Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Date of publication: May 23rd, 2023
Genre: Romance, Romantic Suspense, Thriller, Suspense, Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary, Mystery Thriller, Crime, Adult
A new thriller about one man’s ice-cold malice, and one woman’s fight to reclaim her life.
Former Army brat Morgan Albright has finally planted roots in a friendly neighborhood near Baltimore. Her friend and roommate Nina helps her make the mortgage payments, as does Morgan’s job as a bartender. But after she and Nina host their first dinner party—attended by Luke, the flirtatious IT guy who’d been chatting her up at the bar—her carefully built world is shattered. The back door glass is broken, cash and jewelry are missing, her car is gone, and Nina lies dead on the floor.
Soon, a horrific truth emerges: It was Morgan who let the monster in. “Luke” is actually a cold-hearted con artist named Gavin who targets a particular type of woman, steals her assets and identity, and then commits his ultimate goal: murder.
What the FBI tells Morgan is beyond chilling. Nina wasn’t his type. Morgan is. Nina was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. And Morgan’s nightmare is just beginning. Soon she has no choice but to flee to her mother’s home in Vermont. While she struggles to build something new, she meets another man, Miles Jameson. He isn’t flashy or flirtatious, and his family business has deep roots in town. But Gavin is still out there hunting new victims, and he hasn’t forgotten the one who got away.
Her dreams and goals were simple and few. As a former army brat, Morgan Albright spent her childhood moving across countries and continents.Identity by Nora Roberts
A former Army brat, Morgan had always longed to put down roots. After college, she settled in a Baltimore neighborhood, and Morgan realized her dream of putting down roots. Next on her list is saving enough money to buy a bar and successfully run it. Then she meets Luke one night at her bartending job, and her life gets turned upside down. Luke is a serial killer named Gavin, and Gavin has just killed Morgan’s best friend/roommate, stolen her car, and stolen her identity. The FBI tells Morgan that her best friend wasn’t Gavin’s type; Gavin killed Nina because she was there. His type? Morgan. On the verge of losing her house and debts racking up in her name, Morgan leaves Maryland and moves back in with her mother and grandmother in Vermont. She hopes to start over. But Gavin hasn’t forgotten Morgan. With Gavin making his way to Vermont to tie up his loose end, Morgan must be ready. Will she be able to take Gavin on? Can she protect her mother and grandmother from the evil that has infiltrated her life?
I am a huge Nora Roberts fan, and I try to read her books as they are published. So I was surprised when St. Martin’s Press invited me to review. I was planning on waiting for Identity to publish before picking it up. It wasn’t even a thought for me to download the book. I am glad that I did because this book was fantastic.
Identity is a fast-paced book that takes place in Baltimore and Vermont. The pacing of this book fits the storyline. If the author had let up on the fast pace but even a little, it would have ruined the book for me. I also liked that the book was set in Maryland and Vermont. I rarely see those states get some rep in books.
The main storyline of Identity is centered around Morgan. This storyline was believable to me. I could see this happening in real life (actually, I am sure it has happened). I was horrified for Morgan when she found Nina dead and discovered that Luke/Gavin was a serial killer. I felt awful for her when her savings was drained, her car stolen, and a loan shark sent his minions to her house. That was the point where she hit rock bottom and moved to Vermont. Her healing didn’t begin until she moved to Vermont. There she acquired a phenomenal support system, which included her employers. Her growth during this storyline was terrific.
The storyline with Gavin was creepy. He was a true psychopath. He got off on killing the women and stealing their money and identities. I enjoyed that the author showed him spiraling. He couldn’t get over that he didn’t kill Morgan, which affected him for the rest of the book. He got sloppy and made mistakes that had the Feds on him. I did feel that his storyline got a bit repetitive towards the end, and I was pleased when the author decided to have the final confrontation between him and Morgan.
There was a romance angle to Identity involving Morgan and Miles. I was a little iffy, at first, when they first hooked up. I felt that she had too much baggage for him. Plus, she was his employee, raising all sorts of red flags. The author did address this, and I liked that she did. She had Morgan and Miles talk their relationship out between themselves.
Morgan and Miles’s sexual relationship did come on suddenly for me. It took one visit to deliver cookies, which led to a house tour (the turret comments had me dying laughing), which led to them having sex. The sex scenes were not graphic. They were more of a fade-to-black type of deal, which I enjoyed.
The end of Identity had me on a rollercoaster of emotions. I loved the girl power moment that Morgan had (thanks to Jen!!). But I was also terrified for her mother and grandmother. While Gavin’s fate was given, I wish the author had given some update on him. I also loved the last chapter. Talk about getting a tear in my eye and the book coming full circle.
I recommend Identity to anyone over 21. There is violence, sexual situations, and language.
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, NetGalley, and Nora Roberts for allowing me to read and review Identity. All opinions stated in this review are mine.
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