The Secret Network by Marie Ferrarella

A child brought them together

And led them into a brutal world…

Social worker January Colton agrees to partner with Detective Sean Stafford—but only on her terms. She’ll help him catch a killer, but only if he can protect the little girl in her care.

Once she realizes that Sean is just as committed to keeping the child safe, their connection slowly develops into something fiery…and dangerous.

But with a deadly network determined to finish off this “family unit,” Sean will have to do whatever it takes to keep them safe.

Titles in the multi-author Colton 911: Chicago series include – The Secret Network by Marie Ferrarella – Unlikely Alibi by Lisa Childs – Undercover Heat by Anna J. Stewart – Soldier’s Return by Karen Whiddon – Hidden Target by Colleen Thompson –  Guardian in the Storm by Carla Cassidy

This is an adult 18+ story that contains language, possible violence, and sexual situations geared to an adult audience.

Title:  The Secret Network
Series:  Colton 911: Chicago
Author:  Marie Ferrarella
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Published:  January 1, 2021
Publisher:  Harlequin Romantic Suspense
My Rating:  4.5 stars

The Secret Network begins the multi-author series, Colton 911: Chicago with a story that is full of tensions, danger, and a most intriguing family.  Plus, that ending, I never imagined this ending as it did – man, that floored me.  Yet, it sets the stage for another Colton series that already has captured my attention, and I’ve only just begun.

January is a workaholic social worker who is devoted to her job or rather the people (children) she can help.  She’s planning to head out tomorrow on a long overdue vacation with her sisters when she gets a call from her boss to please make one quick stop – that interruption to her dinner plans is going to change lives.

Sean has a witness to a triple homicide, a five-year-old girl who isn’t speaking or can’t.  His frustration level is through the roof at this point.  The social worker assigned to the little girl isn’t making any headway and he needs answers – now.  When January arrives at the station he’s convinced she’s just another distraction and can’t possibly get any results since neither he nor the other social worker is having any success.  Sean would be wrong.

January notices one fact that no one else has so far and that one overlooked piece of information will lead to keeping a little girl safe from the danger that’s looking for her – and bring two unlikely people together for far more than this case.

I was easily and quickly drawn in to the world that The Secret Network is building.  Without saying too much, little Maya is precious, adorable, and will wind these two adults around her little finger so fast they won’t know what hit them.  Sean is not only dealing with the homicide of the moment but with other unresolved issues from his recent past.  He’s buried himself in work yet these two ladies, both beautiful and unique in their own ways soon have him caring more than he ever intended.  January is a strong, at times stubborn woman who allows a sweet little girl and a handsome detective into her heart and will face any danger to keep them all safe.

The story is emotional, fast-paced, sadness, laughter, and annoyance will find their way into your reading time as Sean and January solve the puzzle that is little Maya.  I wasn’t expecting the very end… I just wasn’t, but now I’m totally hooked on finding out what in the world is going on!

I own a Kindle edition of The Secret Network.

Available in paperback or for your favorite e-reader, mine is the Kindle.

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