The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart (Gravediggers #1)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Pocket

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Michelle

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.

Even though I have a to-be-read pile taller than me, I’m always looking for new authors, especially new authors with a new series I can delve into. If I love a book, I love it even more when it’s a part of a series that I can keep revisiting. I’m partial to alpha heroes and military/special ops romance, so I figured this book was right up my alley. The Darkest Corner didn’t wow me, but it didn’t disappoint either. Liliana Hart has created an interesting spin on the former military hero storyline and introduced characters that were likable and believable.

Tess Sherman runs the only funeral home in the small town of Last Stop. She returned to her hometown after college intending to buy the funeral home when the owner finally decided to sell. Not only is it her workplace, but it’s also her home since she lives on the third floor. When an unknown buyer comes in and takes over, the only consolation Tess has is the fact that the seller/former boss made her continued employment part of the contract. Oh, and the fact that she now has a group of seriously hunky guys working for her.

Deacon Tucker poses as a funeral home assistant, but there is way more to him than meets the eye. Tess knows that he and the other guys are there in Last Stop for reasons other than helping the sole mortician with one funeral a month. Since they take care of everything around the place so she doesn’t have to, and they mind their own business, Tess is happy to let them have their secrets. Until the attraction between her and Deacon that has been sizzling on the back burner for two years finally ignites.

Deacon knows he has no business pursuing the sexy mortician. Thanks to his dishonorable exit from the military/government world he used to live in, he now is a man with no past and no future. He lives one mission at a time, his only priority to keep the world safe. What does he have to offer Tess, a woman with roots deep in the Last Stop soil? None of that can stop the chemistry between them from boiling over, and once they acknowledge their mutual attraction, all bets are off.

Things for Deacon and Tess are complicated even further when Tess is drawn into Deacon’s Gravedigger world. The last thing he wants to do is bring danger to her doorstep, but when he discovers she can help him, he has to figure out a way to utilize her talent while keeping her safe at the same time.

I wasn’t overly thrilled with the terrorist plot of this book. It seemed like most of the book was spent building up to this sinister world-ending attack, and yet it was handled so easily by the Gravediggers. I think I was hoping for more intensity or something. I also really disliked Eve. I think that was the point, but still. But all that aside, I enjoyed the romance between Tess and Deacon. He was a strong, caring man who only had eyes for one woman. She was awkward and insecure and wanted Deacon more than anything. Regardless of their uncertain future, they both dove into their romance whole-heartedly, and it made for a sweet & sexy read.

I give The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart 3.5 stars

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