Love You More by Lisa Gardner

Tessa Leoni is happy with her life.  Having raised her daughter Sophie as a single parent for the early years of her life, Tessa loves nothing more.  To better herself and give Sophie a good life, Tessa works as a state trooper.  The hours are not the best, but the money is good, and the benefits give both Tessa and Sophie security in their future. 

When Tessa is introduced to Brian Darby by a fellow officer, Tessa proceeds cautiously into a relationship.  She realizes soon enough that Brian loves Sophie as his own daughter and soon after Tessa and Brian are married and start a happy life together.

Yet why is it that Detective Bobby Dodge of the Massachusetts State Police Department, is now standing in Tessa Leoni’s home looking at a very battered and bloody Tessa, Brian’s dead body on the floor, and six-year-old Sophie nowhere to be found?  Tessa is taken to the hospital – but Tessa is not talking.

What has happened?  Was there a lovers quarrel?  Was Tessa an abused wife?  Was Brian killed in self-defense or cold-blooded murder?  And most importantly of all, where was Sophie?


Bobby Dodge looks at her partner D.D. Warren with a look of resignation.  It is going to be a long, long day.


I read Lisa Gardner a bazillion years ago when I read The Survivors Club (way…. pre blogging).  I loved it, loved the strong female characters, the story line, the quick never dull pace.  Which leaves me sitting here now in the after math of Love You More wondering what took me so long to get back to reading this author.

From my first reading of Lisa Gardner to this now recent one, I find nothing has changed.  Lisa still knows how to write a fast paced twisting and turning novel that leaves you out of breath with every turn of the page.

Just when I thought I had it all figured out, I turn the page and discover that can’t be right, and off we go again in a completely different direction.  I feel like I am on the Tilt a Whirl at the fair, you are rapidly going one way – spinning, spinning, and then you stop and do an about-face and go just as fast int he other direction.

For the record – I can not do the Tilt A Whirl anymore, makes me sick – however I absolutely plan to read more of Lisa Gardner! 


Tessa Leoni is just the kind of character I enjoy.  She is strong-willed, tough, and is a quick thinker.  Love You More is told in some parts from the perspective of Detective D D Warren, and at other times from the point of Tessa.  This makes for an exciting read as D D tries to figure out what sort of person Tessa is – a  loving mother, or a heartless monster…. all the while I was also getting Tessa thoughts too, which lead for an exciting – EXCITING story line!

It wasn’t until the end of this read that I discovered that this is actually book 5 of the DD Warren Detective series, but readers, do not moan, as I did not notice this was a series and am willing to believe that each of the books while having familiar characters are written as stand alone reads.  Of course, now I want to read more about these characters…..  😉

Towards the end a couple of the “happenings” felt a bit too much to me and I admit being a bit disappointed as I was thinking the book was so fantastic.  Then… as I thought about it, I wondered if it really was over the top.  How far does a mothers love extend?  What extremes would I myself go to so my child was safe?

Over the top or not, Love You More is a book (audio) that I recommend highly to those of you who love a good thriller…. you will not be disappointed. 


Amazon Rating

Good Reads Review

The 2011 WHERE Are You Reading map has been updated to include Love You More

I listened to this on the audio I purchased through


23 thoughts on “Love You More by Lisa Gardner

  1. I enjoyed this one, too. I was asked to read book 4 (Live to Tell) last year for a book tour and knew it was part of a series but didn’t have time to read the first three books. Then I was sent book 5 for a tour a few months ago and I finally decided I had to go back and read the first three books before any more came out. I just finished book 1 (my review will go up tomorrow) and I’m hoping to get to books 2 and 3 this summer.

  2. I have read several of the D. D. Warren books, but missed Live to Tell. But you’re right, it’s okay to read them out of order. Gardner does a good job of filling the reader in on the character without unnecessary repetition.

    I loved “Love You More” too!

    1. I never felt during the read that I was missing anything. I thought Bobby and D D were new characters, I had no idea that they had been crime solving together for four other books. 😀

  3. I loooooooooooved this book. I agree, I always forget how awesome LIsa Gardner is. Know what’s great about her? She writes a series but she doesn’t try to pump out 2-3 books a year, thus reducing the quality of her writing. She makes you wait and it’s sooooo worth it.

  4. I love Lisa Gardners books (although I have only read a few of them). This book has only just come out in the UK (this week) so I will be looking out for a copy. I love edge-of-your-seet books 🙂

  5. I read pretty much all of Gardner’s books (including this one) and think her earlier stuff with Rainey and Quincy are much much better than the DD Warrne books (I think DD is not developed enough). But still, Gardner does know how to write a fast-paced thriller.The DD Warren book before this one is pretty good though.

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