I love Irene Hannon's books, so when Deadly Pursuit--the second in her Guardians of Justice series--came out I rushed to get it. It didn't disappoint.
As a social worker, Alison Taylor has a passion for protecting children and seeing that justice is served on their behalf. But when she starts getting harassing phone calls and bizarre "gifts," it seems she may be the one in need of protection. When her tormentor's attentions take a violent turn, her brother Cole comes to her aid, along with his new partner, an ex-Navy SEAL, Detective Mitch Morgan. As her relentless stalker turns up the heat, Mitch takes a personal interest in the case. Protecting Alison has bec ome more than just a job--because his own happiness now depends on keeping her safe.
Though this is the second in this series, Irene's books all stand alone. Yet, if you read one you'll want the others. She weaves romance and suspense throughout, and develops her characters individually, not simply together.
For me, part of the draw was featuring a social worker. Having studied this field in college, I empathized with Alison and her dedication to her job. I really liked how Alison and Mitch weren't featured together all the time, but that you got snippets of their individual lives, yet could still feel the connection they were building. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Alison better in this book and the interaction she shares with her brothers. Another positive for me was how Irene enters the antagonist's head. Rather than attempting to keep the reader from discovering who the 'bad guy' is, Irene reveals him, writes a few chapters from his POV and still manages to keep the thread of suspense.
If you like romantic suspense and haven't encountered Irene yet, I highly recommend giving her a try and starting with Deadly Pursuit.