer was talking, it was sometimes hard to figure out that someone new was thinking and talking because it all blended together. There wasn't any delineation when it changed.
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  • Christina Rodrigues
    January 1, 1970
    This book was freaking awesome. It checked off all my boxes. Law enforcement suspense . Fantastic storyline. Great, well developed characters. Action-packed.The Intended Victim is the fourth book in Alexandra Ivy’s The Agency Series. This is a second chance, romantic suspense novella.Five years ago, Remi Walsh and Ash Marcel were engaged to be married. All that ended the night she was attacked by a serial killer and her father died trying to save her life. Grief and guilt caused her to pull away This book was freaking awesome. It checked off all my boxes. Law enforcement suspense ✅. Fantastic storyline✅. Great, well developed characters✅. Action-packed✅.The Intended Victim is the fourth book in Alexandra Ivy’s The Agency Series. This is a second chance, romantic suspense novella.Five years ago, Remi Walsh and Ash Marcel were engaged to be married. All that ended the night she was attacked by a serial killer and her father died trying to save her life. Grief and guilt caused her to pull away from the man she loved. When Ash is informed that there is a body that resembles Remi in the morgue he flies home to protect her and finally put a stop to the Chicago Butcher. Together they work to uncover the identity of the killer. I love Ash and Remi, both individually and together. They have great chemistry and a deep understanding of one another that adds to the depth of the storyline.I have always loved reading Ivy’s paranormal romance series, however, this new series far surpasses my expectations in the suspense genre. Ivy is a phenomenal writer, who’s story telling ability keeps you hanging as you go page by page. All the books in Alexandra Ivy’s The Agency Series contain a happily ever after and can be read as a standalone, however, reading it in order will give you a better appreciation for the characters and the series itself. I can’t wait for the next book!This is a voluntary review of an advanced readers copy received from Netgalley.
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  • Christina Rodrigues
    January 1, 1970
    This book was freaking awesome. It checked off all my boxes. Law enforcement suspense . Fantastic storyline. Great, well developed characters. Action-packed.The Intended Victim is the fourth book in Alexandra Ivy’s The Agency Series. This is a second chance, romantic suspense novella.Five years ago, Remi Walsh and Ash Marcel were engaged to be married. All that ended the night she was attacked by a serial killer and her father died trying to save her life. Grief and guilt caused her to pull away This book was freaking awesome. It checked off all my boxes. Law enforcement suspense ✅. Fantastic storyline✅. Great, well developed characters✅. Action-packed✅.The Intended Victim is the fourth book in Alexandra Ivy’s The Agency Series. This is a second chance, romantic suspense novella.Five years ago, Remi Walsh and Ash Marcel were engaged to be married. All that ended the night she was attacked by a serial killer and her father died trying to save her life. Grief and guilt caused her to pull away from the man she loved. When Ash is informed that there is a body that resembles Remi in the morgue he flies home to protect her and finally put a stop to the Chicago Butcher. Together they work to uncover the identity of the killer. I love Ash and Remi, both individually and together. They have great chemistry and a deep understanding of one another that adds to the depth of the storyline.I have always loved reading Ivy’s paranormal romance series, however, this new series far surpasses my expectations in the suspense genre. Ivy is a phenomenal writer, who’s story telling ability keeps you hanging as you go page by page. All the books in Alexandra Ivy’s The Agency Series contain a happily ever after and can be read as a standalone, however, reading it in order will give you a better appreciation for the characters and the series itself. I can’t wait for the next book!This is a voluntary review of an advanced readers copy received from Netgalley.
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  • Lillian Cummings
    January 1, 1970
    Ash had a good career as a cop with a loving girlfriend but that all changed when his partner went missing presumed killed and Remi was attacked. They never caught the serial killer and Ash left everything behind to start over. But he has just been told by his brother Jax that they have found Remi and it looks like the serial killer is back. Ash can't believe that she is dead and he will do whatever it takes to find the killer. Things take a turn as the dead woman isn't Remi but someone that has Ash had a good career as a cop with a loving girlfriend but that all changed when his partner went missing presumed killed and Remi was attacked. They never caught the serial killer and Ash left everything behind to start over. But he has just been told by his brother Jax that they have found Remi and it looks like the serial killer is back. Ash can't believe that she is dead and he will do whatever it takes to find the killer. Things take a turn as the dead woman isn't Remi but someone that has had surgery to look like her and now Ash knows for sure that she is in grave danger but will she allow Ash back into her life.Remi can't believe that Ash is back she has missed him but after her father's death she needed time and her guilt ate at her every day since. But does she believe that the killer is back now and that she could be the next victim? Can she allow Ash back into her life can her heart handle him again?Ash knows that he needs to start it slow with Remi and that he can find out who the killer is and hopefully find his dead partner. Will they find the answers that they are seeking and will Remi get her life back on track? Where will this leave them? A good read, never saw the killer coming. I was lucky enough to receive a copy via Netgalley & the publishing house in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Jennie Seaman
    January 1, 1970
    Solid 4 stars for this volume in this amazing series! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing another Marcel brother in this book!Five years ago, Remi escaped a serial killer with her life and a bunch of mental scars. She also lost her father to the same serial killer. She lost her relationship with her fiance because of her guilt in losing her father. Ash is back in town after hearing the news that a woman that looks exactly like his ex-fiance is found dead in the same manner as the serial killer who he Solid 4 stars for this volume in this amazing series! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing another Marcel brother in this book!Five years ago, Remi escaped a serial killer with her life and a bunch of mental scars. She also lost her father to the same serial killer. She lost her relationship with her fiance because of her guilt in losing her father. Ash is back in town after hearing the news that a woman that looks exactly like his ex-fiance is found dead in the same manner as the serial killer who he was hunting 5 years ago. That serial killer cost him his partner and his fiance. Can Remi and Ash come back together to solve this case to put both their minds at ease? Can they rekindle what they lost?I really loved everything about this book. I loved Remi and her determination to not be a victim. I love Ash and his protectiveness. I also love the family that they both have in the Marcel clan. I love everyone's drive to protect their loved ones. I loved the depth of this story. There was so much to learn and so much to it. I totally had no idea how it was going to end until it ended and it took me completely by surprise! I love that in a mystery. Keep me guessing the whole time until the end! Overall, loved this one so much and crossing my fingers that there's going to be more to come!**eARC provided in exchange for an honest review**
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  • Kristine
    January 1, 1970
    This is apparently the 4th book in a series that I've not yet started, so I wasn't sure how much that would affect my enjoyment of this book. While it was apparent that there was lots of information that I really did not really understand (why did Ash leave his job, his fiance and his home in the first place?) , I think this book did a good enough job as a stand alone. I'm not sure how tied together books 1-4 were, or if they all were self contained mysteries as this one was, but either way, it This is apparently the 4th book in a series that I've not yet started, so I wasn't sure how much that would affect my enjoyment of this book. While it was apparent that there was lots of information that I really did not really understand (why did Ash leave his job, his fiance and his home in the first place?) , I think this book did a good enough job as a stand alone. I'm not sure how tied together books 1-4 were, or if they all were self contained mysteries as this one was, but either way, it was an enjoyable read.We are introduced to the main characters who had a past history both with each other and with the serial killer "the Butcher". The story then seems to take off quickly and moves rapidly. While not one of the best thrillers out there, it did a good job of keeping interest and laying out the clues that gave hints as to who the "bad guy" was. Was it believable in the end? I didn't think so. It WAS a bit out there, but hey....props for originality. It was nice to see two brothers working together to solve a mystery, but the romance portion of it was not as believable as it could have been.Thank you NetGalley for providing me a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sandy Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    This is book 4 in the Agency series and it can absolutely be read as a stand alone! In it we meet Remi and Ash. Ash is a former police officer who has been drawn back to Chicago when his brother comes to tell him that his former fiance's body is in the morgue. But when he gets there, he realizes that this woman looks like her but it isn't her. And that a serial killer is back at work again. Remi escaped from a serial killer years ago but when she did, she lost everything that ever meant anything This is book 4 in the Agency series and it can absolutely be read as a stand alone! In it we meet Remi and Ash. Ash is a former police officer who has been drawn back to Chicago when his brother comes to tell him that his former fiance's body is in the morgue. But when he gets there, he realizes that this woman looks like her but it isn't her. And that a serial killer is back at work again. Remi escaped from a serial killer years ago but when she did, she lost everything that ever meant anything to her at the same time. And now Ash is back in her life vowing to protect her while also trying to find the person that is responsible for everything. I thoroughly enjoyed this one! I was drawn in right from the start and didn't want to put it down because I wanted to know more. Towards the end it seemed a little rushed to me (which is why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5) but on a whole I definitely liked it! Remi and Ash are two characters that you can't help but like and want to see come out happy in the end. And I liked Ash's brother as well (and wouldn't mind a story with him!). There was definitely a twist to it that I didn't see coming at all!! Who I thought it was, definitely wasn't! And that made me like it even more! Another great read in this series!
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  • Kristine
    January 1, 1970
    This is apparently the 4th book in a series that I've not yet started, so I wasn't sure how much that would affect my enjoyment of this book. While it was apparent that there was lots of information that I really did not really understand (why did Ash leave his job, his fiance and his home in the first place?) , I think this book did a good enough job as a stand alone. I'm not sure how tied together books 1-4 were, or if they all were self contained mysteries as this one was, but either way, it This is apparently the 4th book in a series that I've not yet started, so I wasn't sure how much that would affect my enjoyment of this book. While it was apparent that there was lots of information that I really did not really understand (why did Ash leave his job, his fiance and his home in the first place?) , I think this book did a good enough job as a stand alone. I'm not sure how tied together books 1-4 were, or if they all were self contained mysteries as this one was, but either way, it was an enjoyable read.We are introduced to the main characters who had a past history both with each other and with the serial killer "the Butcher". The story then seems to take off quickly and moves rapidly. While not one of the best thrillers out there, it did a good job of keeping interest and laying out the clues that gave hints as to who the "bad guy" was. Was it believable in the end? I didn't think so. It WAS a bit out there, but hey....props for originality. It was nice to see two brothers working together to solve a mystery, but the romance portion of it was not as believable as it could have been.Thank you NetGalley for providing me a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Paula
    January 1, 1970
    The Intended Victim is another suspenseful romantic novel by Alexandra Ivy with an emphasis on the suspense and danger. The story involves a serial killer who focuses on women like the one who got away. It has a nail biting and horror element to it unlike the author’s paranormal books. The romance is great between Remi, the one victim who lived five years ago and Ash the police office who is going to stop the killer once and for all. They have a past so from that standpoint it is a second chance The Intended Victim is another suspenseful romantic novel by Alexandra Ivy with an emphasis on the suspense and danger. The story involves a serial killer who focuses on women like the one who got away. It has a nail biting and horror element to it unlike the author’s paranormal books. The romance is great between Remi, the one victim who lived five years ago and Ash the police office who is going to stop the killer once and for all. They have a past so from that standpoint it is a second chance for them. But the murderer must be stopped first for them to have any real chance at all. This plot is tightly woven around this fact, never loosing focus. Then there is a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming. Such a great story with well developed characters. However, when I finish these all too believable contemporary suspense romances by Ms. Ivy, I can’t let the story go. So then I always want to sleep with the light on for a night or two. 4.5 StarsAn ARC of the book was given to me by the publisher through Net Galley which I voluntarily chose to read and reviewed. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Whispers From
    January 1, 1970
    Five years again, the Chicago Butcher, attacked Remi and killed her father. Remi's father was on the police force and investigating the murders. It made her push her fiancé away and break her engagement to Ash. Ash was a detective and Remi’s dads partner. He left Chicago and became a teacher at a college. Then a woman is found and Jax, Ash’s brother, contacts Ash and tells him it’s Remi. Ash goes to see the body, only it’s not Remi but someone who had a striking resemblance to Remi. Ash goes to Five years again, the Chicago Butcher, attacked Remi and killed her father. Remi's father was on the police force and investigating the murders. It made her push her fiancé away and break her engagement to Ash. Ash was a detective and Remi’s dads partner. He left Chicago and became a teacher at a college. Then a woman is found and Jax, Ash’s brother, contacts Ash and tells him it’s Remi. Ash goes to see the body, only it’s not Remi but someone who had a striking resemblance to Remi. Ash goes to Remi and let’s her know the butcher is back and apparently fixated on her. So Ash goes and stays with Remi and is secretly helping his brother investigate. When Remi was attacked five years ago, she never remembered what happened but the memories are slowly coming back but will she be able to handle the truth?A little slow in the beginning but quickly picks up. Action, suspense, and mystery. A man who’ll do anything to protect the woman he loves and will always love. A woman trying to put the past behind her, only to start to relive the worse night ever. So good. Be prepared to read way into the night.* Voluntarily read and reviewed this for NetGalley *
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  • Janice Lombardo
    January 1, 1970
    Ash had left the police force in Chicago to teach at a college 2 hours away. His brother, Jax, still a cop, visits Ash to tell him hat his former fiancé, Remi, had been murdered. Ash still is in love with Remi - so he travels back to his hometown - Chicago - to see what has happened. It seems as if "The Butcher" serial killer is up to his old tricks. The victim had a slit throat and a crescent carved on her breast. (The Butcher's "trademarks"). However, It had been five years since the Butcher Ash had left the police force in Chicago to teach at a college 2 hours away. His brother, Jax, still a cop, visits Ash to tell him hat his former fiancé, Remi, had been murdered. Ash still is in love with Remi - so he travels back to his hometown - Chicago - to see what has happened. It seems as if "The Butcher" serial killer is up to his old tricks. The victim had a slit throat and a crescent carved on her breast. (The Butcher's "trademarks"). However, It had been five years since the Butcher had last surfaced. At that time, Remi's father, Gage, had been murdered while Remi, his daughter, was rendered unconscious. Gage was Ash's former partner and mentor on the force in addition to being engaged to Gage's daughter, Remi. The two broke up soon afterward. That is when Ash fled downstate.to teach.I now want to read the rest of the series - there are many different possibilities as to which is the butcher A truly thrilling suspense story that I read easily as a standalone. Great plot, and decisive characterization.RECOMMEND!!!Many Thanks to Kensington Books - Zebra and NetGalley for a riveting read!
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  • Felice Foster
    January 1, 1970
    A really good book that grabs you from the beginning and doesn’t let go until the very end.This second chance love story is the back drop of a serial killer storyline. Someone is killing women who look like Remi. After escaping the killer’s clutches five years ago, it looks as if he is back to finish the job.Both Rem an Ashley have been living in limbo for five years. Although they’ve moved on professionally, personally, they are stagnate. After the killings start up again the are forced to A really good book that grabs you from the beginning and doesn’t let go until the very end.This second chance love story is the back drop of a serial killer storyline. Someone is killing women who look like Remi. After escaping the killer’s clutches five years ago, it looks as if he is back to finish the job.Both Rem an Ashley have been living in limbo for five years. Although they’ve moved on professionally, personally, they are stagnate. After the killings start up again the are forced to confront both the past and their feelings for each other.The love story is more about reconnecting and trusting each other with the truth, no matter how painful. Both Ash and Remi were so traumatized by events in the past, they couldn’t open up to each other the way they needed to.The killer storyline had so many hints, I’m mad at myself for not figuring it out sooner. I was on the right track, just got on the wrong train.You will enjoy this story.I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book from NetGalley.
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  • Marti
    January 1, 1970
    The Intended Victim by Alexandra Ivy is the fourth book in The Agency. The book is a thriller from the first chapter with the tension rising to the end. I did not guess or even suspect the outcome until the end!Remi Walsh is trying to move on. Five years ago the Chicago Butcher was chasing her. Instead of killing her, he killed her father. Remi lives with that guilt daily. She chased off her boyfriend and her father’s partner Ash Marcel with that same guilt. Ash Marcel moved a short distance The Intended Victim by Alexandra Ivy is the fourth book in The Agency. The book is a thriller from the first chapter with the tension rising to the end. I did not guess or even suspect the outcome until the end!Remi Walsh is trying to move on. Five years ago the Chicago Butcher was chasing her. Instead of killing her, he killed her father. Remi lives with that guilt daily. She chased off her boyfriend and her father’s partner Ash Marcel with that same guilt. Ash Marcel moved a short distance away and begin to teach people on how to be detectives. It is into this sad state of affairs that another woman is killed. The scary part is.. she looked like Remi AND has had plastic surgery to make her look like Remi. Ash’s brother pulls him back in and he is determined to find the truth about the Chicago but her and to keep Remi safe. I enjoyed the writing of Alexandra Ivy and felt the story’s tension grow with each chapter. I liked the characters and how they were well rounded. The Intended Victim by Alexandra Ivy was a good read!
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  • romancebookjunkie
    January 1, 1970
    I’m not sure why it is that all romantic suspenses that I read with serial killers all come up short on both the romance and the mystery. Why is there no perfect balance to be found? This book follows in the foot steps of the majority of books I read like it.Our heroine was once the target of a serial killer and it cost her her father and her fiancé. 5 years have passed and it looks the serial killer is back and this time all the victims eerily look exactly like her. Our hero gave up being a I’m not sure why it is that all romantic suspenses that I read with serial killers all come up short on both the romance and the mystery. Why is there no perfect balance to be found? This book follows in the foot steps of the majority of books I read like it.Our heroine was once the target of a serial killer and it cost her her father and her fiancé. 5 years have passed and it looks the serial killer is back and this time all the victims eerily look exactly like her. Our hero gave up being a detective when he lost his partner and fiancé, but when she is in trouble he is there to make sure his ex-fiancé is safe from the clutches of a serial killer.To be honest the characters were bland and I wasn’t that intrigued by their mediocre romance. The mystery of the serial killer on the other hand? I knew 2 chapters in who it was so I just rushed through the book as quickly as possible so I could be reaffirmed to only end with a “huh” from me. So yeah.... not exactly impressed by this one at all.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    As with the previous three books in the Agency series, I really enjoyed The Intended Victim. This story follows Ash and Remi as they try to solve the case of a serial killer. Remi survived an attack years ago, but the killer comes back with a vengeance. Throughout the story, I had thoughts about who the killer was but did not get confirmation until the end. I like how the author writes snippets from the killer and the victim's points of view as well as the main characters. I also like how the As with the previous three books in the Agency series, I really enjoyed The Intended Victim. This story follows Ash and Remi as they try to solve the case of a serial killer. Remi survived an attack years ago, but the killer comes back with a vengeance. Throughout the story, I had thoughts about who the killer was but did not get confirmation until the end. I like how the author writes snippets from the killer and the victim's points of view as well as the main characters. I also like how the author tends to do a healthy balance of suspense and romance in her stories. There is plenty of mystery but the romance does not seem forced or an afterthought as it does in some books. Ash and Remi's story is one of reconnected love who of course, gets their happy ending. Ash is Nate's (from book 3) brother and we meet another brother named, Jax. I imagine we will see him in a future book. The Agency is a loosely connected series. They could all be read as stand-alone books.I had the opportunity to read an early copy of the book.
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  • Johanna Sawyer
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the publisher for an ARC to read and give my honest opinion. Fourth book in the Agency series, and my first. Definitely a stand alone mystery with a second chance romance. Ash Marcel returns to Chicago after new evidence that the Butcher, a serial killer never caught that threatened his ex Remi, is back and looking to finish what he started. Ash leaves his teaching to join the hunt, and finds that he could not bear to think of Remi hurt which leads to a second chance romance.What did I Thanks to the publisher for an ARC to read and give my honest opinion. Fourth book in the Agency series, and my first. Definitely a stand alone mystery with a second chance romance. Ash Marcel returns to Chicago after new evidence that the Butcher, a serial killer never caught that threatened his ex Remi, is back and looking to finish what he started. Ash leaves his teaching to join the hunt, and finds that he could not bear to think of Remi hurt which leads to a second chance romance.What did I like? This is the first in this series that I have seen, so imagine my surprise book four... blows my mind. This book has it all. Suspense, second chances, great chemistry, and that ending that I didn’t see coming!Would I buy this book? Yes...not to mention go back and read the first three. I had no idea this author had branched this way. This is why book stores are a must!Thoughts for the author? Kudos on a great book and I hope the first three are just as good! Thanks for the read.... freaking loved it.
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