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No Escape    by Shannon K. Butcher order for
No Escape
by Shannon K. Butcher
Order:  USA  Can
Forever, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Elementary teacher Isabelle Carson is distraught over the recent deaths of childhood friends from foster care. She's certain there's a connection, that they've somehow been targeted, but the police aren't convinced. Desperate to prove her suspicions, and afraid that she might be next, she contacts Grant Kent, a Delta Force veteran who'd left an indelible impression on Isabelle after he saved her from being raped by her foster father.

Grant had never held Isabelle responsible for his time in prison, nor the years that have kept them apart. It had been Grant's decision, driven by fury, to kill their foster father after discovering that he'd been brutalizing his wards for years. Grant's only regret was that he hadn't been able to save some of the other kids from the same fate. After years spent in the military, Grant has retired and is looking forward to a new career in security. But a warning from Isabelle to watch his back takes him on an unexpected detour to her hometown. Isabelle tries sending Grant away - she'd only wanted to warn him - but Grant is determined to discover what's got Isabelle so spooked. Both soon realize that Isabelle's suspicions were well founded, and that someone is indeed methodically killing their former foster siblings. The question is, why? Can Isabelle and Grant discover the culprit's identity before it's too late for them to confront and accept their own raging attraction?

Butcher initially presents a clever plot. However, by revealing the killer's identity and often long-winded motivation rather early in the story, she dilutes the aura of suspense and immediacy. On the other hand, the romantic elements are believable as Grant and Isabelle not only work together to stop a killer but also rediscover their long-suppressed feelings. No Escape is a nicely-paced and involving romantic suspense that will keep readers flipping pages well into the wee hours.

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