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3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,322 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
Blazing romance and page-turning suspense - a hot holiday read from a NEW YORK TIMES bestseller It's a business trip that takes advertising agency owner Maddie Fitzgerald to New Orleans, but it is hardly business as usual when a man breaks into her hotel room and tries to kill her. Barely escaping with her life, she soon finds herself face-to-face with FBI agent Sam McCabe ...more
Paperback, 372 pages
Published July 4th 2005 by Hodder Paperback (first published July 1st 2004)
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Mr. Perfect by Linda HowardHard Evidence by Pamela ClareUnlawful Contact by Pamela ClareAfter the Night by Linda HowardExtreme Exposure by Pamela Clare
Best Romantic Suspense
167th out of 1,477 books — 1,984 voters
Mr. Perfect by Linda HowardSomething About You by Julie JamesNaked in Death by J.D. RobbDream Man by Linda HowardA Lot like Love by Julie James
Best Police Romances
114th out of 197 books — 203 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 16, 2015 Sabrina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I guess I have to make peace with the fact that romantic suspense is not for me. I don't like to generalize, but most of what I've read so far managed to be bad on both the romantic and the suspenseful sides: the romance is usually formulaic and insipid, and the detective plot is unsubstantial and unsatisfactory.
This book fit perfectly that mold.

What I especially didn't like:
— the damsel-in-distress kind of heroine (she trembles, she shivers, she faints, she has to be carried around);
— the unbel
Linda C
Aug 01, 2010 Linda C rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio-books
I thought this book was horrible. However, to be fair, I didn't realize that it was "romantic suspense", which saved it from being a one star. I found the audio version on-line through my local library and downloaded it to my ipod. Based upon the brief review that the library network provided, the book sounded like a crime suspense novel focusing on the FBI's hunt for a serial killer crisscrossing the country taunting the agents with clues to the next victim.

So the story had such a good foundati
Linda C
Maddie Fitzgerald barely escapes being killed in her hotel room on a business trip to New Orleans. She hopes it was a random act and can get back to her life. Sam McCabe, FBI, thinks otherwise. To him she is the latest in a string of professional hits throughout the South being carried out by a serial killer leaving clues. So far they have been one step behind 9 murders. He thinks the killer will be back, thinking she might be able to identify him. He wants her under guard. Maddie has secrets th ...more
Karen Robards is hit or miss for me. I've read a few of her books that were quite good and others, like this one, that were just fair. The theme/plot itself appealed to me but the execution didn't work as well as I'd have liked.
May 10, 2012 Applefruit rated it did not like it
This is the most boring book I've ever read. The main character, Maddie, is extremely annoying. The "hero" Sam is yawn-worthy and inept as an FBI agent. Please, pass on this snooze-fest!
REVIEW OF AUDIO & EBOOK; JULY 3, 2014: 3.8 stars
Narrator: Joyce Bean

I had put off reading this for years as I hadn't liked Robards' books that were written in the last ten years, apart from a few. I was, therefore, pleasantly surprised that this didn't end up a DNF, especially when the reviews haven't exactly been glowing.

The Story: The book starts off with a burst of action/suspense when Maddie escapes an attempted murder. It sagged somewhat after this despite my enjoying every scene that i
Jan 31, 2008 Christy rated it really liked it
Maddie Fitzgerald, owner of a small advertising agency in St. Louis, travels to New Orleans in hopes of snaring a large account to save her struggling company. While there, a man breaks into her hotel room and tries to kill her but Maddie manages to escape. Only to be followed by FBI agents, headed by Special Agent Sam McCabe, who's tracking a serial killer and thinks Maddie is his next victim. Maddie does not trust the FBI and refuses their offer of protection, but when someone shoots at her in ...more
Jun 16, 2013 Vettech rated it really liked it
This was a very good romantic suspense read. The main characters Maddie & Sam made for an interesting couple. At first they were like oil & water...then you could see the way they gave each other "the look", and so did everyone else. There was no hiding the attraction between them. I felt so sorry for Maddie, all the crap she had been through in her life and the terror she was experiencing in real time as well.

The love scenes between Maddie & Sam were hot and steamy to say the least.
*3.5 Stars*

I thought this was good. granted I think I liked it more because I listened to it on audio instead of reading it. When listening on audio I'm able to zone out a little bit when stuff gets boring. I think that the author spent too much time trying to lead us on about Maddie's past. I think more could have been done with letting us in on the secret much sooner.

The killer was whack! the whole reveal was so crazy. I felt a little let down with that.

Zelda the dog was my favorite character
Oct 27, 2010 Erica rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
Maddie has just been attacked by a man in her hotel room. Sam is the FBI agent who is investigating the attacks. She is not the only victim.

During the investigation Sam figures he could use Maddie as his bait to catch the attacker. Sam falls for Maddie, but resists getting close to her. Eventually he does get involved with her only later finding out that there is more to Maddie then meets the eye. Sam's team has run the fingerprints in the hotel room hoping to find the attacker and the only set
Pat Kidd
Apr 01, 2016 Pat Kidd rated it liked it
2.5 rating.
Not my genre (romantic suspense), it was a gift from a friend (thank you Gina!) - I do not care to read pages and pages of description of the male chest. This story did have a surprising twist at the end that should intrigue the author's many fans.
Jill Ranella
Sep 30, 2015 Jill Ranella rated it it was ok
Way too far fetched, couldn't do it any longer!
Carl Alves
Mar 21, 2015 Carl Alves rated it it was ok
In Bait, a failed attempt is made on Maddie Fitzgerald, a young woman who runs an advertisement agency. This same killer is being hunted by the FBI agent Sam McCabe. Maddie is resistant to any FBI protection because of her checkered past. She changed her name and took on a new life after fleeing from the mob. She returns to St. Louis where the killer continues to come after her and McCabe and company protect. But really the novel is about the developing romance between Maddie and McCabe.

This nov
Janetta Longwell
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea Porco
Jun 20, 2014 Andrea Porco rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I literally just finished this book like 10 minutes ago. I was very surprised at the ending! I won't ruin it for someone else, but it definitely wasn't someone that had even crossed my mind as the killer. I love it when authors do that. Karen Robards really pulled it off on this one.

Robards really has a gift for being a descriptive writer. In terms of setting and the description of a person, it gets really detailed. I enjoy that. You get a good visual of what she wan
Aug 01, 2014 Robin rated it it was amazing
FBI Special Agent Sam McCabe is tracking a serial killer who leaves one-word clues to the identity of his next victim. When the next clue is the name "Madeline", the search for the next victim starts. But, they're too late. In a New Orleans hotel, a woman named Madeline Fitzgerald has been murdered. But, surprisingly, there is a second woman with the exact same name staying at the hotel too. This Maddie was attacked in the middle of the night and somehow got away from the killer. In order for Sa ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"It's a business trip that takes advertising agency owner Maddie Fitzgerald to New Orleans, but it is hardly business as usual when a man breaks into her hotel room and tries to kill her. Barely escaping with her life, she soon finds herself face-to-face with FBI agent Sam McCabe. Unnerved by his questions - and his good looks - Maddie is told she's been targeted by an elusive killer whom McCabe has been tracking for weeks. It appears her attack was a case of mistaken identity and a shake
May 05, 2015 Christine rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this suspenseful story and the interesting characters. Maddie has a near death experience and just wants to brush it under the rug, until Sam McCabe from the FBI enters the picture and wants to know all about it. With a past she wants to forget Maddie tries to get Sam out of her life but it seems a killer has other plans, for the both of them.
Melissa Levine
Jul 26, 2015 Melissa Levine rated it it was ok
Shelves: real-book, mystery
Overall, I thought this was a alright story. The fact the author used lots of the story to describe stuff was really annoying though. There were a lot of parts where I felt I was more skimming through, while looking for something to happen or just reading the dialogue.


I couldn't help but notice how every so often the author would throw in a big word. A big word for me is typically one that I've (or my smart hubby) have ever heard of. For ex: alacrity, enervating, truculence, d
Linda  Branham Greenwell
Feb 13, 2013 Linda Branham Greenwell rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-crime, 2013
Sam McCade is an FBI Agent who has been on a killer's trail for a month, the killer likes to tease him with hints before the kill. This time the hint is that a Madeline is to be killed - the killer attacks 2 Madelines in the same hotel in one night. One dies - one lives. When Sam learns about the Madaline who lives he thinks he has his first break.

In the meantime, Madeline - who goes by Maddie - doesn't know if the hit was to be on her or not. But the FBI has already left her out to dry once, an
May 16, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this book. I always enjoy Karen Robards' books, but this one was really good.

I loved reading about the grudging relationship forming between McCabe and Maddie, and I also enjoyed the chemistry between. He wants to save her, she wants him to go away...even after she is attacked, she wants him to leave her alone. She is hiding something from him that she is terrified he will discover. Maddie's past, always a mystery until near the end of the book, was intriguing and had m
Feb 17, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it
This is a great suspense romance book that you won't figure out until the end.

Maddie Fitzgerald has a past and she is trying to keep it in the past but FBI Agent Sam McCabe wants to protect her from a killer. Maddie has already figured out that her past has caught up with her but she does not want to run and hide again. She does not trust the FBI and she has every reason not to but is Sam different?

This is a good story and you will really enjoy reading it.
Anna Mcfadden
Jun 08, 2014 Anna Mcfadden rated it really liked it
Maddie Fitzgerald, owner of an advertising agency, is in New Orleans for a business deal when some attacks her in her motel room. She finds out that there is another lady staying at the same hotel, on the same night, with the same name. FBI agent Sam McCabe, has been following this killer from town to town. Now when Maddie gets attack again at home in St. Louis Sam and his team makes her use her as bait to catch the killer, at the same time Maddie and Sam become close
Feb 16, 2016 Tamera rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not one of my better Robards reads. I am not sure why, but the story and characters never grabbed me, and I felt like it missed the author's usual humorous touch (Zelda? Really?). I didn't buy the romance or the whole plot once it was revealed. I know the author can do much better than this, but it will be a while before I try her again.
Pat Roberts
Feb 16, 2016 Pat Roberts rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This author is the voice of women's fiction? Really? I know women are smarter than to think this is their kind of thing. The writing is bad, the story line ridiculous. How does one beef up a badly-written mystery? Add steamy sex scenes. They were so unbelievable, I had to stop sewing (this is an audiobook) I was laughing so hard.
Jun 14, 2012 Gabriela rated it it was ok
Shelves: disappointing
This book was, sadly, the reason why I had to create a "disappointing" shelf. I, unfortunately, had to force myself to finish it out of respect for the writer and people who put so much work into it, but it wasn't with much enthusiasm, I tell you. It felt like it had so much to offer and yet I didn't get any real feeling from it.
The plot, the characters, everything looked like it would be the perfect setting for an awesome adventure but it wasn't.
The je-ne-sais-pas factor wasn't of the interes
Brie Bohlinger
Apr 06, 2015 Brie Bohlinger rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVED this book! I couldn't put it down! The story line drug me in and I couldn't wait to see what going to happen next. Like, how he was going to get at her again, and who was the "other" killer that was killing the other people. I also LOVE Sam. I would LOVE to see him in the flesh! HOT, HOT, HOT!
Oct 08, 2010 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maria by: Gina
This is the first book I've read by this author, recommended by Gina's goodreads comments, and I have to say that I am impressed. There were some slight oddities, places where I wasn't convinced that the plot was possible, but they were few and far between. Her writing is compelling, her characters appealing, and the plot phenomenal and I particularly appreciated the ongoing battle between the two leads. They don't just jump into bed with each other. They actually fight the attraction because of ...more
Leslie Whaley
Nov 04, 2015 Leslie Whaley rated it it was amazing
I'd say it was pretty good. It kept me interested even if parts of it were predictable....though I don't mind predictable lol. It had action and romance and a little bit of a twist at the end (at least I didn't see it coming).
Jan 18, 2012 Kristen rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Karen was born in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. She has been writing since she was very young, and was first published nationally in the December 1973 Reader's Digest. She sold her first romance novel, ISLAND FLAME, when she was 24. It was published by Leisure Books in 1981 and is still in print. After that, she dropped out of law school to pursue her writing career. Today she is a regular on the New ...more
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