Review with Excerpt: The Setup by Carol Ericson

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I’m pleased to share this new book with you all today! The Setup is the first book in the A Kyra and Jake Investigation series by Carol Ericson. In addition to all the pertinent details about this book, I have a review and an excerpt for you to read and trust me that you don’t want to miss out on this suspenseful romance! Keep on scrolling for details 👇🏻.


The Setup by Carol Ericson

Synopsis and Details:

With a serial killer on the loose…Secrets get you killed.Detective Jake McAllister isn’t aware Kyra Chase is connected to a twenty-year-old unsolved murder. He sees his new case partner only as an unwelcome distraction. But with the body count rising, they’ll need to trust each other to help them catch a killer who seems to know more about Kyra than Jake does.

From Harlequin Intrigue: Seek thrills. Solve crimes. Justice served.

For more action-packed stories, check out the other books in the A Kyra and Jake Investigation series by Carol Ericson:


Book 1: The Setup

Series: A Kyra & Jake Investigation #1  |  Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense  |  Release Date: March 30, 2021  |  Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue  |  Pages: 256  |  ISBN: 978-1335401656  |  ASIN: B08K4PPRFL  |  Format: ARC  |  Source: NetGalley

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Review:

In The Setup, the tension and conflict between Jake and Kyra was nicely done. Right from the start I was pulled into this story and it was easy to pick up why each character both respected and was repelled by the other one. Honestly, if I did not know that this was a romantic suspense going in, I would have thought that it was more akin to a solid crime story. Since I brought it up, I will state that there is an attraction and slow build romance in this book but it is a part of the story, not the sole focus. Which I always enjoy. 

Both Kyra and Jake are great characters with interesting backstories which drive their present actions. I can’t say I agree with all their choices but I like that about characters. When they get another chance to make better decisions it makes them more realistic to me. One thing I was not a fan of in this story were the nicknames used. Not a fan, they felt juvenile to me, but that is a personal feeling and it might not be something that is a turnoff for other readers. Overall, The Setup was a quick read that packed a powerful punch and if you like romance mixed in with a suspenseful storyline, then this would be a perfect summer book for you. 

*Thank you to Harlequin Intrigue & NetGalley for this eARC of The Setup*


This review is based on a complimentary book I received. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.


Excerpt from The Setup:

“Good thing she was already dead when he took her finger.” Detective Jake McAllister lifted the victim’s wrist and grimaced. He called over his shoulder, “Tire tracks at the trailhead? We know this isn’t the kill site.” 

“Too many to identify just one.” His partner, Billy Crouch, impressive in a dark gray tailored suit, purple pocket square and wing tips, strode down the trail to join Jake where he crouched beside the body. “No tire tracks, no cameras. I had one of the officers check with the park rangers.” 

“No cameras at the other dump site, either. He’s being careful.” Jake rose to his feet, inhaling the scent of pine from the trees and locking eyes with an ambitious squirrel who’d been busy scurrying up and down the large oak that provided a canopy over the body. 

Griffith Park was an oasis of rugged, untamed land in the middle of the urban sprawl of LA. It housed the zoo, the observatory, a concert venue, a carousel, pony rides and acres of wilderness crisscrossed with hiking trails. It had also hosted several dead bodies in its day, including the Hillside Strangler’s first victim. 

Jake pointed at the card inserted between the victim’s lips. “Queen of hearts, missing finger—looks like we have a pattern here.” 

Billy whistled as he pushed his sunglasses to the end of his nose. “It’s The Player all over again.” 

“Copycat.” Jake raised his hand to the crime scene investigators who had just arrived at the park and waved. “The Player was working twenty years ago and abruptly stopped. He’s gotta be dead or in prison.” 

“Maybe he just got paroled.” Billy picked an imaginary speck of lint from the arm of his jacket. “He could’ve been twenty when he was operating before, spent twenty years behind bars for armed robbery, as- sault, rape. Now he’s forty, tanned, ready and rested.” 

“Could be. They never got his DNA back then. Never left any—just like these two murders.” 

Billy whipped the handkerchief, which Jake had believed was just for show, out of his front pocket and dashed it across the shiny tip of one of his shoes. “Damn, it’s dirty out here.” 

Jake rolled his eyes. “It’s the great outdoors. Most people don’t take hikes in Italian suits and shoes.” 

Shaking his head, Billy clicked his tongue. “Only the shoes are Italian, man. The suit’s from England.” 

“Excuse me, Cool Breeze.” Jake bowed to his partner. He’d given Billy the nickname Cool Breeze, and it had stuck. The man knew his fashion, his fine wines and his women. 

Jake had warned him about the women because Billy already had a fine woman, Simone, at home. They needed only one divorce in the partnership, and Jake had that covered—not that he had run around on his wife, unless you counted the job as the other woman…and a lot of cops’ wives did. 

Someone cleared his throat behind him. “Finger- prints?” 

Jake jerked his head toward Clive Stewart, their fingerprint guy in Forensics, his shaved head already sporting a sheen. “Yeah, you can check, Clive. He didn’t leave the knife or box cutter behind that he used to slice off the finger. You might try the playing card, her neck. You know your job, man. I’ll let you and the others do it.” 

As CSI got to work, Jake shuffled away from the body on the ground and eyed the crunch of people beyond the yellow crime scene tape. Although still morning, the air possessed that quiet, suffocating feel that heralded a heat wave, and the tape hung limply, already conceding defeat. 

Jake pulled out his phone. Holding it up, he snapped some pictures of the looky-loos leaning in, hoping to catch a glimpse of…what? What did they hope to see? Did they want to ogle the lifeless body of this poor woman dumped on the ground? 

Maybe one of them was already familiar with the position of the victim. Killers had been known to re- turn to the scene of the crime and relive the thrill. 

He swung his phone to the right to take a few more pictures from the other side of the trail. As he tipped up his sunglasses and peered into the viewfinder to zero in on his subjects, he swore under his breath. 

What the hell was she doing here? 

Billy stepped into his line of fire. “He wanted some- one to discover her quickly. She’s not that far off the trail, but no purse or ID, so he doesn’t want us to identify her right away.” 

“You’re blocking my view.” Jake nudged Billy’s shoulder and framed the crowd at the edge of the tape again…but she was gone. 

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Heartfelt or thrilling, passionate or uplifting—our romances have it all. Visit TryHarlequin.com to sample FREE books from among 12 different series. It’s just a taste of the new books published each month—every story a journey guaranteed to leave you with That Harlequin Feeling.


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About the Author:

Carol Ericson lives in southern California, home of state-of–the-art cosmetic surgery, wild freeway chases, and a million amazing stories. These stories, along with hordes of virile men and feisty women clamor for release from Carol’s head until she sets them free to fulfill their destinies and her readers’ fantasies. To find out more about Carol and her current books, please visit her website “where romance flirts with danger.”

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Harlequin Intrigue

Experience the variety of romance that Harlequin Series category romance lines have to offer. Browse and discover the Series that’s right for you. With more than 60 new releases each month, Harlequin has your romance reading covered. Kick-start a love affair with Harlequin!

(listed in order of heat level, from hot at the top to mild)

Harlequin Dare (ebook only, 4 books per month): Take control as you step into stories of provocative romance where sexual fantasies come true. It’s intense and liberating. Harlequin Dare—let your inhibitions run wild.

Harlequin Presents (8 books per month): Welcome to the glamorous lives of royals and billionaires, where passion knows no bounds. This is the world of Harlequin Presents. Be captivated by the luxury and wealth, as you’re swept into a world of exotic locations.

Harlequin Desire (6 books per month): Harlequin Desire transports you to the worlds of the American elite—oil barons, family dynasties, business moguls and celebrities. Get ready for juicy plot twists, delicious sensuality and intriguing scandal.

Harlequin Romance (4 books per month): Immerse yourself in Harlequin Romance’s uplifting love stories, where emotion and intimacy simmer in international locales far and wide. Experience the rush of falling in love.

Harlequin Medical Romance (6 books per month): Escape to the world of Harlequin Medical Romance, where life and love play out against a high-pressured medical backdrop.

Harlequin Historical (6 books per month):  Be seduced by the passion, drama and sumptuous detail of Harlequin Historical—from the intensity of ancient Rome, to the grandeur of the medieval court, to the decadence of Regency aristocracy.

Harlequin Intrigue (6 books per month): Dive into action-packed stories from Harlequin Intrigue that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Solve the crime and deliver justice at all costs.

Harlequin Romantic Suspense (4 books per month): Danger, passion, drama—the heart-racing page-turners of Harlequin Romantic Suspense keep you guessing to the very end. Experience the thrill of unexpected plot twists and irresistible chemistry.

Harlequin Special Edition (6 books per month): In Harlequin Special Edition stories, relate to finding comfort and strength in the support of loved ones and enjoy the journey no matter what life throws your way. Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.

Harlequin Heartwarming (4 books per month):  Connect with wholesome stories of compassion and belonging. Harlequin Heartwarming—where the bonds of friendship, family and community unite.

Love Inspired Suspense (6 books per month): Courage and optimism unite on the pages of Love Inspired Suspense. Find strength and determination in stories of faith and love in the face of danger.

Love Inspired (6 books per month): Love Inspired takes you on an uplifting journey of faith, forgiveness and hope. Fall in love with stories where faith helps guide you through life’s challenges, and discover the promise of a new beginning.



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Categories: Excerpts, Interviews, Published in 2021, Review

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