Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Genre: Thriller, Romantic Suspense
Series: Deep Ops #5
Date of Publication: June 7, 2022
Publisher: Kensington Books, Lyrical Press
Gemma Falls never expected to use her game theory expertise to outrun a killer. But for years, that skill is all that kept her one step ahead of a deadly stalker. When Gemma gets the chance to teach at D.C. University, she hopes she and her young daughter have found a safe harbor. The only flaw is the arrogant philosophy professor who’s always underfoot giving unwanted advice—in his sexy British accent . . .
Jethro Hanson has blood on his hands. He’s working within ivy-covered university halls now, but he knows that his work with the Deep Ops team and the deadly acts he once committed for the sake of Queen and country place him beyond forgiveness—until he meets Gemma . . .
Soon, the passion between them stuns them both. But when Jethro discovers a threat is fast overtaking her, he must choose between the redemption he seeks—and releasing the ever-present killer inside . . .
Gemma Falls is a single mother who’s been on the run from her child’s abusive father for years–ever since she found out she was pregnant and made her escape. She manages to orchestrate a temporary job for herself as a professor at a university outside of DC, but her new life is far from easy. She doesn’t have much money, and a fellow professor, a handsome Brit, is paying her far too much attention. It turns out that he has secrets of his own–ones that put the both of them in grave danger.
This book was not at all what I was expecting! While Gemma’s backstory is one of the plots of the book, the main premise surrounds Professor Jethro Hanson, a former MI6 operative who now works as a professor. A serial killer who he hunted in his previous life has crossed the pond to target him–and whoever he cares about. Unfortunately for Gemma and her daughter, that now includes them.
This book has a lot of twists and turns in the plot. A few of the twists literally had me gasping in surprise. Like I said, this book wasn’t quite what I was expecting, genre-wise. Unforgiven features quite a bit of the investigation background of trying to catch the serial killer. Jethro and his former colleagues are investigating the recent killings, looking into Gemma’s past, etc. and the genre turns into a bit of an investigative thriller. I was a little confused at times, since there are several different teams and investigative units involved in the plotline–some which work well together, and some which don’t. This is the fifth book in the series, and I suspect that I might have better understood the dynamics of the different teams and characters had I read the other books first.
That said, in this book, we’re introduced to couples from the previous books, along with a hint of what their romantic thriller storylines were. It’s cleverly done–we’re given enough of a taste to be intrigued to check out those books, but not so much that their stories are spoiled.
The romance between Gemma and Jethro takes a backseat to the action and adventure of the storyline. That said, their relationship is sweet, and I loved the misunderstandings–particularly when they first meet, and they both have assumptions about one another. Trudy, Gemma’s four-year-old daughter, is absolutely adorable, and the budding father-daughter relationship between Trudy and Jethro is cheek-pinchingly cute.
Ultimately, Unforgiven is a fast-paced, thrilling romantic suspense novel with lots of intrigue, adventure, a hint of angst, and a sweet romance.
*Thank you to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for the ebook to review*
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