Killer Exposure (Harlequin Romantic Suspense) - Lara Lacombe

Toxic chemicals and instant chemistry in this tale of murder, medicine and combustible attraction


One minute Hannah Baker is a quiet science professor. The next, a possible murder suspect. Six victims, one per week, all poisoned with the same exotic chemical Hannah once worked with. Now she's wanted by Houston detective Owen Randall--but is it to enlist her help, or arrest her? Owen knows the prim Hannah is hiding something, but he isn't sure she's a killer. Especially after some unfortunate incidents. Is she the next victim of the chemical killer? Torn between duty and his growing feelings, Owen only knows he has less than a week to save her...


Good book. Hannah is a chemistry professor at a local university. She took that job after an explosion at the drug company she worked out left her with burn scars. Now a police detective has come to her, asking about the last project she worked on, as there may be a link to a series of recent murders. Owen thinks she's hiding something, but he's pretty sure she's not involved. When she's the victim of a couple attacks, Owen is determined to keep her safe.


I liked Hannah. She's trying to rebuild her life after the terrible injuries she suffered. She's doing pretty well, except in the relationship department. When her fiance left her because of her burns, it caused her to doubt that any man would be able to see past them. When Owen arrives at her office, she is worried that she might be a suspect, because of the way he watches her. But Owen makes her nervous in another way also - she's attracted to him. The knowledge of what they're up against has her determined to overcome her nerves and help Owen find out who is behind the murders.


I liked Owen also. He's trying to get his career back on track after the death of his former partner. He's carrying a lot of guilt over Joe's death, convinced that it is his fault. He's suspicious of Hannah at the beginning because she acts so nervous around him, but is quickly convinced that she is innocent. As they work together, Owen's attraction to her gets stronger. When she's attacked he feels that it is up to him to keep her safe.


The relationship between Hannah and Owen has several issues to overcome. On Hannah's side, she has to learn to trust Owen's feelings, that he can see past her scars to who she is. She wants to be loved for who she is. Owen has to move past his grief for his partner and accept that Joe's death really wasn't his fault. He has to see that protecting Hannah isn't penance for not protecting Joe. And when Hannah confronts him with what he's doing, he doesn't want to believe it. It isn't until he has a long conversation with Joe's widow, that he's able to see what he was doing wrong and take steps to fix it.


The suspense of the story was very good. I liked seeing how Hannah and Owen worked together to figure out who was behind the murders. Hannah's former work at the drug company made her familiar with the chemicals and with the people who were still there. It was interesting to see her interactions with her former coworkers and how they led her to the truth. The finale with the one who almost got away was very intense.