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Welcome to Verona Bay, a small coastal town where the secrets just won’t stay buried—and people aren’t always who they seem. She was the one that got away… Eight years ago Serenity Washington watched as her twin sister was murdered. She was lucky to escape the same grisly fate. With her sister’s killer in jail, she relocated and tried to move on with her life. She marrie Welcome to Verona Bay, a small coastal town where the secrets just won’t stay buried—and people aren’t always who they seem. She was the one that got away… Eight years ago Serenity Washington watched as her twin sister was murdered. She was lucky to escape the same grisly fate. With her sister’s killer in jail, she relocated and tried to move on with her life. She married a man in the Air Force and started a family, but when her husband dies unexpectedly she moves back to the last place she remembers being happy—Verona Bay, FL. Now that she’s come home, it’s all starting again… Within months of Serenity’s homecoming, she receives a ‘gift’—a bracelet from her sister that was never recovered after her death—and a taunting note. Terrified for herself and her young daughter, she turns to the local sheriff for help. But there’s only so much they can do without proof that the gifts aren’t more than sick pranks. There’s been no DNA, no fingerprints left behind—nothing to indicate who’s leaving them. As the horrifying gifts arrive with increasing frequency, Serenity has no doubt that she’s the ultimate target. But with her sister’s murderer—a confessed serial killer—still behind bars, she has no idea who’s stalking her. She turns to the one man she’s been trying to keep her distance from… Former Marine Lucas Jordan has been hung up on single mom Serenity since she moved back to Verona Bay, but she’s made it clear she’s not looking for a relationship. When she’s targeted, however, all bets are off. He won’t sit by while she’s terrorized, and with her and her daughter’s lives in danger he’s prepared to stand his ground and protect them both. Together they face the impossible task of trying to figure out who to trust before they all wind up six feet under.


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Welcome to Verona Bay, a small coastal town where the secrets just won’t stay buried—and people aren’t always who they seem. She was the one that got away… Eight years ago Serenity Washington watched as her twin sister was murdered. She was lucky to escape the same grisly fate. With her sister’s killer in jail, she relocated and tried to move on with her life. She marrie Welcome to Verona Bay, a small coastal town where the secrets just won’t stay buried—and people aren’t always who they seem. She was the one that got away… Eight years ago Serenity Washington watched as her twin sister was murdered. She was lucky to escape the same grisly fate. With her sister’s killer in jail, she relocated and tried to move on with her life. She married a man in the Air Force and started a family, but when her husband dies unexpectedly she moves back to the last place she remembers being happy—Verona Bay, FL. Now that she’s come home, it’s all starting again… Within months of Serenity’s homecoming, she receives a ‘gift’—a bracelet from her sister that was never recovered after her death—and a taunting note. Terrified for herself and her young daughter, she turns to the local sheriff for help. But there’s only so much they can do without proof that the gifts aren’t more than sick pranks. There’s been no DNA, no fingerprints left behind—nothing to indicate who’s leaving them. As the horrifying gifts arrive with increasing frequency, Serenity has no doubt that she’s the ultimate target. But with her sister’s murderer—a confessed serial killer—still behind bars, she has no idea who’s stalking her. She turns to the one man she’s been trying to keep her distance from… Former Marine Lucas Jordan has been hung up on single mom Serenity since she moved back to Verona Bay, but she’s made it clear she’s not looking for a relationship. When she’s targeted, however, all bets are off. He won’t sit by while she’s terrorized, and with her and her daughter’s lives in danger he’s prepared to stand his ground and protect them both. Together they face the impossible task of trying to figure out who to trust before they all wind up six feet under.

30 review for Dark Memento

  1. 5 out of 5

    Madison Warner Fairbanks

    Dark Memento by Katie Reus Action packed romantic suspense. 1st in the Verona Bay series. Keeps you guessing and on the edge through the end. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. For the second time, a serial killer is after Serenity. The killer is hiding in plain sight and threatening Serenity’s closest friends. The FBI and Lucas keep Serenity protected but those closest could be in deadly danger. Serenity is hesitant to let Lucas become more than a friend. He is willing to wait u Dark Memento by Katie Reus Action packed romantic suspense. 1st in the Verona Bay series. Keeps you guessing and on the edge through the end. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. For the second time, a serial killer is after Serenity. The killer is hiding in plain sight and threatening Serenity’s closest friends. The FBI and Lucas keep Serenity protected but those closest could be in deadly danger. Serenity is hesitant to let Lucas become more than a friend. He is willing to wait until she’s ready. So sweet. I received a copy of this from NetGalley. I also purchased a copy to keep.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nicola

    4.5 stars. Katie Reus kicks off her latest series with murder, suspense and romance as history begins to repeat itself in Verona Bay. She was the one that got away…” I’m not going to say much on the storyline here as I never do when there’s a whodunnit, just know it’s one which keeps you on your toes, introducing twists and turns that bring a darker atmosphere alongside a lightness created by Serenity’s daughter, Harper and the building friends-to-lovers romance between Serenity and Lucas. I 4.5 stars. Katie Reus kicks off her latest series with murder, suspense and romance as history begins to repeat itself in Verona Bay. She was the one that got away…” I’m not going to say much on the storyline here as I never do when there’s a whodunnit, just know it’s one which keeps you on your toes, introducing twists and turns that bring a darker atmosphere alongside a lightness created by Serenity’s daughter, Harper and the building friends-to-lovers romance between Serenity and Lucas. I like being naked friends.” I have to say this is one of my favourites from the author, I pretty much read in one sitting and the next book can’t come soon enough. Copy received courtesy of NetGalley for an honest and unbiased opinion.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    The book opens with Savannah and her twin sister Serenity. They’re strapped to makeshift wooden tables on a small cabin. Kidnapped by the serial killer Michael Black. Savannah dies but Serenity escapes and Black is captured. He’s spending life behind bars and Serenity is moving on with her life. Well she’s trying her best. She’ll never escape the nightmares and the torment of losing her twin. She’s now a mother and a widow. Years after the disaster that changed her life she moves back to Verona Ba The book opens with Savannah and her twin sister Serenity. They’re strapped to makeshift wooden tables on a small cabin. Kidnapped by the serial killer Michael Black. Savannah dies but Serenity escapes and Black is captured. He’s spending life behind bars and Serenity is moving on with her life. Well she’s trying her best. She’ll never escape the nightmares and the torment of losing her twin. She’s now a mother and a widow. Years after the disaster that changed her life she moves back to Verona Bay. Serenity has her own pet grooming business. Her daughter Harper is settled in school and life is normal. That is until she finds a piece of jewellery under the windscreen of her car. It’s jewellery that was taken from them when they were kidnapped. It was never returned until now. People connected to Serenity are being murdered or taken. The nightmare is starting up again but Black is still behind bars so who’s responsible? This started strong and kept going. I thought I had it all figured out but I’m so happy to say I didn’t. I absolutely loved Lucas. He was brilliant and patient. He knew he wanted Serenity but also knew he couldn’t push. This is a great little read. I’ve found this author never lets me down. Now I’m just waiting for the next one. I voluntarily read a review copy kindly provided by NetGalley.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mindy Lou's Book Review

    I gotta hand it to the author, I tried to guess who the culprit was twice and was wrong both times. She didn't try to trick you into believing one over multiple other options, which made it hard to pinpoint who it was. I love it when an author can fool me like that. I love the new setting for this series and I have high hopes for all the Jordan brothers. Lucas Jordan was awesome. I melted with the interactions with him and Harper. I do wish his and Serenity's relationship built a bit faster but I gotta hand it to the author, I tried to guess who the culprit was twice and was wrong both times. She didn't try to trick you into believing one over multiple other options, which made it hard to pinpoint who it was. I love it when an author can fool me like that. I love the new setting for this series and I have high hopes for all the Jordan brothers. Lucas Jordan was awesome. I melted with the interactions with him and Harper. I do wish his and Serenity's relationship built a bit faster but that's the only complaint I have. I really enjoyed this and I'm looking forward to more in the series.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    5 - "The world is a screwed up place ..." Stars! Welcome to Verona Bay the small town that widower and single mother; Serenity Washington has returned to, to start over again and raise her young daughter. She’d been a victim once… Never again. This is the town she grew up in, and also the place where here memories are the hardest to deal with, because most of them contain her twin sister, a sister she watched die, the guilt and grief of being the killer’s only surviving victim is still strong, 5 - "The world is a screwed up place ..." Stars! Welcome to Verona Bay the small town that widower and single mother; Serenity Washington has returned to, to start over again and raise her young daughter. She’d been a victim once… Never again. This is the town she grew up in, and also the place where here memories are the hardest to deal with, because most of them contain her twin sister, a sister she watched die, the guilt and grief of being the killer’s only surviving victim is still strong, and gets much, much worse when trinkets that were taken from the original victims start turning up especially as the killer is in jail, and they were never recovered at the time of his original arrest… The whole nightmare from her past was starting again. It didn’t matter if the details were different. People were dying and there was nothing she could do about it… There is a reason that Katie is my most read author, and this book is testament to why, I couldn’t put it down, the story-line keeps you on the edge of your seat, with multiple POVs, a large number of characters, a killer you don’t work out the name of until almost the end, and some serious sexual tension and crackling sexy times between Lucas and Serenity. "I don’t know if I have room in my heart right now for anyone else…" The Jordan brothers in general intrigued me, with Easton working for the FD and Lincoln being the town Sheriff, they play their own parts in this book, but the author also set them up and left me wanting more so hopefully they will be getting books of their own soon. I can’t say much more about the story-line because it is just one big spoiler, but if you have read RS by this author before, you know what a treat you have in store to read, and if you haven’t then this is the perfect place to start your addiction, because one book read will lead you to wanting to read more and more from her. "You came for me…" "…Always." ARC generously provided by the author, in exchange for the above honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carvanz

    Audiobook: Narrator Heather Coster and Jeffrey Kafer Exceptional narration by both of these narrators. This has a lot of drama and some intense moments. Ms. Coster and Mr. Kafer both did an excellent job of adding to these moments which ramped up my enjoyment of this story. No one does romantic suspense better than Katie Reus! The drama and action starts at page one and never lets up. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and ended up reading this in one sitting, it was just that good. I abs Audiobook: Narrator Heather Coster and Jeffrey Kafer Exceptional narration by both of these narrators. This has a lot of drama and some intense moments. Ms. Coster and Mr. Kafer both did an excellent job of adding to these moments which ramped up my enjoyment of this story. No one does romantic suspense better than Katie Reus! The drama and action starts at page one and never lets up. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and ended up reading this in one sitting, it was just that good. I absolutely loved this hero and heroine! Lucas is that strong, alpha who is smart enough to allow the heroine to work through her issues. He never pushes her into more than she can handle and he never oversteps the boundaries she’s set. Nevertheless, it’s clear that he cares for her and will do anything to protect her. ”And until then, he was going to keep Serenity safe. She was his to protect, no matter what. He didn’t care if they weren’t together – if they might never be. He would do anything to keep her safe.” Serenity, while broken, was strong and determined. She fought against her growing feelings for Lucas, but she pretty quickly came to realize that she could depend on him without him taking control of her life. The relationship between this hero and heroine was a bit of a slow burn that allowed Serenity to grow to the place she could freely give her heart. It was everything beautiful in the midst of fear and danger. I loved how Lucas yielded to her needs and how she never took it for granted. They were perfect for each other! The drama here is absolutely intense! There is constantly something new happening while everyone is following clues. The villain was maniacal and played up to this heroine’s fears and I was completely loss as to who it was. This is one of those reads that you’ll find yourself holding your breath as you turn the page, afraid of what the next words are going to reveal. This is the very best in romantic suspense with enough steam to make the building relationship believable. The pace is lightning fast and never repetitive. Secondary characters add to the overall story and some of them I’m hoping we’ll see again with their own book. I loved absolutely everything about this one and can’t help but to recommend it for those who enjoy dark danger, gentle romance, and a wild mystery. Dual POV Safe (view spoiler)[no ow/om drama; h and her husband were having problems when he died – his death does not cause her to fear building a relationship with H, but the fear of losing control to someone who would try to rule her life; H not a man-whore; h/H have known each other for 6 months (hide spoiler)] Triggers (view spoiler)[while this deals with women being tortured to death, it does not go into details of the actual torture; no rape (hide spoiler)]

  7. 5 out of 5

    Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

    As my favorite genre, this book hits all the marks for a great Romantic Suspense story. The plot was very intriguing and the way that it was written had me guessing all the way to the very end. I really enjoyed trying to figure out who the villain was, and being completely surprised. And boy was the villain really evil. The romance between Serenity and Lucas was sweet and really intense, considering the danger that they face. I’m really hoping for more stories about this town and of course Lucas As my favorite genre, this book hits all the marks for a great Romantic Suspense story. The plot was very intriguing and the way that it was written had me guessing all the way to the very end. I really enjoyed trying to figure out who the villain was, and being completely surprised. And boy was the villain really evil. The romance between Serenity and Lucas was sweet and really intense, considering the danger that they face. I’m really hoping for more stories about this town and of course Lucas’ brothers. Review copy provided for a voluntary review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ezinwanyi Chinyere

    This book started immediately with a traumatic incident. Serenity and her twin sister Savannah Washington were kidnapped and tortured by the serial killer Michael Black. It was suspenseful and angst-filled in the first few chapters. Serenity escapes but her twin sister didn't survive the ordeal but the killer was captured. Serenity tries to build her life despite the PTSD, she got married and had a daughter. When her husband dies, Serenity moves back to her hometown of Verona Bay. She opens a bu This book started immediately with a traumatic incident. Serenity and her twin sister Savannah Washington were kidnapped and tortured by the serial killer Michael Black. It was suspenseful and angst-filled in the first few chapters. Serenity escapes but her twin sister didn't survive the ordeal but the killer was captured. Serenity tries to build her life despite the PTSD, she got married and had a daughter. When her husband dies, Serenity moves back to her hometown of Verona Bay. She opens a business and begins to establish her life but Serenity begins to receive mementos taken from her during her imprisonment. It appears that she is being stalked again. She's afraid and her high school friend Lucas Jordan wants to help her. But Serenity is afraid to let him into her life because people close to her are being hunted and murdered. Its not safe to be around her and she isn't sure the FBI can protect her and her daughter. Lucas is determined to protect Serenity and young daughter Harper, but as more than just a friend. This one was a nail bitter! It was really well written, suspenseful and I couldn't stop listening. There was some darkness, but Serenity was a fighter. Her will to survive was undeniable. She wouldn't allow the serial killer to break her and she was determined to win for herself and her twin who didn't make it. This is a really good beginning to a new series.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    My interest stopped when we got the POV of the bad guy in the book. Just me in that respect.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review. This romantic-suspense kept me guessing until the author decided to reveal who the baddie was. I really, really like it when I can't figure it out and that is the high point for this book. The setting is in a small coastal town in Florida, but it could have been set anywhere. The setting didn't live, it didn't add anything to the story and that is a major disappointment. Both t Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review. This romantic-suspense kept me guessing until the author decided to reveal who the baddie was. I really, really like it when I can't figure it out and that is the high point for this book. The setting is in a small coastal town in Florida, but it could have been set anywhere. The setting didn't live, it didn't add anything to the story and that is a major disappointment. Both the plot and the writing were good and the book was a pleasant way to pass a few hours. Serenity Washington survived while her twin sister didn't. A serial killer kidnapped them and Serenity had to watch as her sister died knowing that she would likely be murdered also. That just made her more determined to escape, and she did. She was also determined to live a normal life, but her past was really hard to overcome. When her Air Force husband dies on active duty, she moves back to Verona Bay, FL, a place she wants to raise her child in and where they can both be happy. Lucas Jordan is a former Marine who has also come home to Verona Bay. He is a partner with his cousin in a construction business and he has his eye on Serenity Washington. She thinks he is just a friend, but Lucas wants more, much more than to be her friend. He is letting this take its' own sweet time, because Serenity is worth it. When Serenity's peace is shattered by a sinister "gift" Lucas is not going to let anything happen to her and is determined to protect Serenity and her daughter, and find to person responsible. As Serenity and Lucas grow closer, Serenity comes to realize that maybe it is good to have someone she can lean on, especially when her friends go missing and it looks like the serial killer who murdered her sister had a partner and now they are coming for Serenity.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Eva Millien

    Eight years ago, Serenity Washington was lucky to escape after watching her twin sister’s murder. After her sister’s killer was caught, she relocated and tried to move on with her life. She started a family, but after her husband dies unexpectedly, she moves back to the last place remembers being happy, Verona Bay. Within months of her homecoming, she starts receiving gifts and taunting notes, which has her turning to the local sheriff for help. She has no doubt that she’s the ultimate target, b Eight years ago, Serenity Washington was lucky to escape after watching her twin sister’s murder. After her sister’s killer was caught, she relocated and tried to move on with her life. She started a family, but after her husband dies unexpectedly, she moves back to the last place remembers being happy, Verona Bay. Within months of her homecoming, she starts receiving gifts and taunting notes, which has her turning to the local sheriff for help. She has no doubt that she’s the ultimate target, but with her sister’s murderer behind bars, she has no idea who’s stalking her. This series is off to a great start with another spine chilling suspense and rockin’ romance story from this bestselling author. The characters are strong, bold and quite captivating, easily grabbing the reader’s attention from the very beginning. The chemistry between Serenity and Lucas is full of electricity and while it is obvious that their attraction is not going to go away, the relationship has quite a bit of emotional turbulence to overcome as Serenity’s traumatic past continuously rears its ugly head and readers can’t help but empathize and connect with the characters as the town suffers the turmoil of the past. The steady paced plot keeps readers biting their nails in chilling, nail-biting suspense and unexpected twists that stuns readers with OMG moments. It also makes it impossible for readers to truly guess who the culprit is and just what their true motivations are. The smart and cunning unsub also have a different twist from other unsubs that makes the story even more interesting and readers can’t put this truly engaging and thrilling story down.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Great start to the Verona Bay series! Here we meet Serenity Washington who has moved back to her hometown after a horrific history there. She’s got a great business, friends, and Lucas who’d like to be more than friends. This story has everything I look for - dead body ✔️, twisted killer that I couldn’t guess ✔️, a hottie love interest ✔️, and a fast paced, action filled story right to the end ✔️ ! I can’t wait for what’s next in Verona Bay! *ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kimberley C.

    I really enjoyed this suspenseful story! And better yet, I really didn’t guess the “bad guy” until the very end! Well done! Good characters and storyline. 4 stars from me!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Dark Memento is a riveting tale that will keep you guessing. Someone is gas-lighting Serenity. They’re sending her mementos from her twin sister who was murdered eight years ago. But the murderer is in prison. This mind bending story gives us several suspects and winnowing them down won’t be easy. Keeping Serenity and her daughter safe falls to former Marine Lucas Jordan which is fine by him because he has fallen for the young widow and will let nothing harm her. This story is filled with twists Dark Memento is a riveting tale that will keep you guessing. Someone is gas-lighting Serenity. They’re sending her mementos from her twin sister who was murdered eight years ago. But the murderer is in prison. This mind bending story gives us several suspects and winnowing them down won’t be easy. Keeping Serenity and her daughter safe falls to former Marine Lucas Jordan which is fine by him because he has fallen for the young widow and will let nothing harm her. This story is filled with twists and turns and a brain puzzle that will keep you guessing.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Eight years ago Serenity and her twin sister Savannah were captured by a serial killer. Serenity escaped, but not before she was forced to watch her sister die. Although she's tried to move on with her life Serenity has always felt like a piece of her is missing so after her husband dies she's returned to her hometown with her young daughter Harper. Just when she was starting to feel settled again someone starts leaving her gifts, starting with a bracelet that used to belong to her sister, one t Eight years ago Serenity and her twin sister Savannah were captured by a serial killer. Serenity escaped, but not before she was forced to watch her sister die. Although she's tried to move on with her life Serenity has always felt like a piece of her is missing so after her husband dies she's returned to her hometown with her young daughter Harper. Just when she was starting to feel settled again someone starts leaving her gifts, starting with a bracelet that used to belong to her sister, one that was never recovered even after her killer was brought to justice. The murderer is still in jail but as the threats against Serenity increase in both frequency and severity it quickly becomes clear that she is a target once more. Lucas has been friends with Serenity since she returned home and always had hope that eventually they could become something more so when he realises she's in danger he will stop at nothing to keep her safe. The only question is how many people will get hurt before the police can figure out who Serenity's stalker is. I really enjoy Katie Reus' stories, they have just enough suspense and action to keep me turning the pages but also a strong focus on the romance. In this case it's a friends to lovers trope which I always enjoy, Lucas has always known what he wants but Serenity has very good reasons for keeping him at arm's length. She's learned the hard way that anyone she gets close to ends up dying and she's scared to let anyone but her daughter get close enough to hurt her in that way again. She's also wary of introducing a new father figure into Harper's life and potentially have her heart broken too if the relationship ends badly and she worries about damaging her friendship with Lucas when he's one of the few people she can rely on. As things quickly escalate with the stalker Lucas and his family are amongst the first to stand up and look out for her. Like in any small town there is a fair share of gossip but in general people seemed to be pretty supportive and I liked that Serenity had a good group of friends outside of Lucas. I'm not always a fan of kids in books but Harper was pretty cute and I enjoyed seeing her relationship with Lucas as well as with her mum. The identity of the stalker kept me guessing right until the big reveal as there were several possibilities all the way through. Dark Memento was a great start to the series and I'm really hoping the other books will give Lucas' brothers Lincoln and Easton their chance at a HEA.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sandy S

    4.25 stars ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date September 10, 2019 Welcome to Verona Bay, a small coastal town where the secrets just won’t stay buried—and people aren’t always who they seem. She was the one that got away… Eight years ago Serenity Washington watched as her twin sister was murdered. She was lucky to escape the same grisly fate. With her sister’s killer in jail, she relocated and tried to move on with her life. She married a man in the Air Force and started a family, but when her husband dies 4.25 stars ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date September 10, 2019 Welcome to Verona Bay, a small coastal town where the secrets just won’t stay buried—and people aren’t always who they seem. She was the one that got away… Eight years ago Serenity Washington watched as her twin sister was murdered. She was lucky to escape the same grisly fate. With her sister’s killer in jail, she relocated and tried to move on with her life. She married a man in the Air Force and started a family, but when her husband dies unexpectedly she moves back to the last place she remembers being happy—Verona Bay, FL. Now that she’s come home, it’s all starting again… Within months of Serenity’s homecoming, she receives a ‘gift’—a bracelet from her sister that was never recovered after her death—and a taunting note. Terrified for herself and her young daughter, she turns to the local sheriff for help. But there’s only so much they can do without proof that the gifts aren’t more than sick pranks. There’s been no DNA, no fingerprints left behind—nothing to indicate who’s leaving them. As the horrifying gifts arrive with increasing frequency, Serenity has no doubt that she’s the ultimate target. But with her sister’s murderer—a confessed serial killer—still behind bars, she has no idea who’s stalking her. She turns to the one man she’s been trying to keep her distance from… Former Marine Lucas Jordan has been hung up on single mom Serenity since she moved back to Verona Bay, but she’s made it clear she’s not looking for a relationship. When she’s targeted, however, all bets are off. He won’t sit by while she’s terrorized, and with her and her daughter’s lives in danger he’s prepared to stand his ground and protect them both. Together they face the impossible task of trying to figure out who to trust before they all wind up six feet under. ••••••••• REVIEW: 4.25 stars-DARK MEMENTO is the first instalment in Katie Reus’ contemporary adult VERONA BAY romantic suspense series focusing on the town of Verona Bay, Florida. This is pet groomer /widow/ single mother Serenity Washington, and former Marine/construction worker Lucas Jordan’s story line. Told from three third person perspectives (Serenity, Lucas, murderer) DARK MEMENTO focuses on Serenity Washington. Eight years earlier, Serenity and her twin sister Savannah had been abducted and tortured but Savannah did not survive. Having escaped the monster, Serenity would struggle with the loss of her twin, moving forward in life. Fast forward to present day wherein someone is stalking Serenity Washington, a potential copy cat killer, who is targeting the people in Serenity’s life. Lucas Jordan has lusted after Serenity Washington since his return to Verona Bay two years earlier. A chance meeting with Serenity would discover a mysterious ‘gift’ left behind on Serenity’s car, a gift that linked back to the abduction and murder of Serenity’s sister eight years earlier. What ensues are the ongoing threats to Serenity, and the people of Verona Bay; the building relationship and romance between Serenity and Lucas; and the fall-out as Serenity’s stalker begins to kill in an effort to get closer to our story line heroine. The relationship between Serenity and Lucas is one of immediate attraction but Lucas suspects Serenity doesn’t have time for a relationship in the wake of her husband’s death, and raising a child on her own. With the threats against Serenity closer than anyone could have imagined, Lucas offers himself up as bodyguard and protector for Serenity and her daughter. The $ex scenes are intimate and passionate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. We are introduced to Verona Bay sheriff and Lucas’ brother Lincoln, their brother Easton, as well as their mother Louise Jordan; FBI Special Agent Amy Lin; Serenity’s daughter Harper, as well as several friends and townsfolk including Paisley, Carol, Chloe and Bianca. The world building introduces the people and town of Verona Bay. The camaraderie, the friendships, the jealousy and the love. DARK MEMENTO is a story of suspense, revenge and betrayal; family, friendship and love. The premise is intriguing and engaging; the romance is seductive and captivating; the characters are colorful and charismatic. DARK MEMENTO is a wonderful and exciting start to Katie Reus’ VERONA BAY romantic suspense series. Copy supplied by Netgalley www.thereadingcafe.com

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

    Also Posted on For The Love of Fictional Worlds Disclaimer: An eARC was provided via Inkslinger PR and the Author as part of the Blog Tour. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own. Katie Reus is a master of the romantic thriller genre – her books have the exact amount of suspense to temper the romance, enough so that I usually end up reading her books in single sitting! With Dark Memento; Katie Reus gives a fan – freaking – tastic start to a new roma Also Posted on For The Love of Fictional Worlds Disclaimer: An eARC was provided via Inkslinger PR and the Author as part of the Blog Tour. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own. Katie Reus is a master of the romantic thriller genre – her books have the exact amount of suspense to temper the romance, enough so that I usually end up reading her books in single sitting! With Dark Memento; Katie Reus gives a fan – freaking – tastic start to a new romantic thriller series, about a survivor and her war with her past when it comes knocking on her present. Dark Memento opens to Savannah and Serenity after they have been abducted by a serial killer, Michael Black from their dorm room in college. Only one of the twins survives the ordeal – Serenity escapes & makes sure that the killer who tortured and took away her twin is put behind bars for the rest of his life. Now, Serenity is a widow and a single mother to precocious little girl, Hannah and has made a life for herself and her daughter in her hometown, Verona Bay. She has her own animal grooming shop that she loves owning and handling & is cruising through her life content. She has no intention of entering any relationship, even if a certain former marine has her heart beating a little faster. Former Marine Lucas Jordan came to his hometown and didn’t take long to be enamored by the single mother and her young daughter. Even though he made his interest clear, he keeps his distance, once he realises that Serenity isn’t open to anything more as of right now. But when Serenity starts getting targeted by someone leaving mementos from the serial killer that she survived, and people close to her start getting abducted and/or murdered; Lucas shows exactly the kind of man he actually is – protective, possessive and a man that Serenity and her daughter can depend on fully. Dark Memento keeps the reader on its toes right from the start – with the author giving a clear opportunity to the reader to identify the killer; in fact the reader has the same clues & revelations that agents investigating the case do – so its actually a race between the reader and the agents to find the culprit first and that’s exactly what makes this a brilliant read! I am eager to see where Ms. Reus takes this new romantic thriller series to in the future – Lucas Jordan after all has brothers who need their HEA as well *wink wink* For more reviews visit For The Love of Fictional Worlds :) Do come join us at For The Fictional Worlds Facebook Page | Twitter | Instagram  | Goodreads  | Amazon |

  18. 5 out of 5

    A Klue

    Serenity, the heroine, had a light at the end of the tunnel, folks. That being Lucas, the hero, who was worth it all to wind up with him after the unimaginable torment/agony she’s been through. Seriously, this gal has gone through the wringer and then some. That opening scene….My, oh, my! As heart pounding, disturbing, and tragic as it was, I loved how strong, resilient, and determined her character was right from the get go. I’ve shied away from serial killer drama based books over the years. M Serenity, the heroine, had a light at the end of the tunnel, folks. That being Lucas, the hero, who was worth it all to wind up with him after the unimaginable torment/agony she’s been through. Seriously, this gal has gone through the wringer and then some. That opening scene….My, oh, my! As heart pounding, disturbing, and tragic as it was, I loved how strong, resilient, and determined her character was right from the get go. I’ve shied away from serial killer drama based books over the years. Mostly because they often tend to focus more on solving the crime and less on a romantic aspect. This one definitely used the backdrop as a springboard to unite these two destined to be together lovebirds. Though a considerable amount of time was spent on pointing fingers and trying to connect the dots, the romance between this great main couple did not get lost in the shuffle. It was always there. Lucas really had the patience of a saint. It seemed he would wait forever and a day just to spend time with his lady love. Serenity took her sweet time getting on board with what was right in front of her. Namely, this absolutely gorgeous, perfect guy. I get her reasons though. It broke my heart to find out what they were. Good thing for us Lucas is not a quitter. He knows a good thing when he sees it so that was all the motivation he needed. I must confess the first smex scene between them wasn’t all that great for me. It just wasn’t scripted as well as I thought this couple deserved. Considering how romantic this guy was, I’m thinking it didn’t fit and could have been better. Looking back, I’m pretty sure I fast forwarded through latter scenes, too. There are no obvious clues given who the next book will feature. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it will be the hot brother sheriff and his mysterious, quiet neighbor named Autumn. Either way, I’m very excited to see what’s next in this great new series. Title: Dark Memento, Series: Verona Bay (Book 1), Author: Katie Reus, Pages: 350, stand-alone but part of a series, patient/kind ultimate good guy hero, not a manho, sweet/resilient/been through a lot heroine, steamy scenes, graphic disturbing serial killer backdrop, romance safe, no rape, OW/OM drama, no cheating, no love triangle. (I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not given any payment or compensation for this review, nor is there any affiliation or relationship between this reviewer and the author/publisher/PR firm.)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Geha

    Dark Memento by Katie Reus Verona Bay #1 Attention grabbed from page one when Serenity Washington is trying to free herself and her sister from the clutches of a serial killer known as “The Shepherd” I read on to find out how she survived. A bit was said about her life in the intervening eight years but the story really begins when she moves back to Verona Beach, sets up business as a dog groomer and is attracted to ex-Marine Lucas Jordan. Serenity has a young son, a business and a few friends in Dark Memento by Katie Reus Verona Bay #1 Attention grabbed from page one when Serenity Washington is trying to free herself and her sister from the clutches of a serial killer known as “The Shepherd” I read on to find out how she survived. A bit was said about her life in the intervening eight years but the story really begins when she moves back to Verona Beach, sets up business as a dog groomer and is attracted to ex-Marine Lucas Jordan. Serenity has a young son, a business and a few friends in the making but is overwhelmed when she finds a bracelet that disappeared when she and Savannah were kidnapped. She is worried but takes precautions and as Lucas is also interested in Serenity and worried about her he steps in, with his brother and the FBI, to find out what is going on...and keep her safe. One by one people are kidnapped – people who are friends of Serenity. We have a look into the mind of the crazy person on the hunt and also get a glimpse of “The Shepherd” still in jail. I read and watched and wondered but, having read the end as I usually do, wanted to see how the author would finally expose the whack-job that was doing such evil things. Well written and interesting I enjoyed this book and look forward to finding out who will star in book two of the series. Thank you to NetGalley and KR Press. LLC for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4 Stars

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sofia Lazaridou

    Dark Memento is the first book in a brand new series called Verona Bay by Katie Reus. I am not sure if the series will follow Serenity and Lucas, but I got the feeling that each book in the series will feature a different couple. It doesn't matter much since the suspense part of the story ended in this book and book #2 will have a different villain. I liked the suspense more than I liked the romance. We get tons of info about the villain early in the story, even though we don't get a name. So we Dark Memento is the first book in a brand new series called Verona Bay by Katie Reus. I am not sure if the series will follow Serenity and Lucas, but I got the feeling that each book in the series will feature a different couple. It doesn't matter much since the suspense part of the story ended in this book and book #2 will have a different villain. I liked the suspense more than I liked the romance. We get tons of info about the villain early in the story, even though we don't get a name. So we ened up knowing the villain's motives and plans for what to do next, without having all of their info known for quite some time. The story is told from Serenity, Lucas and the villain's point of view mostly, but some secondary characters also have a small part. I feel like the romance was rushed and that it needed more time to be explored. Serenity has a daughter and she is not a big part of the story. I would have liked a couple more interactions between the daughter and Lucas because it feels like he didn't even acknowledge her. I was expecting more when it came to Lucas and the dynamics between him and the two ladies in his life. Dark memento was a mediocre beginning for the series, but I am kinda sold on the couple of the next book (if the teases about them were on point). The suspense was good, but the romance needed some work. Honestly, I was surprised by how fast they went from just friends to the "I love yous".

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    A dark memento comes back to haunt her present❣️ Serenity and her twin sister are kidnapped by a serial killer who has plagued their small town and college. When Serenity realises her twin hasn’t survived, she knows she has to escape by all means necessary. Fast forward eight years later, she returns to Verona Bay with her daughter, after her husband dies while deployed. She has now started receiving “dark mementos” from her kidnapping and people she loves have either disappearing or turning up A dark memento comes back to haunt her present❣️ Serenity and her twin sister are kidnapped by a serial killer who has plagued their small town and college. When Serenity realises her twin hasn’t survived, she knows she has to escape by all means necessary. Fast forward eight years later, she returns to Verona Bay with her daughter, after her husband dies while deployed. She has now started receiving “dark mementos” from her kidnapping and people she loves have either disappearing or turning up dead😢 Lucas is very attracted to Serenity ever since she first came back to town, but they are just friends and he wants to be so much more. When it’s clear that her life is in danger, he will do everything and anything to keep her and her daughter safe. But unfortunately, the danger is so much closer than any of them ever suspected! Loved this story as it is so different to anything I’ve read of Katie’s before but I was absolutely enthralled from the beginning and usually I’m pretty good at guessing who done it, but this one completely blindsided me and to say I was shocked is an understatement😍 A big thank you to Katie, Netgalley and the publisher for my advanced copy for which I voluntarily leave my honest review and I’m hoping we get more stories from Verona Bay💕

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Serenity and her twin sister were kidnapped in college. Serenity made it out of that nightmare that killed her sister, but led to the capture of a serial killer. She has moved on with her life, moving back to the small town she grew up in. Her nightmares are about to become real again though, when she starts receiving "gifts" that tie back to her kidnapping. Except that the killer is still behind bars. Lucas has been there for Serenity now that they are both back in town. He knows her past, but Serenity and her twin sister were kidnapped in college. Serenity made it out of that nightmare that killed her sister, but led to the capture of a serial killer. She has moved on with her life, moving back to the small town she grew up in. Her nightmares are about to become real again though, when she starts receiving "gifts" that tie back to her kidnapping. Except that the killer is still behind bars. Lucas has been there for Serenity now that they are both back in town. He knows her past, but wants her future. She is hesitant to develop anything beyond friendship though, as she has had one disastrous relationship in her past and doesn't want to ruin the friendship she relies on so heavily. When he learns of her current danger, he insists on helping. It doesn't hurt his case that his brother is the town sheriff and is just as worried as he is. The suspense was good throughout the story, and kept me guessing about who was behind the gifts and who exactly was the nameless narrator. The narration by Serenity and the new perpetrator kept things interested. There are just enough clues about the person's identity to keep one guessing without being confident of the identity.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    Eight years earlier Serenity and her twin sister were kidnapped, and Serenity was the only survivor. Now, someone is leaving her mementos from that day, and friends start disappearing or winding up dead. With her sister’s murderer in jail, Serenity, Lucas, the police, and the FBI have to find out who is behind the crime before someone finishes what wasn’t finished eight years ago. The book grabbed my attention and kept it until the end. I really enjoyed the suspense and thought it was well-writte Eight years earlier Serenity and her twin sister were kidnapped, and Serenity was the only survivor. Now, someone is leaving her mementos from that day, and friends start disappearing or winding up dead. With her sister’s murderer in jail, Serenity, Lucas, the police, and the FBI have to find out who is behind the crime before someone finishes what wasn’t finished eight years ago. The book grabbed my attention and kept it until the end. I really enjoyed the suspense and thought it was well-written. While I liked the romance, I wasn’t quite sure why Lucas had been so drawn to Serenity once she returned to town. Still, I liked them together and how Lucas took care of Serenity and her daughter. Fans of romantic suspense won’t want to miss the start to the Verona Bay series. I’m looking forward to seeing what else is in store for the series. **A copy was provided via NetGalley to voluntarily review**

  24. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    3.5 stars Katie Reus’ new series takes us to Verona Bay, Florida, a small coastal town with a dark past. Eight years ago, a serial killer was on the loose and held and tortured two sisters. Serenity Washington survived that torture, but her twin sister did not. Having spent years away from Verona Bay building a new life, Serenity has returned to her hometown as a widowed, single mom. Settling in with a new business and friends, Serenity and her daughter are at peace…until a message is left on her 3.5 stars Katie Reus’ new series takes us to Verona Bay, Florida, a small coastal town with a dark past. Eight years ago, a serial killer was on the loose and held and tortured two sisters. Serenity Washington survived that torture, but her twin sister did not. Having spent years away from Verona Bay building a new life, Serenity has returned to her hometown as a widowed, single mom. Settling in with a new business and friends, Serenity and her daughter are at peace…until a message is left on her windshield with a trinket from her tortured past. Freaked out but determined to help the Feds and local law enforcement find the person responsible, Serenity confronts her past and the serial killer who haunts her dreams. The suspense keeps you guessing who’s the victim and who’s the killer. While the slow simmering romance between Serenity and Lucas Jordan, former Marine who returned home to Verona Bay, is sweet. Lucas will use his military training to help protect Serenity and her daughter, no matter how far he must go to keep them safe. A very good first entry to a new series. I look forward to the next installment. ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erin Lewis

    4.5 Star Review Dark Memento (Verona Bay #1) by Katie Reus AUDIO REVIEW: I listened to this book on audio and was invested right from the start, The narrators Heather Costa and Jeffrey Kafer, who are both new to me, did a good job and enhanced my listening pleasure.   This was a a book filled with danger, secrets, surprises. The intrigue and suspense, not to mention the danger kept me on the edge of my seat as I listened to this story.   Will Lucas be able to keep Serenity safe as they put the piece 4.5 Star Review Dark Memento (Verona Bay #1) by Katie Reus AUDIO REVIEW: I listened to this book on audio and was invested right from the start, The narrators Heather Costa and Jeffrey Kafer, who are both new to me, did a good job and enhanced my listening pleasure.   This was a a book filled with danger, secrets, surprises. The intrigue and suspense, not to mention the danger kept me on the edge of my seat as I listened to this story.   Will Lucas be able to keep Serenity safe as they put the pieces of the puzzle together whilst flying under the radar or will danger loom and put their lives and those they love in jeopardy again?   There are many twists, turns and surprises in Dark Memento and I have to say that I was taken by surprise on a couple of occasions.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ashley (Red-Haired Ash Reads)

    This book kept me on the edge of my seat and I didn't want to put it down! I thought I figured out who the killer was twice and I was completely wrong. I loved it! Serenity was a strong woman. She survived being kidnapped, losing her twin, her husband, and now being targeted again. I instantly liked her and continued to be amazed at how strong she was, even when she was breaking down. Lucas was the perfect choice for her. He was caring, hard working, and most importantly protective but not control This book kept me on the edge of my seat and I didn't want to put it down! I thought I figured out who the killer was twice and I was completely wrong. I loved it! Serenity was a strong woman. She survived being kidnapped, losing her twin, her husband, and now being targeted again. I instantly liked her and continued to be amazed at how strong she was, even when she was breaking down. Lucas was the perfect choice for her. He was caring, hard working, and most importantly protective but not controlling. I really enjoyed their relationship. I can't wait to see what will be happening in Verona Bay in the next book. *ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review.*

  27. 5 out of 5

    Linda Rimer-Como

    What a fantastic book! The story line is filled with suspense, mystery, fear, doubt and a growing attraction. The characters are unique and have great interaction as they band together to find out who is murdering people. Love this author, always gives us exceptional books. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book; all opinions expressed are my own.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tracie R

    A thrilling start to the Verona Bay series. Dark Memento is an engrossing romantic suspense with action, twists and a whodunit that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. I will be recommending and looking to read more.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

    2.5 I had a tough time with this one. I ended up skimming my way to the end.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Iman

    I did not connect with the main characters, so it was a bit complicated to stay engaged with the story.

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