An unsolved murder tests bonds of love and family in Daniels’ first HQN single title.
Beartooth, Mont., high school sweethearts Destry Grant and Rylan West were torn apart when Destry’s brother was accused of killing Rylan’s sister. Years later, when new evidence turns up, Carson Grant comes back to face the music, though he has always vehemently denied being involved with his ex-girlfriend’s death. Destry and Rylan must come to terms with their feelings for each other and the ugly murder against the backdrop of family secrets, public sentiment and the unsolved mystery that becomes more and more tangled once the lovers and the sheriff begin to investigate. More and more suspects come out of the woodwork, forcing Rylan to reconsider how certain he is that his ex-girlfriend’s brother is the culprit, or, if he is, whether or not Rylan is truly willing to give up the love of his life over the tragedy. As the investigation stirs up old wounds and uncovers new conflicts, Destry and Rylan find themselves on dangerous ground, both emotionally and physically. Despite the potential of some strong romantic and suspense elements, this effort falls flat. Daniels spends so much time setting up possible suspects, telling the reader that conflict, romantic/sexual awareness and even danger exists, then zooming to the next not-quite-authentic plot element, that the story and the characters never quite come to life. (Also, one scene in the middle of the book was so poorly rendered it gave away the killer—at least for this reader.)
An interesting premise, told through a fitful plot, disjointed character transitions and a general lack of chemistry.