Jayne Ann Krentz
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Date of Publication: January 7, 2014
Number of pages: 432
It’s been thirteen years since Lucy Sheridan was in Summer River. The last time she visited her aunt Sara there, as a teenager, she’d been sent home suddenly after being dragged out of a wild party—by the guy she had a crush on, just to make it more embarrassing. Obviously Mason Fletcher—only a few years older but somehow a lot more of a grown-up—was the overprotective type who thought he had to come to her rescue.
Now, returning after her aunt’s fatal car accident, Lucy is learning there was more to the story than she realized at the time. Mason had saved her from a very nasty crime that night—and soon afterward, Tristan, the cold-blooded rich kid who’d targeted her, disappeared mysteriously, his body never found.
A lot has changed in thirteen years. Lucy now works for a private investigation firm as a forensic genealogist, while Mason has quit the police force to run a successful security firm with his brother—though he still knows his way around a wrench when he fills in at his uncle’s local hardware store. Even Summer River has changed, from a sleepy farm town into a trendy upscale spot in California’s wine country. But Mason is still a protector at heart, a serious (and seriously attractive) man. And when he and Lucy make a shocking discovery inside Sara’s house, and some of Tristan’s old friends start acting suspicious, Mason’s quietly fierce instincts kick into gear. He saved Lucy once, and he’ll save her again. But this time, she insists on playing a role in her own rescue . . .
I didn't discover Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle/Amanda Quick until just a few years ago. My sister had been reading her for years and finally persuaded me to give one of the Arcane Society books a try. Of course, I fell in intense like with the series and "libraried" my way through them quickly. When I ran out of those, I started looking at some of the earlier stand alones and smaller series she had written. I adored the Lost Colony books, but found some of the earlier contemporary stuff a bit dated. (That's the problem with contemporaries, 20 years later, and they're not so contemporary anymore.) But in the end, I found a prolific author I could trust for a good read. This book continues that good read tradition.
This book was an impressive mix of murder mystery and romance. Our two main characters have both returned to the small town where they last intersected. A town where it seems that though everyone is older and wiser, many of the same resentments and malice bubble hidden beneath the surface. I was completely shocked at who our villain(s) turned out to be. Usually I can figure these things out, but nope. It was a surprise. And I loved that! Sometimes figuring out the evil dude(s) is jsut way too easy. I want some challenge darn it. I mean, let's not get crazy stupid Sherlock Holmes hard, but not paint by numbers either.
Sometimes it's nice to just read a stand alone and not worry about sequels and what's next. This book gave me that, set in a charming town with some likeable accessible characters and just the right touch of thrill. I had a good time with this story and gave it 4 stars.