Blue Ribbon Rating: 5 out of 5Original Review Link
Oxford University Professor Hadrian Prior aids the British police in identifying criminals and building a case against them. He’s not sure how he’ll cope with a vacation from his consultation work when he takes a position as a visiting professor at the University of Michigan. Then a series of increasingly violent crimes on campus lead the Ann Arbor police to ask Hadrian for help, and he once against finds himself delving into the mind of a psychopath. A potential clue involving Greek mythology leads Hadrian to Classics Professor Sarah Roth and an attraction too powerful for him to deny.
Sarah Roth knows all about monsters – she is one. At least, that’s what her dreams of blood and death lead her to believe. She’s been told since childhood to never tell anyone of her dreams, but close contact with Hadrian starts to crumble the defenses she’s built up from childhood. The only thing she can do to keep her sanity intact is stay away from Hadrian, but her growing feelings for the handsome professor make that impossible.
Hadrian knows that Sarah is no monster, but before he can prove it to her, he has to help the police find the true evil that’s at large somewhere on campus. Because the case has taken a personal turn – the stalker is bent on targeting women to prove himself worthy of his true love...Sarah.
As far as I’m concerned, DJ Gross is one of the top romantic suspense authors out there today. Having fallen in love with Ms. Gross’s debut novel, STOLEN JUSTICE, I wondered if PRIOR SINS could possibly meet the bar I’d set in my head for Ms. Gross’s work.
It absolutely does.
PRIOR SINS is both a gripping thriller and a tender romance. At the heart of the story are Sarah and Hadrian. Sarah has nightmares of blood and death, leading her to believe that she’s a monster waiting to happen. While this isn’t true, the background that Ms. Gross provides shows why Sarah thinks of herself the way she does. My heart broke for Sarah and there are elements to her character arc that not only engaged, but surprised, me. Hadrian, in turn, is a sexy-as-sin hero that I loved. He’s brilliant, sensual and wonderful with Sarah, but best of all, he’s a rather surly guy. I adore the fact that Ms. Gross didn’t make Hadrian perfect; the roughness around the edges makes his interactions with Sarah all the more beautiful.
PRIOR SINS is, quite simply, a fabulous book. Ms. Gross kept me on the edge of my seat not just the first time I read it, but every single time since. I can’t give details without spoiling the excitement of PRIOR SINS, but I will say that the twists and turns the story takes had me almost literally glued to the book. PRIOR SINS has made it onto the list of my all-time favorite books; and I can’t wait to read Sarah and Hadrian’s story again and again and again!Note:
My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here courtesy of Romance Junkies.