Advanced Reading Copy
To Be Published: September 17th, 2013, Montlake Romance
My rating: 4.5 of 5 ⭐
It's been sixteen years since single mother, Brooke Davenport, discovered the murdered body of her roommate, but when she hears a woman's screams after leaving the self defense class she teaches, every emotion comes rushing back. Including anger, which propels her to run into the woodlot and interrupt the vicious attack on a young woman, but despite her efforts, the attacker gets away.
Luke Holloway, still recovering after being injured in a terrorist bombing that took the life of his assistant, is asked by his best friend to keep an eye on his sister Brooke while he is deployed overseas. Though seriously doubting his ability to be responsible for anybody's safety, Luke cannot refuse his friend. It doesn't make it any easier that he has had a quiet crush on her since they were young.
When the media start dogging Brooke's every move and reporting details of her personal life as part of their 'rescue' story, it doesn't take long for her and Luke, as well as the police to become concerned that the attacker might not only consider the injured girl 'unfinished business', but Brooke as well. And after a clear message is delivered that he is out there, and not done yet, protection shifts into high gear and Luke decides to camp out on Brooke's sofa.
Being in such close quarters is not only tempting for Luke, but Brooke is battling her growing desire for Luke. Of course as long as her children are around that is not so hard to do, but when a second victim is found, but this time murdered, the kids are shipped off to their father and Brooke and Luke are left on their own, resistance becomes impossible. So while the two of them are conducting their own investigation trying to connect the two attacks and discovering some chilling facts, the interaction between them starts heating up.
I love a good thriller, when you don't have a clue until the very end who the perpetrator might be. Oh, you might throw out a few guesses, and cook up some scenarios of your own, but you never would have come up with the end result. Totally gratifying when every little piece fits a slot, and there are no loose ends dangling. This is one of those books!! Completely gratifying read!!!
Both main characters have sustained quite a bit of emotional damage at an earlier time in life, which in part, causes them to respond to their current situation a certain way. During the course of the story however, some of that emotional damage is processed, making this 'event' a type of catalyst for their growth and mental health. Kind of ironic, when you think about it, since involvement in something like this would create its own trauma perhaps.
Love the contrast between Luke and Brooke. Luke almost tightly controlled, borderline OCD I would venture......a place for everything and everything in its place. And then there is Brooke, with two typical teenagers, an old loveable, but undisciplined dog and a house that is 'lived in', to put it mildly. On top of that, Luke has no real roots, opting instead to move from one overseas assignment to another, whie Brooke's roots run about as deep as they can. At first glance, not exactly a match made in heaven......or is it??
Fantastic writing by Melinda Leigh, which I kind of counted on to be honest. I've read a few of her books before. Not only can she grab a hold of you in the first chapter, she can make you flip through the pages as if your life depends on finding out what happens next!! A master in building tension, both menacing and romantic. Although her books will always lean a tad more to the suspense side in my opinion, there is always enough 'love' to satisfy even the direst of romantics.
✨A taunting, fierce and passionate page-turner!!✨
**ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Montlake Romance in return for an honest review.**