It Started That Night

Author: Virna de Paul

Publisher: Harlequin

Release Date: April 24, 2012

Blue Ribbon Rating: 5.0

Format: PRINT

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As a twenty-year-old, bad boy John Tyler had fallen for Lily, a sixteen-year-old girl who claimed she loved him. But his ex-girlfriend Stacey had already tried to claim that he dealt drugs just to save herself from the charge, although she was guilty. He did not want to be charged for statutory rape. Besides, her father, a cop, had warned him to stay away and her mother had let him know that he was no good for her. John was leaving town. So when Lily appeared at his going away party, confessing her feelings for him, he cruelly let her down, denying his true feelings. Now fifteen years later, he is a cop and his case brings him back face-to-face with her. He cannot deny that his feelings for her have not changed and she is more beautiful than ever.

Lily Cantrell had defied her mother that day when she ran to John, wanting him to know just how she felt. But after telling him, he cruelly put her straight, calling her a kid and kissing his ex-girlfriend Stacey, who had approached with her friends while they were talking. Stacey and her friends had laughed at her distress. Running away, she had been devastated to later find that her mother had been murdered. Seemingly, the homeless man that Lily had befriended had killed her mother. So her father had blamed her, even though her cheating father and her mother were divorced at the time. In fact, her mother had been dating someone else and her father had already remarried. But, after much therapy, Lily still suffers memory loss from that night, although the dreams have gradually stopped.

Fifteen years later, the murderer, who had confessed, is about to be executed. So Lily is not happy to find that the case has been reopened and the person leading the investigation is Detective John Tyler. When John appears at her door, investigating the case, she suffers conflicting emotions. She still loves him, but his presence is stirring up all of the dark days she thought were behind her. The panic attacks and nightmares start again, more vividly than ever. But she doesn’t know if the dreams are memories or just her imagination.

John even comes to see her at the nursing home where she works as an art therapist. She believes that he is trying to save the killer’s life as many have done lately, but she is certain that they have the right guy. Still, knowing that the killer’s death would not bring her mother back, Lily is ambivalent about the execution.

When John begins to see discrepancies in the old case, his employer Thorn is dismayed. All he wants is for John to say that the killer is guilty so they can get on with the execution.  But there have been a succession of murders in which each of the victims has closely resembled Lily, and he fears she may be next. The murderer, known as The Razor, whose modus operandi fits that of the murder of Lily’s mother, has recently struck again. John must find out if he is in league with the killer sitting on death row or if the confessed killer sitting in jail is actually innocent, as he now claims.

John is also finding it hard to speak to Lily as she wants nothing to do with him. But John is sure that she still loves him and he cannot imagine his life without her now. Until the case is over, he has been trying to maintain a distance between them to avoid a conflict of interest. But how long can he be near her without holding and kissing her? John does not have much time, as he can feel the killer closing in. Can Lily ever forgive him for his cruelty years ago? Most importantly, will he find the killer before he gets his hands on Lily?

IT STARTED THAT NIGHT, the latest book by gifted author Virna De Paul, is a fast-paced, sensual romantic suspense that will keep you guessing right up to the very satisfying ending. In this story, Ms. DePaul methodically lays out all of the clues, but the ending is still a surprise. John and Lily struggle to keep their passion under control as they try to find the real killer before he strikes again. The chemistry between them is off-the-charts. Packed with suspense, murder, intrigue, sizzling hot passion, sexual tension, complex and compelling characters, gang members, family dynamics and true love, this exciting story is one you will not want to miss. I look forward to Ms. De Paul’s next novel, SHADES OF DESIRE, which is being released back-to-back with IT STARTED THAT NIGHT. Do not miss it!

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Dottie

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