Sexy sheriff Zach Owens needs help penetrating a mysterious cult in his Rocky Mountain town of Clear Springs, Montana.
When one teenage girl turns up dead and another is reported missing, Zach can’t ignore the signs that there might be a serial killer on the loose. Both girls came into contact with Martha Collins, the charismatic leader of a cultlike commune called Elysia. On the surface, the commune seems like a harmless place concerned with meditation, rebirth, and alpaca farming. While Zach doesn’t like their emphasis on blind obedience, he’s never had reason to suspect criminal activity, except for the fact that Martha’s loyal guards won’t let Zach past the gates in order to investigate. Suddenly Martha’s estranged daughter, Eden, now an FBI agent, shows up to offer her help. She’s the only one who can get into Elysia and investigate its connection to the two girls. Eden isn’t thrilled about going back into Elysia, a place she survived and escaped, but she wants answers and she wants to help Zach. Though Zach and Eden don’t know if they can trust each other, they do know they share a powerful attraction. As Eden gets closer to the truth, and real danger, Zach finds himself in a race against time to catch the killer and save the woman he loves. This cross-genre mystery/romance is fast-paced and suspenseful, with zesty dialogue and likable characters. The darkness of the crime provides heft to the story, raising the stakes while giving the main characters plenty of reason to discuss the case in private as they try, and fail, to resist each other. Sometimes the sex scenes feel too sudden and awkwardly inserted into the narrative, but it’s a forgivable flaw in a novel that successfully integrates so many other elements of the mystery, thriller, and romance genres.
From veteran romance writer Robert (An Indecent Proposal, 2016, etc.), this is a great addition to Montlake Romance’s innovative mixed-genre repertoire.