by Liliana Hart
Series: Gravediggers #1
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
The Gravediggers aren’t exactly what they seem. They’re the most elite of the world’s fighting forces—and all they have in common is that they’ve been betrayed by the countries they’ve died for. Because they are dead. To their country, their military, and their families.
Sometimes the dead do rise...
Deacon Tucker is a dead man walking. A former black ops agent, he was disavowed and stripped of all honor before being recruited as a Gravedigger. But his honor and good name no longer matter, because no one knows he’s alive, and he’ll never get the recognition he deserves. His mission is simple: save the world or die trying. And for God’s sake, don’t ever fall in love. That’s a rule punishable by death. The kind of death a man can’t be brought back from.
Tess Sherman is the only mortician in Last Stop, Texas. She has no idea how Deacon Tucker ended up in her funeral home, but she’ll eat her hat if he’s only a funeral home assistant. Deacon is dangerous, deadly, and gorgeous. And she knows her attraction to him can only end in heartache.
Deacon is on a mission to stop the most fatal terror attack the world has ever known—what’s known as The Day of Destiny—a terrorist’s dream. But when he discovers Tess has skills he can use to stop them, he has to decide if he can trust her with secrets worth dying for. And, most important, he has to decide if he can trust her with his heart.
Liliana Hart is a new to me author, but when I received THE DARKEST CORNER, the first in the Gravedigger romantic suspense series I couldn’t help but dive in. With its unique premise and Texas setting THE DARKEST CORNER offered suspense, mystery and a touch of heat.
The tale began much like you would expect a science fiction thriller or horror story to start with five armed men digging up a grave. Hart pulled me into the tale as she shared the world of this elite group known as the Gravediggers. We have highly trained men from around the world, and their leader is Deacon Tucker. All of these men had served their countries before each was marked for dead. Each was approached by the head of a secret organization to join an elite group of black operations specialists even the President of the United States isn’t briefed on. This team eliminates global terrorist threats.
Welcome to Last Stop, Texas. A small town where everyone knows everyone. Here we meet Tess, the local mortician and learn her story. She had planned to buy the funeral home she currently manages that is until her mother absconded with her savings and the property was purchased. After some major renovations, she now has five men working for her. All were hired by her employer, and none seem to have experience working in a funeral home. They are quite the curiosity with locals. In fact, the local ladies have a pool to see who sleeps with Deacon Tucker first.
What a fun set up! We learn Deacon has been attracted to Tess since he arrived two years ago but hasn’t acted due to his position in the group. All that changes when Tess announces she plans to leave Last Stop. Deacon is instructed to keep her there by any means necessary, and he seizes the chance.
Deacon is an interesting character with a mad skill set, but he is also vulnerable. Hart did an excellent job of letting us see both sides. Tess was surprising. She is bright and can speak Russian thanks to her grandmother. However, she has some self-esteem issues thanks to an ex-fiance. I liked that she thinks things through before she acts, but that once she commits she goes all in.
The suspense thread and elite group took us on missions and delivered some heart-pounding moments. I loved the secret organization and the sci-fi aspects. Talk about freaky. We meet the Director, and I am curious about this seemingly cold, ruthless woman.
The romance offered heat and complications. The story provided dual povs allowing us to connect with both Tess and Deacon making their interactions feel genuine. Hart added some sizzling scenes but balanced them with heartfelt moments.
The story was good, but the book suffered from slow areas and then rushed scenes in part due to the worldbuilding. We had this climatic buildup to an event but when we arrived it lacked details and was over before it began. All the elements I love in romantic suspense were present but the presentation fell short for me. Despite issues, I was hooked and wanted answers and at no point did I feel the need to set this down. Instead, I found myself wishing for more meat.
We are introduced to a unique and quirky set of secondary characters, and I look forward to their stories. Each of the men in this elite group come from different parts of the world, and it will be interesting to learn how they ended up in Last Stop, Texas.
Fans of heated romantic suspense, secret organizations, and elite task forces will enjoy THE DARKEST CORNER. The next books GONE TO DUST and SAY NO MORE release in June and July 2017.
[bctt tweet=”The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart offered suspense, mystery, and heat. ” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
Oh I love the premise of this story! I think (I’m not entirely sure since there are so many authors I’ve been wanting to try) that I’ve had my eye on her stories…wait I have read Liliana Hart before (I feel so dumb lol). Her suspense in my opinion is on point but the romance has sometimes felt over the top. I might try this one, when I have no idea but hopefully soon.
Book two was stronger Leona.
I’m really glad you enjoyed this one, even if there were some missteps.
I did, I finished book two which was stronger.
Thanks Kim it looks like something I might like but how is it Sci-Fi?
Great review and there’s nothing wrong with a 3.5 review
It is romantic suspense but aspects of the elite team are quite science fiction. These elements will feed your inner nerd. Nothing overly complex, but freaky perhaps.
Not quite my genre of choice, but I’m glad the book still worked out for you despite the issues you had. Hopefully the worldbulding will improve, and the meat will be added as the series continues.
Fingers crossed Trish 🙂
It had potential, but it was too slow and some events were not dealt with effectively. Glad you were still able to like inspite of the issues. I will be looking to read book 2 as well and I do hope it is better.
Me too and I am already curious about the characters in the next one. I like the heroine from what we know of her.
The Bibliophile Babe
I’ve read a book by her and it was ridiculously similar to the Stephanie Plum series, so I never continued. This sounds pretty promising, though!
Huh, I have not tried Plum.
That sounds like a good story.
It was, and I like the premise.
Oh, now that does sound like a good one inspite of the hurry up and wait moments. A funeral parlor, LOL. I’ve not read any of her books, but this does sound good.
It was good and I am anxious to try the next book.
Completely new to me author as well. Sounds good except for the slow parts. You have me curious as to what makes it science fiction
Hehehe..it will feed your inner nerd 🙂
Reading the premise, and the situation the characters are in, makes me feels kind of sad.
Right. I wish we got more details as to why their governments blacklisted them
I always enjoy suspense novels with a little heat thrown in, Kim. Loved your review!
Thanks, Ro. I am the same 🙂
I was drawn to this one, but so far the reviews haven’t been amazing, I think I will hold off and see if the next book is stronger.
Yeah, I am really hoping book two is stronger. I already love the characters. She is kind of snarky and outspoken. Should be fun.
Tyler H. Jolley
Thanks for introducing this title to me, Kimba! Happy reading.
Happy to do so!
It’s been awhile since I’ve read a romantic suspense. I’m thinking this will be a good one to break back into the genre. And there isn’t a year long wait between releases! Bonus!
Very true, they all release this summer.
I love small towns and romantic suspense! I think the issues you had would probably be mine as well but it still sounds very enjoyable.
Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews
Thanks. I am curious to see if these issues are resolved in book two.
It sounds promising, but as usual I’ll wait for the series to finish. 🙂
Anna from elements of emaginette
Thankfully book two and three are out this summer.
This one sounds right up my alley.
I have to say that I love romantic suspense and I’m already in the verge of checking this book out, but when I found out about the slow part, I’m not sure anymore. But it’s great to know that you still enjoyed it 🙂
It was good enough that I’ve already picked up book two. The heroine for it seems like she will be a lot of fun. Reviews are mixed for this on Goodreads, but I still had fun.
Lover Of Romance
I can definitely see the ups and downs of this book. I do love a story with a complex romance, And I like the setting and the suspenseful element. Glad you enjoyed this one despite its slow and rushed moments.
Thanks. Hopefully, book two delivers more of what I crave.
I was so close to getthing this one, but decided against it because it’s a series. It looks like overall the book was good, but it’s a shame about the slower parts. That can take away from my enjoyment of a story.
We shall see what book two brings. I already like the female heroine.
I haven’t read a Liliana Hart book in so long. I need to get back to her site to see what I have missed.
I am anxious to see what book two brings
This sounds interesting and you have me curious now. Great review Kimberly!
Love the title, but my heart goes out for poor Solomon … makes a good love story though
I love the title and series title too,
Geybie's Book Blog
Awesome review, Kim. I get your issues. It sounds interesting though and seems to have so much potential.
I am hoping book two is stronger. Plus the female is snarky.
Dead to the world..poor guys
Can you imagine?
This one sounds interesting and I confess that it was a new one to me!
I am glad it arrived on my doorstep 🙂