Lost Without You by Ava Olsen

Heat Level 3
SKU 978-0-3695-0829-4

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Rachel Desoumas’s father disappeared thirty-four years ago and never returned. A linguistics professor, Rachel excels at solving puzzles, but her father’s case is one she can’t solve alone. Enter Ethan Blackwell, former FBI agent, author and consultant. Partnering with Ethan is a smart move but falling for him is a risk Rachel isn’t sure she’s prepared for…

Ethan’s moved on from his FBI past. Or so he thought. When he gets a request from Rachel, he can’t resist. Not the mystery, and not Rachel…

From San Francisco to New York City, they’re hot on the trail of a very cold case and it’s not just the investigation that’s heating up. But Ethan’s plagued by an angry ex and Rachel’s desire for answers may prove costly.

As Ethan and Rachel journey closer to the truth, only one thing is clear: they’d be lost without each other.



She turned toward the voice in question, and the first thing she noticed was the man’s smile. Big and beautiful, it made the crinkles at the corners of his dark brown eyes deepen. He had thick salt and pepper hair, matching scruff, and a nose that was slightly crooked, maybe broken at one point. This was a man you would notice once and never forget.

“It’s nice to finally meet you in person, Ethan.”

“You as well,” Ethan said as he sat in the seat across from her. “I hope you don’t mind meeting here. It’s one of my favorite restaurants in the area. I like to take a long walk on the beach when I’m done stuffing in the greasy goodness.”

“It’s perfect. I hope you don’t mind that I ordered already. I chugged down some coffee this morning, but I’m in dire need of real food. And if I don’t eat every couple of hours, look out.”

“I understand,” Ethan chuckled as he motioned for the waitress. “Can I have a bacon cheeseburger and iced tea please?” he asked.

“Same as your wife, coming right up,” The waitress replied and sauntered off before either of them could correct her.

Ethan was too busy to notice, placing his phone on the table in front of him and removing his black windbreaker. He wore a plain grey t-shirt that stretched tight over his broad chest and biceps. Rachel quickly glanced up again.

“I wanted to start this meeting off by reiterating what I stated in our email exchange,” Ethan said. “I’m still a consultant with the FBI and I have contacts with local and state police so that may prove helpful as we conduct our search. But I can’t guarantee results. Unfortunately, your father’s disappearance is a very cold case.”

“Anything is better than the lack of information I have now,” she replied. “The investigator my mom hired decades ago came up with nothing.”

Ethan nodded. “To be fair, he didn’t have much to start from. According to the letter your dad left thirty-four years ago, he walked out of his own free will. There’s no missing person’s report or any police investigation on Walter F. Hoffman. Your father’s investigation is going to prove difficult given all that. The only thing I can tell is you is to be patient and realistic. The chances of us uncovering evidence of his whereabouts are not in our favor. Are you still sure you want to go through with this?” he asked as he raked a hand through his hair.

“Of course. That’s why I submitted my DNA to the genealogy site months ago. Meeting my cousin on my dad’s side was interesting, of course, but it didn’t give me any more clues as to his whereabouts. I’m hoping your help will dig up something. And searching for answers is better than doing nothing.”

“I’ll remind you of that as we move ahead,” Ethan said with a serious expression and Rachel nodded in reply.

Their food arrived and they paused to enjoy their lunch.

“I looked over the documentation you sent me,” Ethan murmured in between bites of his burger. “I think the best way to start is with your father’s work history. I searched his last known employer and they’re still a major accounting firm in New York.”

Rachel shook her head. “But he left in 1989. Chances are anyone who worked there at that time is retired, or left the company, or deceased.”

Ethan took a long sip of his iced tea and nodded. “That’s true, but we have to start somewhere. I’m going to do some digging and see what types of clients they dealt with around that time. Then we need to search for colleagues who might have worked with your father. Because this isn’t an official investigation, we can’t ask for employee records, so the best we can do is research and talk to people who knew him. I received the P.I.’s case notes but I still need to review them in greater detail and devise my list of questions for him. I suggest we take the next available flight.”

“We’re going to New York?”

“Yes. I need to interview your mother, and anyone else that knew your father. I’ll also speak to the investigator your mom hired—he’s on Staten Island. Some of this could be done virtually, but I like to see the faces of the people I’m questioning in person.”

“Are you a human lie detector?” Rachel asked.

“Not quite,” Ethan smiled and wiped his mouth with his napkin. “But people have tells, and the best way to read them is face to face. You’re in communications, right? You understand.”

Rachel nodded in return. “I guess we both study human behavior, one way or the other.”

Ethan glanced at his phone. “I’ve had a look at your DNA profile and the genealogy search you completed, and I interviewed your cousin. She had information about your father’s side of the family, but I’m not sure how useful that is. However, your DNA may prove critical if we uncover a lead. But again…”

Rachel finished her burger and nodded her head. “I know. I told you at the beginning of all this that what I needed was answers, closure. Even if I don’t get that, at least I know that I tried.”

“You also have to face several possibilities. He could be missing. He could be deceased. He could also be…” Ethan paused and grimaced.

“He could be alive all this time, but living another life with another family?”

Ethan nodded. “I’m not trying to be cruel, but that could be the reality you’re faced with.”

A flash of irritation jolted her, and she met Ethan’s intense gaze with her own.

“I’m aware of that, Ethan. I’ve had years to think this over and I still want the truth. One thing you need to know about me is I’m stubborn as hell. Once I’ve made my mind up, that’s it. Now, are you going to help me with this investigation or not?” Rachel’s tone hardened and she braced herself for his reaction.

One way or the other, she was going to continue her search.

Ethan calmly sat back and smiled, his face transforming. Then, just as quick as it came, it was gone. What a shame. She’d confess to just about anything to see that grin again.

“I’m ready when you are.”

Product Reviews

Score: 5 out of 5 (based on 11 ratings)
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Really enjoyed this book
Written by Ash J on 31st Oct 2023

This is the first book I've read from Ava Olsen and I really enjoyed it. I love how it included a mystery about what happened to Rachel's father. It kept me in anticipation about that while also reading about Rachel and Ethan's budding relationship. I'll have to check out Ryker and Wes's story next.

Loved It
Written by Jocelyn W on 4th Jul 2023

Lost Without You Is a mystery romance. The MCs work together to find a missing family member. Along the way they find romance and each other.

Wonderful Read
Written by kdavis on 4th Jul 2023

The was a really wonderful story. I loved the characters of Ryker and Rachel. The storyline draws you in and you are on the journey to find Rachel's father who disappeared 34 years ago. She needs help so she calls Ethan Blackwell, former FBI agent, consultant, and author. They journey together and as they do Ethan and Rachel start to fall in love. There was suspense, mystery, and sizzling steam. This is the first book I've read by this author and I really enjoyed it.

Great Read
Written by Danee on 4th Jul 2023

Wow this was a super awesome romantic story with super characters and characters, and it holds your attention from start to finish. I enjoyed their story and because I couldn't put it down I read it in one sitting.

A great romantic suspense
Written by Floraljoy on 4th Jul 2023

This was a fabulous book and a nice escape. It drew me in from the very beginning and I felt a connection to not just the main characters, but to the story as a whole. I really enjoyed the mystery and suspense aspects and found myself curious as to how it was all going to play out. Rachel and Ethan were great together and you could really feel the chemistry between them. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Finding Answers
Written by Babs on 4th Jul 2023

Rachel Desoumas’s father disappeared thirty-four years ago and never returned, she wants answers. Enter Ethan Blackwell, former FBI agent, author and consultant, who is going to help her. There story is well written with twists, turns, drama, danger, suspense, villains, a father to be found and romance. The story is well worth reading. A new Author to me. I received a copy of this book via Evernight and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Lost Without You!
Written by Mary on 4th Jul 2023

Rachael and Ryker's father has disappeared. He has moved on but she cannot. Rachael teams up with Ethan, an former FBI agent turned novelist, in the pursuit of answers. I love the suspense in this story. Rachael and Ethan make a great team. I enjoyed the build and plot in the story and the character development. The mystery is finally solved.

A brilliant read
Written by Nicole P on 4th Jul 2023

Totally loved reading Rachel & Ethan's story. Their story is brilliant mix of slow burn, erotic & suspense. Sparks fly between them , but will the strain of trying to find out what happened to Rachel's missing father snap their connection or bring them closer together? Private feedback

Grand Family Mystery
Written by Judy H on 4th Jul 2023

Rachel and her brother are searching for answers to their fathers disappearance. Retired FBI agent Ethan is helping her with the investigation and luckily he still has some valuable friends who can help them. Loved the characters and the storyline right from the beginning. Tension arrives with his ex, which throws some of their plans out the window. Great ending to pull it all together.

What Are They Walking Into
Written by De'Anna on 4th Jul 2023

The disappearance of a loved one is something no one ever gets over considering the constant why, what happened, could they still be alive, so many unanswered questions yet no answers well we met Rachael and Ryker sister and brother whose father just disappeared without a trace. Ryker has let it go. He misses his father, but he has made peace with it. However, his sister Rachel has not. Rachel loved their dad because of his disappearance. She has become especially good at solving puzzles but the one puzzle she can’t seem to piece together is what happened to her father and finally doing something about it with the help of a former FBI agent whom we met in a previous book. Ethan sexy as all get out former FBI agent, who has retired but agrees to assist the beautiful Rachel in her quest and if anything, to keep her safe because he understands walking into the unknown, or kicking up rocks that shouldn’t be kicked bringing out the worst in the ones who committed the crime or who can even answer questions. So, the adventure begins the quest to finding out what happen to her dad but what neither of them counted on was the intense attraction to one another or the magnetic pull that can’t be ignored and him doing his best to keep her safe but throw in his crazy ex. dangers of digging and you got yourself a full fledge adventure but where will it lead them, will she find out what happened to their dad, why her dad was taken, will she be able to keep herself from falling from the FBI agent, will he keep from falling for her, what does he do about the crazy ex. and can their be some form of peace along with happiness for these two?

If you like spicy stories then this book is for you!
Written by Andrea R on 4th Jul 2023

I was so taken with this book--it had everything in it--steaminess, suspense and just off the charts chemistry. LOVED THIS --the author delivers great stories each and every time.