Book three in the Scarlet Falls Series by Melinda Leigh, brings Mac Barrett from the drug infested and bullet ridden Amazon jungles to his hometown of Scarlet Falls, as his father breathes his last. Even as his family buries the Colonel, the little town of Scarlet Falls is once again thrown into a gruesome murder. And that takes Mac right to Stella Dane, and his heart has never forgotten the detective.

Taking the lead on the murder investigation, stakes are high for Stella as she races against time with her partner McNamara to stop a psychotic killer. As the killer targets reformed drug addicts, he comes too close to home as her friend is kidnapped and Mac gets into the crosshairs of the killer. With time running out and life hanging by mere seconds, it takes all of Stella’s skills and the support of her department to save the people she cares the most.

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Mac has been my favorite Barrett sibling with is quite and lethal demeanor. Working for the DEA undercover has given him a hard edge, yet Stella is the only one who can calm him and his heart. Stella had always had a special place for Mac and working together to catch the killer only reinforces the love she has for him. Strong, independent and a good heart is what Stella is made of as she goes through her own demons of guilt and pain.

Two strong individuals, two people with painful pasts and two protectors who would go to any length to keep their families safe, Mac and Stella make one amazing couple.

I loved the way Melinda Leigh incorporated the plot around a mad killer and yet not lose sight of the dynamics of the Barrett family. Regrets, redemptions and secrets are out in the open, as Melinda brings the family together, with care, love and support. She does a brilliant job of giving the story the co-existence of danger and presence of a strong family that had been through loss, pain and betrayal.

“Seconds To Live” can be read as a stand-alone, but I would highly recommend readers to start with “Hour Of Need” (where it all started), to enjoy the following books to the fullest

Received an ARC from Montlake Romance via NetGalley for an honest review.