In Sanders’ debut novel, renowned photographer Samantha Jennings loves her camera and solitude, but when she’s accused of murdering her lover, only the man who broke her heart 10 years earlier can save her.
Sanders’ romantic thriller leans more to the romance side of this hybrid-genre story, but the strong characters and story make this an enjoyable read from beginning to end. Samantha “Sam” Jennings records the world around her in her photography, but retreats to her dog and secluded beach home in South Carolina whenever possible. After having been accused of murdering her lover—in a crime of passion no less—she’s managed to elude press and police. But she ventures out of hiding to tell her side of the story, to let the judge know it’s all a big mistake, that she’d never kill her best friend, Ben. Sam’s courtroom appearance brings the press and a past she’s been trying to avoid for over 10 years; Caleb broke 17-year-old Sam’s heart one summer, and she’s been running away from him, and love, ever since. Now, he’s a famous attorney on the fast track to a promising political career—and the only man who can save Sam. She resists his help at first, but puts aside her pride and anger when she realizes Caleb will defend her as no other man can. As they try to find the real murderer to clear Sam, their passion rekindles, but the real murderer may separate them forever. This story oozes all the necessary passion of any good romance novel, a blend of deep betrayal and sensuality. The author keeps the story moving and the sweltering Southern romance hot. A few bumps in the logical progression of the mystery make the story a little less believable, but as a romance, the book hits all the right moments. Sanders also strikes a nice balance between the mystery and romance. Sometimes the story reads like it’s moving through a romance genre checklist, but the story slides by quickly thanks to Sanders’ strong writing.
The romance enthusiast won’t be disappointed with this novel that never skimps on passion or story.