Constance Barnes is a successful writer and designer, but she’s also lonely — and putting up a lot of bravado she doesn’t really feel. Her last two-year relationship ended abruptly, and she’s been focused on nothing but work ever since. 

Mack Maiden’s work life is complete; he’s the owner of a successful pet store. However, there’s one thing missing from his life and he isn’t going to find it there. He wants to find love, but doesn’t really have an idea of how to go about it. 

All that changes when the two have a chance encounter on a park bench. Loneliness turns into attraction, and the two of them fall in love. But when a serial murderer starts targeting bestselling authors, and Constance might be next on the list, their happiness and Constance’s life are at stake. 

The mystery subplot offers even more than the romance in “Torched”. While the romance is borderline cliché (two workaholics meet and fall in love), the mystery keeps things interesting. Constance is an interesting character, down to earth, realistic, and easy for the reader to connect with. The suspense picks up after the first few chapters, turning the book into a page turner once the murders start and Constance’s life becomes endangered. 

Majanka Verstraete