In Fleming’s (Whatever We Are, 2017, etc.) romantic thriller, an FBI agent discovers that the woman he loves has a hidden past, which puts them both in the cross hairs of a dangerous fugitive.
FBI agent Derek Bronson joins the team investigating a robbery and homicide at the Pipersburg Community Bank. He believes the case is connected to similar crimes that have been taking place throughout Kentucky and West Virginia. This case is personal for Derek, because his father, Jack, was murdered during one of the other robberies. After joining the team, Derek travels to nearby Highland Springs for the wedding of his friends, Kate and Brody, and at a bar, he meets Riley Smith, a florist and friend of the couple. Derek and Riley’s attraction is immediate and passionate. As the investigation continues, the team gets a major break when surveillance photos show a woman spending marked money from one of the robberies. The woman looks like Riley, but authorities identify her as Angela Breeland. When questioned by Derek and the team, Riley admits that she is Angela, but that she changed her name because she’s hiding from Tyler Power, an abusive ex-boyfriend who’d forced her into sex work. Derek soon finds himself in a race against time to catch a serial robber and protect the woman he loves. Fleming’s series starter offers intriguing, compulsively readable romantic suspense, bolstered by strong characters and a twisty, fast-paced story. Riley is a complex heroine with a tragic and harrowing past; her backstory is slowly revealed as Derek investigates her possible connection to the crime spree. The romance between her and Derek heats up quickly, heightened by their palpable chemistry, particularly in an early scene in which they flirt during a game of pool. The supporting players are also well-developed—particularly Riley’s former boyfriend Tyler Power and her beloved brother, Cody Breeland.
A taut romantic suspenser that may appeal to fans of Nora Roberts’ work.