Former Army brat Morgan Albright has finally planted roots in a friendly neighborhood near Baltimore. Her friend and roommate Nina helps her make the mortgage payments, as does Morgan’s job as a bartender. But after she and Nina host their first dinner party—attended by Luke, the flirtatious IT guy who’d been chatting her up at the bar—her carefully built world is shattered. The back door glass is broken, cash and jewelry are missing, her car is gone, and Nina lies dead on the floor.
Soon, a horrific truth emerges: It was Morgan who let the monster in. “Luke” is actually a cold-hearted con artist named Gavin who targets a particular type of woman, steals her assets and identity, and then commits his ultimate goal: murder.
What the FBI tells Morgan is beyond chilling. Nina wasn’t his type. Morgan is. Nina was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. And Morgan’s nightmare is just beginning. Soon she has no choice but to flee to her mother’s home in Vermont. While she struggles to build something new, she meets another man, Miles Jameson. He isn’t flashy or flirtatious, and his family business has deep roots in town.
But Gavin is still out there hunting new victims, and he hasn’t forgotten the one who got away.
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Series: -standalone title-
Author: Nora Roberts
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Thriller
Published: May 23, 2023
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
My Rating: 4.5
Identity drew me in from the opening pages through to the final word for an intense yet realistic story full of underlying danger. Yet it also showcases the love of family, the strength it takes to recreate one’s life after a tragedy, and the ability to trust in someone again, to place your life in their hands so to speak enough to fall in love… the kind that can last a lifetime. Unfortunately for Morgan, all of that comes with the sense of waiting for the murderer’s next move – and Gavin will keep Morgan (and us) waiting as he baits, waits in the shadows, and plans his ultimate payback.
When Morgan’s roommate is murdered in Morgan’s home her grief turns into fear quite quickly once she realizes that she had brought the murderer into their lives, innocently yes, but still, it was Morgan who invited “Luke” to their housewarming party. That mistake cost Nina her life and plunged Morgan into a madman’s game of payback for having the audacity to survive his plans for her. She’ll return home to Vermont to her mother, and her grandmother’s home while she tries to rebuild her life always looking over her shoulder waiting for Gavin’s next move… and according to the FBI experts, he will make a move. His taunting communications have already proven that.
What she didn’t expect was to meet a man like Miles. Or to begin to trust him enough to allow the attraction she feels to take hold. Finding love while recreating her life wasn’t in the plan. But then fate often has other plans for us.
The danger that Morgan is facing is woven throughout this story. Yet, it’s also a story of renewal, of another chance to create something unexpected out of something so life-changing. Miles is simply adorable in a gruff, at times grumpy way. He’s solid, he’s no-nonsense, and he’s becoming an integral part of Morgan’s life. I loved their slow-burn romance; it made perfect sense for these two people given the circumstances. Morgan is “every woman”, in the sense that she’s as typical as you or me. She’s driven to carve out her own future, she’s determined to take her life back, and she’s not afraid of trusting Miles enough to fall in love with him. The search for Gavin kept me on my toes, and waiting for him to make a move was nerve-wracking in the best meaning of that word.
Nora Roberts is a wordsmith, a storyteller who draws the reader into a world they never thought to enter. I absolutely loved Identity for so many reasons, but mostly for that underlying sense of danger lurking just over Morgan’s shoulder as she goes about living her life, rebuilding what was stolen away from her while discovering a love that will stand by her through anything. Morgan is a strong woman… and it shows.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley, and I sincerely thank the author or publishing house for their trust. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
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