After witnessing the aftermath of a murder, a girl assumes a false identity to hide from the drug cartel that wants her dead.
Estella Goodwinn comes home one night to find her drug-addicted mother passed out and one of her dealers shot dead. She implicates Danny Balando, a major player in a drug cartel, whom she sees fleeing the scene. She, her boyfriend, and her mother are swiftly placed into witness protection. Estella’s whisked away to Thunder Basin, Nebraska, a town that couldn’t possibly be farther away, culturally, from her home of Philadelphia. Now, she’s Stella Gordon, living with a retired cop as a foster child. The transition is painful; she can’t contact her boyfriend and is completely out of her element. Enter handsome country-boy Chet Falconer, and suddenly things are looking up. Stella initially rebels but quickly sees that Thunder Basin offers welcome stability. But the threats she left behind eventually manifest; a local baseball hero beloved by the community knows Stella’s hiding something, and it’s more than just her secret identity. Though the book is billed as a thriller, Stella’s time in Thunder Basin is actually all simmering summer love and coming into her own. Readers won’t mind—they’ll be too engrossed by Stella’s steady, although reluctant, fall into the arms of charming Chet.
A swoonworthy romance that doesn’t really need the promised thrills. (Thriller. 14-18)