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Tessa Leoni #1

Love You More

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One question, a split-second decision, and Brian Darby lies dead on the kitchen floor. His wife, state police trooper Tessa Leoni, claims to have shot him in self-defense, and bears the bruises to back up her tale. For veteran detective D. D. Warren it should be an open-and-shut case. But where is their six-year-old daughter?

As the homicide investigation ratchets into a frantic statewide search for a missing child, D. D. Warren must partner with former lover Bobby Dodge to break through the blue wall of police brotherhood, seeking to understand the inner workings of a trooper’s mind while also unearthing family secrets. Would a trained police officer truly shoot her own husband? And would a mother harm her own child?

For Tessa Leoni, the worst has not yet happened. She is walking a tightrope, with nowhere to turn, no one to trust, as the clock ticks down to a terrifying deadline. She has one goal in sight, and she will use every ounce of her training, every trick at her disposal, to do what must be done. No sacrifice is too great, no action unthinkable. A mother knows who she loves. And all others will be made to pay.

368 pages, Hardcover

First published March 8, 2011

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About the author

Lisa Gardner

94 books16.1k followers
Lisa Gardner is a #1 New York Times bestselling crime novelist. A self-described research junkie, she has parlayed her interest in police procedure and twisted minds into a streak of twenty-plus thrillers. Her latest, BEFORE SHE DISAPPEARED, is available January 19, 2021.

Meet Frankie Elkin, an everyday, average person who specializes in finding missing people. When the locals have given up, when the media has never bothered to care, Frankie takes on the challenge. Her latest mission has brought her to Mattapan, Boston, to find a missing Haitian teen. Eleven months later, Angelique Badeau's disappearance remains a mystery. What happened to the quiet, studious teen? Frankie learns quickly the dangers of asking too many questions, but that won't stop her from learning the truth behind what happened before she disappeared.

Lisa lives in the mountains of New Hampshire with two crazy pups and an ancient rescue dog. When not writing, Lisa loves to hike, play cribbage, and, of course, read!

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,283 reviews
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,068 reviews2,669 followers
November 15, 2022
Love You More (D.D. Warren #5) (Tessa Leoni #1) by Lisa Gardner (Author), Kirsten Potter (Reading), Katie MacNichol (Reading)

I've decided I don't like D.D. Warren. She gets the job done but she does it by aggressively accusing everyone of something and threatening to ruin them if they don't cough up the information she accuses them of having. I do think the very good narration of rapid firing questions and accusations at the person D.D. is interrogating really shows the intense pressure she puts people under. But in this story, as she is interrogating a young mother, holding her nine month old baby in her own living room, threatening to destroy the lives of the mother, her husband, and baby, I tipped over the edge to actively disliking Detective Sergeant D.D. Warren. Not that she would care what I think of her. 

Nevertheless, this was another fun buddy read with DeAnn. As usual, this series starts with blood and mystery and the mystery gets deeper with each chapter. A young state trooper has just shot and killed her husband and her six year old daughter is missing. The trooper has obviously been beaten so it looks like she killed her husband in self defense. But, of course, nothing is as it seems and this story just gets bloodier, gorier, and more gruesome. 

What I love about it is that for all of D.D.'s aggression and brute force interrogation, two of the women characters talk back to her, speak in circles to her, outsmart her, and just don't bow down to her. Ha ha, take that, D.D. Warren! Also, Warren knows that she is jealous of young pretty females as she's now past 40 and not only not getting younger but might be pregnant...something she never ever imagined happening to her. This is a very intense, fast paced story and the gruesomeness has D.D, trying to hide her morning sickness, while losing her cookies more than once. 

Published March 8th 2011
Profile Image for GirlWithThePinkSkiMask IS ON VACATION.
351 reviews1,049 followers
November 14, 2022
2.5 rounded up only because of the prose

One sentence review: Is it is police procedural or an action movie???


State Trooper Tessa Leoni confesses to shooting her husband in self-defense during a fight about her missing six-year-old daughter, Sophia. As DD and Detective Bobby Flay ... I mean Bobby Dodge race to find Sophia, they realize Tessa's math may not be mathulating.


*Puts down book. Takes off glasses.* Le fking SIGH. Maaaannn Lisa Gardner sure loves to play with me, but I keep coming back because that prose be TOP TIER for the police procedural genre (tbh most genres, debate ya mama).

Anyways, this started solid af. The case was juicy and something was definitely afoot. But then around 50% a twisty twist occurred and I was made a silent non-denominational prayer that this wouldn't go off the chizzy (chain). Folks, it went ALL THEE WAY off the chizzy. This went from a police procedural to some kind of John Wick/Jason Bourne mash up, which I am not down to clown with because this is a detective series!!! If this was some kind of spy and war book, okay, it's expected. But this felt like Gardner learned some new figgedty facts and wanted to include them in this book, whether it worked or not. Homegirl, your writing can carry a simple and straightforward storyline, you don't gotta do all this extra shit.

Before I get into some spoilies to extrapolate on the above, I have to say it again: I can't STAND DD. I still don't understand why she wakes up and chooses violence every day. There's no traumatic backstory that makes her a mega bish. She just is. And idc how many times Gardner tells us how hawt and seggsy and blonde she is, in my mind she will always be a brunette who wears polyester suits that are two sizes too big (no shade I'm always wearing baggy clothes). Anyways, if DD had a better, less petty personality (she literally admitted to not giving Tessa any slack because she was "pretty and vulnerable"... you're legit 40 DD), imagine how much quicker and easier she'd solve cases. Instead, DD sees a victim and is like WHY ARE YOU AND YOUR DEAD MAMA SUCH WHORES??? And then is shocked when she's stonewalled. Anyways....


Ok so I don't really have any rich homie qualms about the first 50%, it's when Tessa decides she's Jason Bourne's daughter I started getting annoyed af. So Tessa had 24 hours to get her affairs in order before she lied to the police, and suddenly she put together the master plan of all master plans?? She somehow organizes to withdraw money, move and freeze her husband's 220lbs body, learn and wire an explosive, dig up and re-bury a dog corpse that was being "stored" under the deck (wtf?) that was rigged with said explosives, somehow convince a childhood friend to help you get away (idc if Tessa took the fall for me back in the day, I have kids and a husband now. Blockt LOL), etc...?

And then that whole thing with her dad... frying the phone to get rid of the call (although wouldn't it show on the friend's phone as an incoming call with the cell #???) was soooo eye roll inducing. Your dad yeeted you out on your ass when you were 16, leaving you to the skreets, and 10 yrs later all is forgiven??? Umm again... BLOCKT.

All these shenanigans that Tessa put together in a cool 24 hours (while traumatized by her husband's sudden death) would take at least a good week. Ain't no way I'm watching a couple YouTube videos on how to make a bomb in 5 easy steps and then just going for it. Nah!!! She could've easily turned to the police and the jig would be up; the whole ting about her distrusting the police (even though her charges were dropped) really wasn't enough to make doing thee absolute most the only viable option.


Pros: the prose is *chefs kiss*, the first 50% was strong

Cons: second half crumbled like feta cheese, extremely contrived, "catching up with a friend" ending, DD annoys tf outta me like at least toss homegirl a lil childhood trauma to "justify" her stank ass attitude
Profile Image for Suz.
1,073 reviews547 followers
May 8, 2018
Well, well, well. Lucky this reader remembered about Detective D. D. Love this character. Love the new Tessa Leoni, too! The only bummer was I read this one book late, and mucked up the order, but no biggie. A 9 month time lapse to be precise!

The demure looking Lisa Gardner donned in twin set and jeans that we see on the back cover of her books, is a pretty version of a killer writer. What I mean is she looks so straight laced but what she delivers on the page is crazy kick-ass, for want of a better word.

I’m going to pepper in many quotes here, in the hopes that it might encourage some more readers to go and grab it. This is D. D, all over. ‘“Oh, fuck you,” D.D told him crossly. She straightened, more discomfited by praise than she was ever riled by criticism.’ Another perfect summation – ‘I couldn’t imagine Detective Warren ever tolerating domestic abuse. If a man hit her, I bet she’d hit back twice as hard. Or taser him in the balls.’ It’s true! ‘The good detective did have a way of cutting to the heart of the matter.’

As for the new character we’ve been reading about with terror in this book, a State Trooper by the name of Tessa Leonie – “Reprimand delivered, I gave in to the past ten minutes of terror, scooped her back into my arms, and held her tight. “Don’t scare Mommy like that,” I whispered against the top of her head. “Seriously, Sophie. I love you. I never want to lose you. You are my Sophie.”

I like this authors writing, she has a way of getting to you the way D. D has of getting to the heart of the matter in Boston. ‘When you buried your child, was it like imparting your greatest treasure into the sanctity of nature? Or was it like hiding your greatest sin, instinctively seeking out the darkest bowels of the forest to cover your crime?’

Also love the character of Bobby Dodge and their kiss. The crux of the matter here is, read this author, series – whether it be D. D. or Tessa Leoni. You’re on a winner.
Profile Image for  A. .
1,163 reviews4,112 followers
January 22, 2019
4.5 Stars

Before I say anything insightful and deep about this book, LOL, I have to say this:

This book has one of the strongest, baddassest and most kickass heroines in the entire fictional world.

And it felt plausible. Well, plausible for a fictional story.

And not only that. It’s also edge-of-the-seat good. I didn’t put my Kindle away until I reached the last page and that happens never.

The story is told in a very, very clever way and the reader is kept in the dark the whole time. I kept thinking, how in the hell would author untangle herself. She made me dislike the heroine and side with the villain. The more the story progressed, the more I questioned the heroine's guilt. And the less I knew.

But she did it. She made me inhale this book in one sitting and shelve the heroine as my favorite.

Good job, Lisa Gardner, good job!

Profile Image for Jean.
717 reviews20 followers
February 20, 2017
Sometimes the plot of a thriller just gets “curiouser and curiouser” until, well, until it all makes sense. Love You More, Lisa Gardner’s fifth D.D. Warren novel in which she also introduces Tessa Leoni as a strong protagonist, was one of those examples for me.

Tessa, a Massachusetts state trooper, is arrested for the murder of her husband Brian and is suspected of murdering her six-year-old daughter Sophie. Boston P.D. Sergeant D.D. Warren thinks she did it. Her former partner and lover, Bobby Dodge, now with the state police, is on the case providing a somewhat more balanced perspective. But even Sergeant Warren has to admit that there are things that don’t add up. The concussion and the bruises on Tessa’s face. The missing child. The fierce, protective love that Tessa Leoni has for her daughter, according to all who know her. Did she or didn’t she? The more I read from the police perspective, the more the evidence seemed stacked against Tessa. The case becomes more damning by the minute, it seems.

But wait! We have alternating chapters in first person narrative giving us Tessa’s story. What really happened? I found myself referring to the prologue four, five, maybe six times, reading the words, trying to read between the lines. Something was decidedly, deliberately – off.

I love Lisa Gardner’s writing. Love You More is especially satisfying because the tension builds and builds, like the snow piling up in a Nor’easter. Not only that, but Ms. Gardner has finally made D.D. vulnerable. Sure, she’s still got that Boston attitude. She’s curt and cranky. Turns out, she has good reason – no, I’m not tellin’! She does, however, have a good heart, especially when it comes to having empathy for the victim, and she tries her mightiest to find little Sophie, dead or alive. Bobby – he’s cool, calm, and supportive. Seems that marriage and fatherhood have been good for him.

But it’s Tessa Leoni who really takes center stage in this one. As a single mother, she showed a lot of mettle in overcoming a difficult past and managing to get through the trooper-training program. She met her husband through another trooper, and they seemed to have a happy family. He adored Sophie and Tessa, a perfect husband, except… then one day, he is dead. Murdered on his kitchen floor. Tessa, who knows the law, police procedures, and the way criminals act and think, is one tough cookie. She’s smart as a whip. At times, Tessa reminded me of Lena Adams in Karin Slaughter’s Grant County Series, but only because when she was really in the thick of things, she started thinking in terms of “Good Tessa, Bad Tessa.” What separates her, though is that her very best asset is her love for her daughter. “Love you more.”

Teeming with questions and rife with twists and turns, Love You More is hard to put down. This is an easy five-star rating for me!
Profile Image for Joseph Finder.
Author 78 books2,240 followers
May 27, 2011
One of the best books I've read this year. This was my Amazon review:

I've been a fan of Lisa's D.D. Warren series for some time, but she's truly outdone herself with this one. It grabs you on the first page and keeps you guessing until the final chapter, moving effortlessly between first person and third person narration, weaving an extraordinary amount of research into nonstop action.

Love You More starts with a crime we think we understand. Massachusetts State Trooper Tessa Leoni's husband Brian is dead in their kitchen, and Trooper Leoni has been beaten almost to death. It looks to everyone like a case of a battered wife defending herself at last. But Leoni's six-year-old daughter, Sophie, is missing, and the trooper's story is full of holes--holes that become even wider and more curious as Boston Police Detective Sergeant D.D. Warren and her old lover, friend and former partner Bobby Dodge investigate.

Warren is dealing with issues of her own, as her relationship with Alex (who never appears in person in this installment) reaches a major turning point, one with implications for Warren's investigation and beyond. (I'm not going to give away what that is. You'll have to read it to find out for yourself.) The nature and power of Trooper Leoni's attachment to her daughter are central to this story: just how much does Leoni love her daughter, and to what lengths will she go to protect her? Is it possible that a mother so devoted could kill her own child?

As Warren and Dodge follow the trail of clues, they uncover secrets at every turn: a terrible crime in Leoni's adolescence, a shameful secret of her husband's, and unimaginable betrayal among comrades and friends. Stakes escalate to a climax that is shocking, sad and deeply satisfying.

Love You More stands out in the crowded field of thrillers not only because it's a terrific book, but because it features two compelling and believable female protagonists. Trooper Leoni tells us her own story in the first person, alternating with the third-person narrative of Warren's investigation. Leoni's motives emerge over the course of the book, but her passion and conviction draw us in even before we know whether she's guilty or innocent. We cannot argue with her absolute drive, even as we root for Warren and Dodge to make sure justice is done. It's a remarkable juggling act that requires rare talent, and readers will be anxious for the next installment in D.D. Warren's adventures.

I've noticed that a lot of guys have some kind of prejudice against thrillers written by women. Take my word for it: Lisa Gardner has the suspense chops to compete with Harlan Coben, Lee Child, and Michael Connelly. Anyone who's already read Tess Gerritsen, Karin Slaughter, Sandra Brown, or Mary Higgins Clark knows that some of the most gripping thrillers around are written by women.
Profile Image for Deanna .
655 reviews12.4k followers
August 1, 2015
I read this book a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Over the years I have read quite a few of Lisa Gardner's books. Even though I haven't read all of the books in this series I still found it to be a very good read on it's own. It grabbed me right off from the first page and I was kept guessing until the very end. I had a hard time putting it down.

Trooper Tessa Leoni's husband Brian is dead and she herself has been beaten and is covered in bruises. It looks like a clear cut case of a battered wife defending herself in self defense...but is it? On top of it Leoni's six-year-old daughter, Sophie is no where to be found. Leoni's story doesn't make complete sense to Boston PD Sergeant D.D Warren and Bobby Dodge as they start their investigation. Did Tessa kill her daughter Sophie as well? Did she intentionally kill Brian? Is someone else responsible for the crime and Sophie's disappearance? I was consumed with wanting to know what happened to both of them.

This is a very well written, fast-paced and intense novel of suspense which is told from the view of both women. Although I tried my best I just couldn't predict what the end was going to be and was definitely surprised by the unexpected twists and turns.

A suspenseful story that keeps you reading and guessing until the very last page.
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,183 reviews892 followers
March 11, 2020
It’s the worst kind of call for law enforcement to receive. It comes from one of their own, a Massachusetts state trooper who’s been involved in a shooting in her own home and her six-year old daughter is missing. Trooper Tessa Leone sits battered on her kitchen floor with her husband lying dead nearby, killed by bullets that came from her gun. Massachusetts State Detective Bobby Dodge immediately contacts Boston Detective Sergeant D. D. Warren when he arrives on scene. The more they investigate, the more facts just don’t seem to add up properly.

This story is told from two points of view, Tessa’s and D. D.’s, and they couldn’t be more disparate in perspective, even though the makeup of these two women couldn’t be more similar. They’re both in positions dominated by men and mentally tough. Both are also good at what they do. Some of the best and worst moments are when these two square off. We can see their truths from the sidelines but neither trust each other to even come close to seeing what we see.

It took a while for Tessa’s story to unravel and get the truth behind the outcome of what happened at her house, how her husband ended up dead and her daughter just gone. The tension created by Sophie’s disappearance was always in the background throughout the story. And, it didn’t help that D. D. Warren’s judgment was often clouded by her own baggage, playing hardball when she could have been more effective by getting out of her own way. It’s always two steps forward and three backward for her professionally and personally.

The two narrators delivered outstanding performances. Kirsten Potter is now permanently in my head as the voice of D. D. Warren. I’m glad multiple narrators were used as it really helped distinguish tricky transitions. I’m also grateful I opted to listen to this series as the story was impossible to put down. I absolutely had to know if Sophie was alive and what happened in that kitchen. The ending delivered on the promise of the beginning and this ranks as my favorite to date, even though I’m even more frustrated by Warren.

Posted on Blue Mood Café
Profile Image for Sue.
1,320 reviews5 followers
June 15, 2011
"Love You More" by Lisa Gardner was an amazing novel.What will a mother do to protect her daughter.I couldn't put this book down.It is a mystery about a mother, Tess, charged with murdering her husband and possibly her 6-yr-old daughter, Sophie, as well. The Boston police arrest Tess, a state trooper who doesn’t have much faith in cops because of her past experience. Tess lies to the police and devises a plan to find her daughter’s kidnapper on her own and rescue her daughter against all odds no matter what. She had to outfox the police and the bad guys. Her plan is genius! “Love You More” shows there is good and bad in everyone. It’s about betrayal, friendship, crime investigation, murder, gambling, love, and sacrifice.I felt such compassion for what Tess went through and had to endure...to save her child.This novel is a must read for anyone that enjoys reading suspense-thriller-mystery novels.
Profile Image for Maria Clara.
976 reviews491 followers
October 12, 2017
Sé que no soy muy justa con esta puntuación, pero creo que hubiera podido ser sólo la historia de Tessa y no hubiera pasado nada. Aún así, la trama me gustó mucho, así como la estructurada de la novela.
Profile Image for Ana Olga.
203 reviews185 followers
February 19, 2021
3.5 En realidad, Si bien se nota que no es una escritora consumada, su novela es muy entretenida.
Tiene buen ritmo, y un par de plot twist muy buenos, me mantuvo pegada al libro y muy entretenida.
Hubo un apagón de más de 24 horas por Nevada y creo que fue un muy buen compañero.
Hollywoodesca, un tanto inverosímil y palomera, pero si la disfruté no se puede negar.
Profile Image for Rodrigo.
1,007 reviews384 followers
March 24, 2023
Me ha tenido enganchado un montón.
Me ha parecido brillante la historia que teje la autora.
Las 2 protagonistas me han parecido fascinantes cada una en su papel tanto la D. D. Warren, muy metódica y a veces con muy mala baba pero muy profesional que no se deja engañar o eso cree ella y por otro lado Tessa, mas brillante si cabe este personaje todo su sufrimiento, pasando por distintas etapas incluso de victima a villana.
Genial todo un descubrimiento esta autora, a mis favoritos que va y por supuesto seguiré con la serie.
Si es cierto que el final es un poco de película pero eso no desmerece el 98% del resto del libro que es magnífico, te va llevando por donde quiere la autora y los giros casi todos muy buenos.
Valoración: 9/10
Sinopsis: Una pregunta, una decisión rápida y Brian Darby yace muerto en el suelo de la cocina. Su mujer, Tessa Leoni, agente de la policía estatal, declara haberlo matado en defensa propia y tiene heridas que lo confirman. Para la veterana detective D.D. Warren debería ser un caso fácil, pero ¿dónde está la hija de seis años?
Mientras la investigación entra en una búsqueda frenética de la niña desaparecida, la detective Warren ha de compartir caso con su antiguo novio, Bobby Dodge, para conseguir desentrañar los entresijos del cuerpo de policía estatal de Boston y de paso desenterrar algunos secretos familiares. ¿De verdad dispararía una agente bien entrenada a su propio marido? ¿Haría daño una madre a su propia hija?
Pero para Tessa Leoni lo peor no ha llegado aún. Sin vuelta atrás. Sin nadie en quien confiar. Tiene un único objetivo y usará toda su energía y sus conocimientos para hacer lo que ha de hacer. Ningún sacrificio es demasiado grande, nada es inconcebible. Una madre sabe a quién ama. Y todos los demás van a pagar.
# 15. Un libro con la letra de una canción como título. Reto Popsugar 2023
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Paul Weiss.
1,204 reviews145 followers
October 31, 2022
“DD wasn’t working a missing persons case; she was leading a murder investigation to recover a child’s body”

State trooper, Tessa Leoni, is found standing over the body of her husband, recently dispatched at close range with a textbook group of three closely bunched shots to mid-torso. She claims self-defense and her bruises certainly show that somebody has made a concerted attempt to pulverize her face and break a few bones in the bargain. But, with one parent dead and the other claiming self-defense and sporting a concussion and a debilitating set of cuts, bruises and near fractures, where is their six year old daughter? Has she been kidnapped or murdered? How? Why? By whom?

LOVE YOU MORE is an engrossing suspense thriller told in alternating chapters with a unique pairing of narrative styles. The first is a typical third person recent past tense narration which focuses on DD Warren and her investigation of Leoni’s husband’s murder and the “kidnapping” which she rapidly comes to believe is a search for the child’s body. The second is an innovative first person present tense narrative from Tessa Leoni’s point of view. Given the circumstances, the reader is left to puzzle with the obvious questions – despite her position as a state trooper, is Tessa Leoni a clever, ruthless murderer and, of course, an unreliable narrator; perhaps she’s a truth-teller AND a killer with mitigating self-defense circumstances; or perhaps she’s something entirely different?

Lisa Gardner uses these alternating styles to unfold a gripping tale that covers an awesome amount of ground - violence, domestic abuse, embezzlement and fraud, police corruption, alcoholism and gambling addiction, pregnancy, police partner relationships, love and marriage, crime scene analysis, police task force procedures, police cadet training, and much more. Despite all that, a complex story manages to remain crystal clear as it unfolds and surprisingly linear with very few distracting left turns and red herrings.

Well done, Lisa Gardner. Definitely recommended.

Paul Weiss
10 reviews
June 14, 2011
Just started and so far it's a struggle. Very poorly edited, I keep highlighting mistakes and it's very distracting.

I am two thirds done and I have no idea why this books is so popular. A page turner? Hardly, I can't read more than a few pages at a time. The characters? Nobody seems to be particularly likeable and I find D.D. Warren so irritating I am actually hoping she fails miserably in her investigation. As for the story, very complicated in a very silly way. I am trying hard to finish it but I am not sure I will succeed.

Finally done and I will not pick another book by Lisa Gardner any time soon. Convoluted and boring and carelessly written. Stay away from this one!
Profile Image for Bube.
285 reviews17 followers
August 26, 2016
What a book!
Its been 6 hours after I read the book and I still can't calm down all those emotions that has be triggered by this book.This is a book that tells a story about the great love of a mother to her child and how she manages to do everything in her power to save her child.As you read the book, you can't remain indifferent to all those emotions in the heart of Tessa and Sophie, in the last 35 pages I could not calm down the emotions and the tears just couldn't stop, I know, it's just a book,fiction, but people, this is one of the most powerful book I have read! Recommendation for all!

Ивана ти благодарам за преводот на оваа книга,Сакам Книги најдобри сте! :)
Profile Image for Gabyal.
461 reviews7 followers
March 25, 2023
Muy buen thriller!! me dejó un buen sabor de boca... me mantuvo enganchada totalmente.
¿A quién quieres más? una pregunta que nos hace tomar decisiones y nos lleva por un cúmulo de acontecimientos que me dejaron con la boca abierta más de una vez. Nos presenta una trama llena de secretos y mentiras que hacen que sea tan adictiva y a pesar de ello las cosas se van esclareciendo; eso si no deja ni un cabo suelto para mi gusto, que bárbaro! La autora cuidó los detalles y la investigación que tuvo que hacer para escribir su libro fue minuciosa, eso me gustó
Los personajes mujeres fueron mis preferidos... Con Tessa tuve una relación amor-odio. Tanto Tessa como D.D son mujeres de carácter fuerte, decididas y hacen lo que tienen que hacer para lograr conseguir lo que se proponen
El final... medio peliculero, pero no por eso deja de ser un muy, pero muy buen libro, seguiré con el resto de la trilogía para ver como evoluciona Tessa y D.D
4.5 / 5 estrellas
Profile Image for Jim.
551 reviews83 followers
September 24, 2017
"... there really were multiple layers of Hell, and no matter how deep you'd thought you'd fallen, there was still someplace deeper and darker to go."

Tessa Leoni is a Massachusetts State Trooper. She has been beaten almost to death. Her husband, Brian, is dead in their kitchen. At first glance it would appear to be another tragic case of a battered wife defending herself. But their six year old daughter, Sophie, is missing. And Tessa's story is full of holes and inconsistencies. Holes and inconsistencies that become wider and more inconsistent as Boston Police Detective Sergeant D.D. Warren and her former lover Bobby Dodge investigate. And D.D. is dealing with a major personal issue that is impacted by this case.

The story alternates between first and third person narration. In one chapter Tessa is telling her story. In the next chapter D.D. and Bobby are investigating what happened and trying to find Sophie. The alternate first and third person narration is seamless and keeps you guessing until the very end.

Tessa has not had an easy life. But she is tough, smart, and resourceful. Readers of other books in the D.D. Warren series know that these same qualities describe D.D. Warren. If Brian was a wife beater then he probably got what he deserved. But what happened to Sophie? If Tessa murdered Brian and made it looked like she had been the victim of abuse then D.D. is going to make sure Tessa doesn't get away with it. But what happened to Sophie?

As the story progresses we, along with D.D. and Bobby, slowly learn the truth. Tessa's motives, passion and conviction draw us in even before we know whether she's guilty or innocent. At the same time you are rooting for D.D. and Bobby to see that justice is done and Sophie is brought home. Safely.

At the end you are left wondering whether you should read the next book in the D.D. Warren series or Tessa Leoni?

Profile Image for Georg.
Author 1 book39 followers
May 5, 2012
What would you think about the following line in a modern novel:

“Every man has a moment in his life when he realizes he genuinely loves a woman, and she’s just not worth it.”

Right: What an arrogant asshole! You would at once throw the book where it belongs – into the waste-bin.

But I misquoted. You find the correct quote on page 256 and it reads like that:

“Every woman has a moment in her life when she realizes she genuinely loves a guy, and he’s just not worth it.”

On then Amazon-ebook it’s the phrase with the most highlights (which means “likes” in Facebook-English)

The other most appreciated pearls of wisdom are the following ones:

“But I kept moving, because like any woman, I was good at self-inflicted pain.”

“This was the pattern of my life: to love men who didn’t deserve me, and, knowing that, to yearn for their love anyway.”

If you are
- single mother
- police officer
- full of self-pity
- self-righteous
- entirely humorless
this book will give you consolation and the affirmation that you have always done everything perfectly.

If you're not: read another book, no matter which one.

Profile Image for Dana Griffin.
Author 6 books18 followers
June 23, 2012
Oh. My. God. Before you begin this book, clear your schedule, send your children off, and prepare to go without sleep. Once you're halfway through this book, you won't be able to stop reading. I'd give this book ten, or one hundred star rating if I could.

Note to any would be assassins, or child abductors: don't murder the husband or abduct the child of a Massachuetts State Police officer, or suffer the consequences. This is the premise of this book.

Ms. Gardner always comes up with interesting plots and characters, but this time, she really out did herself. The protagonist in this book, Detective D. D. Warren, goes through a life changing event that alters how she looks at the antogonist in this story. This dilemma Detective Warren is facing makes for an interesting point of view that adds a depth to this book a male narrator wouldn't have.

This is the fourth book of Lisa Gardner's I've read, and probably the best one so far. If I wasn't already a fan of her work, I would be now.
Profile Image for DeAnn.
1,297 reviews
April 12, 2021
4.25 Stumped Stars

Lisa Gardner starts this book with a murder and a missing child and doles out the details in small chunks. There are alternating narrators and each chapter gives us more insight. I was totally on the wrong track thanks to her clever writing!

Detective Sergeant D.D. Warren with the Boston Police Department is brought into the case because the murder was committed by the victim's wife Tessa, a state police trooper. Tessa is beaten up so it looks like a simple case of self-defense, but what about her missing daughter?

One of my favorite parts of this book is that D.D. is reunited with Bobby Dodge who readers first met in book #1 "Alone". The two of them work well together and Bobby is a steady influence for D.D. What secrets are the state troopers keeping in this case and can D.D. and Bobby get to the bottom of them and find the missing 6-year-old?

Tessa is an interesting new character and I see that there are 2 more books featuring her, more to add to my list!

I did enjoy this one although it bordered on over the top. Part of why I read though is to escape into another world, and I certainly did that with this one! Once I had all the pieces in the puzzle, it made sense and I always appreciate that.

This was #5 in the series and I've got a few more to read. This has been a fun monthly buddy read with Marilyn and has created some great discussions for us. A funny story is that since these are older books, I've been getting them from the library. I actually bought this one at some point (years ago) and only recently discovered it on my bookcase! I was in the process of getting this one from the library and remembered that I own it!! I would never admit that I have too many books to keep track of . . .
Profile Image for MA®IBEL.
303 reviews77 followers
June 5, 2017
[Entre 3 - 3,5]
Está francamente bien narrado, pero le sobran páginas. Me ha faltado más acción y sobretodo el factor sorpresa. Me quedo, sin duda, con la recta final de la historia y con Tessa Leoni: una mujer fuerte, decidida y de armas tomar.
Profile Image for Howard.
1,121 reviews67 followers
October 9, 2021
2.5 Stars for Love You More: Tessa Leoni #1 (audiobook) by Lisa Gardner read by Kristen Potter.

The way this story was told didn’t work for me. I found the unreliable narrator annoying. I think that trope was a bad choice for this book. And the author need to learn more about firearms and terminology used with them. Her repeated mistakes kept pulling me out of the story.
Profile Image for La-Lionne.
482 reviews776 followers
September 7, 2014
3.5 stars

This was a surprisingly enjoyable read. I was in a mood for something mysterious and twisted, and got exactly that.

When I read Touch and Go, I didn't realized that that book was the second in the series. When I bought It last year on Amazon, no where, at that time, was it mentioned that it was part of the series. It read like a stand alone. I only realized that when I came across this book. Weird. This book is actually the fifth in D.D. Warren series, and some sort of spin off of the new series.

The book is well written, had a decent pace and incredible amount of research on the subject matter.
I did found it over described at times, especially the first half of the book. It felt like the author kept getting lost in countless descriptions of the smallest things.
Details of heroine being incorserated would have been much more interesting for someone who's reading a thriller for the first time. For me personally, all the procedures were boring because they were too detailed, even for a thriller.
It was a lot of general job discriptions rather than the descriptions of the person's job in this particular case. I remember the second book being much better by not having all that.

The story did unravel nicely at the end, with couple really nice twists along the way, but constant speculations and new theories were annoying. Especially when I realized how far off they were. Once I understood how everything went down, the endless speculations became meaningless, and pretty quickly boring.

I liked overall story. However, I did had an issue with the very last bit of the book. It was a case of massive proportions, with a lot of people involved. When the police discovered the details, it turned out that they barely scratched the surface. If I hadn't read the second book already, I would've thought that there will be a continuation. But I did and it's not. The story ended with the case barely investigated, and was pretty much dismissed at the end. Is that some sort of open ending? I don't know.

I'm still a fan of Gardner's though. She writes mean twists and her stories are never predictable.
Profile Image for Robin.
1,684 reviews60 followers
March 4, 2022
Massachusetts State Police Trooper Tessa Leoni is found sitting in her kitchen beside the body of her husband, Brian Darby. Brian has three bullets in him, all fired from Tessa's gun. Tessa was fund badly beaten, so it looks like a case of self-defense. Boston homicide detective D.D. Warren knows there is more to the story than what she sees. Tessa's six-year-old daughter, Sophie, is missing. No one seems to know where she is. D.D. partners with Detective Bobby Dodge to search for the missing child; and find out what really happened in Tessa's kitchen.

This story is told from the two points-of-view, Tessa in the first person and D.D. in the third person. We are fed small pieces of information at a time. I sometimes felt lost in the story, wandering what was going on. I was halfway through the book before I started to understand what had happened in Tessa's kitchen. At that point I didn't want to put the book down.

This was a good story with lots of twists and turns. It's the fifth book in the D.D. Warren series. I still feel like I don't know much about D.D. She seems like a vague figure in her own series. At least the plot of the book was excellent and will make me continue to read more of the series. My rating: 4.5 Stars.
Profile Image for Wench.
620 reviews43 followers
January 20, 2014
First off, the TWs: kidnapping, murder, plenty of gun and knife violence, pregnancy, intimate partner violence


I live in Boston, okay? Where these books are ostensibly set. And so far, they've been pretty okay on the details. Well, the first couple were, and they've been deteriorating. And then we get to THIS book.


And it's the kind of shit that would take literally ninety seconds of internetting. A hospital IN BOSTON with a Wal-Mart a few blocks away? No Wal-Marts within city limits; closest is about a half-hour drive from the city. Getting the name of a major, well-known museum wrong. Getting a description of a neighborhood's demographics right, but descriptions of the housing stock all wrong. I mean, a single-family RANCH in BOSTON is ludicrous, except MAYBE in like West Roxbury. Sure aren't any in Allston or Brighton. Also anyone who lives there lives in EITHER Allston OR Brighton, not "Allston-Brighton", PS. And somehow the neighborhood is ALLLL triple-deckers except MAGICALLY for these two staties' houses. Riiiight. (Nope: it's a mix of large apartment buildings, a lot of two-families, a lot of big old single-families converted to multi-families, and maybe some single-families in a few areas. There are a few streets of triple-deckers! But not ranch-style, lots generally aren't big enough. GOOGLE STREET VIEW IS YOUR FRIEND.) And a "sprawling" elementary school, OH IT IS TO LAUGH. And one of the core suburbs described as "rural". OH please. And somehow only Harvard, MA, has farms and fields and shit (nope). Give me a freaking break. Sure, Harvard (the town) is out there, past 128, so sure. But uh there's a big old farm right in freaking Lexington.

Then there's all the improbabilities about the State Police! Again, ninety seconds of internetting could have told you that the Framingham barracks doesn't patrol the Mass Pike, there's a troop specifically assigned to the Pike. So Framingham might help out once in a while, but that's not their regular spot, if I am reading the State Police's website correctly. And somehow she lives in Boston but isn't assigned to any of the troops or barracks in town. Right. Okay fine, she's only four years in, I get it. But her trainer, in for much longer, who also miraculously has a huge fucking yard in the city, is also assigned out of Framingham? And their patrols start as soon as they get in the car, even though their barracks isn't assigned here?

Then we get to the mystery. And the victim/potential perp. WHAT. WHAT. WHAT. I can't even with you.

Then we get to our overarching character, who SPOILER gets pregnant. Fine, I can buy that, even though you're on the far side of 40. But you've consistently never wanted kids, and suddenly as soon as you have a positive pregnancy test OH YES I WILL BE A MOM. Uh. And conveniently, reading the teaser for the next book, it appears that all of the awesome character development we could have seen during the pregnancy is just skipped over and she's got a kid now HEY ISN'T THAT GREAT. What the fuck. We don't even see the reaction of the man involved in the pregnancy. We get no development to their relationship, we're just told that they are still together and hey yeah they each have a drawer at each other's houses so that's nice. But nothing deeper than that. We're just told this is how it is, and are supposed to accept that, with no view or explanation as to WHY.

Just... this was so poorly edited. And researched. And frankly, improbable. And I still find D.D. Warren an abrasive, two-dimensional asshole. And even though this is a library book I wish I could get my money back.
Profile Image for Freda Malone.
378 reviews59 followers
June 11, 2015
Don't be shocked but this is my first Lisa Gardner read and I loved it.

Tessa, the protagonist, a law enforcement officer and mother of Sophie, has shot and killed her husband after a brutal beating. Little Sophie is gone and nowhere to be found. Tessa is arrested after several clues have shown that she is lying about the details. It is up to Tessa, the mama bear, to strategically escape the confines of her closely guarded hospital room and find her little girl.

A brilliant start to a series. I don't think I've come across a book that had me so awed. This mama bear knew what she was doing and I was riveted through every chapter. Piss off a mama bear enough and prepare to be mauled, chewed and spit out, dead, but it is a race against time for Tessa. She must find Sophie before her time is up. She must stay a step ahead of her fellow law enforcement officers who have clearly turned their backs on her.

An edge of your seat page turner for sure.
Profile Image for Tonya.
122 reviews42 followers
December 10, 2018
OMG I would have never guessed the ending. I loved the way Lisa Gardner keeps you guessing to the very end. I will be reading every book she puts out. Especially if they all keep you guessing like this one.
Profile Image for Mark.
1,302 reviews54 followers
July 12, 2014
There are many reasons for reading a book and perhaps one of the more shameful reasons is to really fancy the writer because of the picture of her. I did buy her novel mainly for that reason and remembering that her name came up in a few recommendations.

Love you more is the story of two women Gardners' D.D. Warren & state police trooper Tessa Leonie. With both their voices the book is written.
D.D. Warren being one of the main characters of Gardners oeuvre, and Tessa Leonie being the "victim" of the tale. Even in the beginning of the book you as a reader will find that the story being told does not add up and it seems to take DD Warren some time to come to the same conclusion. The detectives pregnancy added nothing for me (being a 1st time reader of Mrs Gardner that is) and sure did not add any depth to the tale of two mothers (one to be). However Gardner does know how to tell a tale and indeed after I had managed to read the first half of the book the 2nd half was hard to tear away from.
No really big surprises but a very well written thriller with a satisfying ending. I will most certainly visit Lisa Gardner's writings again and this time for more reasons than just a pretty face.
Profile Image for Heather.
214 reviews62 followers
November 3, 2019
Tessa is a bad ass Momma that people should not mess with, and I loved everything about this book!! This instalment in the series does not disappoint. Detective D.D grew on me a bit more and I still can’t get enough of Bobby! This one centres around a parent’s love for their child and explores the lengths that we will go to protect them. I highly recommend both this book and the series!
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