72 HOURS – Bella Jewel
St. Martin's
ISBN: 978-1-250-10834-0
April 2017
Romantic Suspense

Orlando, Florida – Present Day

Lara and Noah were once in love, but after her grandmother is killed by a street thug in an incident that Lara blames on herself, their relationship starts to unravel. It finally ends after she walks in on him with another woman in his lap and she can't forgive him, let alone give him a chance to explain. After the breakup, she begins a new life, but one day Noah suddenly appears. He claims it's a coincidence he's in the same spot she is, but wherever she turns, there he is, wanting to apologize and explain. Lara refuses to give him the opportunity, but one night, she runs into him while she's with another man. While talking to Noah, she's suddenly feeling weird and passes out. The next thing she knows she's waking up and discovering that she and Noah are out in the middle of nowhere, trapped in an expansive piece of land surrounded by electric fences.

They're the prey of a very sick man they don't know or even what his motives are. And the man intends to torture them before slowly and cruelly killing them. They have 72 HOURS to evade him before he comes in for the final slaughter.

72 HOURS by Bella Jewel is a spine-tingling tale of a sadistic killer with a plan to murder Bella and Noah just for the thrill of “the hunt.” The reasons why he chose them are unclear, though it appears he has followed them for a long time. He knows a lot about Lara and Noah and how they tick. Readers wonder if Lara ran into him somewhere along the way, and it's finally revealed how intertwined the bad guy was in their lives.  Lara and Noah's relationship is still rocky as their harrowing adventure begins, and they will fight and spar with each other, all the while knowing they need to trust one another if they're going to get out alive.

Lara has a lot of guilt over what happened the night her grandmother was killed. Lara's smart mouth was in full action as she faced off against a clearly high punk bent on robbery. When she resisted him, he ended up pushing her grandmother to the ground, where she hit her head and died. The events of that night haunt Lara and she blames herself. So much so that it affected her relationship with Noah. When she walked in and saw him with another woman, that was the final straw and she walked out on him. Her self-esteem is still low, but that only makes her ripe for what the madman has in mind. Noah's anger with Lara over her refusal to accept his explanation also plays a part in the bad man's game, as he wants Noah to hate Lara before he kills them both.

Told in the first person by Lara, and at times the crazy man who has captured them, 72 HOURS will have you literally on the edge of your seat.  Sometimes this tale is not for the faint of heart as Lara and Noah are injured or running for their lives, but in the end, there is a final payback and a happily-ever-after as they win the battle and find love again. The action is tense and nerve wracking while readers wonder if Lara and Noah will escape.

An intriguing and engaging romantic suspense, grab a copy of 72 HOURS for some hair-raising reading.

Patti Fischer