***A complimentary copy of this read was furnished by Montlake Romance through NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review***
Jim Lawson left Paradise to become an Army Ranger. He left a tearful Hallie in his wake before coming back to be the deputy sheriff. Henry Cavanaugh tried to force broken-hearted Hallie to stay but couldn’t. Now Hallie inherits her wickedly vindictive father’s wealth, but only if she lives in his home and stays out of Jim’s bed. Henry knew love for Jim could bring Hallie back but is Jim worth millions to her?
There could have been a helping hand in Henry’s death and somebody’s not quite as calm as they appear or maybe they’re not happy to see the prodigal daughter return. With Paradise being a small town and all, it doesn’t take long for the conditions of Hallie’s inheritance to become public and less time than that for townsfolk to become interested in the outcome as they sneak peeks at the couple.
Luckily, Hallie’s plans are to collect her money and leave, not settle down in Paradise. But seeing each other again reminded Jim and Hallie the feeling between them was anything but dead. Five years bring changes and in Jim’s case its family. He’s now a widower and a father. But for this reader’s taste the circumstances around Henri’s death and the star couple were a bit frustrating.
There are few things that can always be counted on but some sure things are in this series. One is the story will be well written and the characters have full lives. Another is the flawed hero is definitely older and wiser than twenty-something. He’s learned something from his mistakes and can admit he’s been a jerk. Also, there will be so many suspects they kill the suspense until you just want it to be over.
Awkward and low on self-esteem, Professor Zoe Santangelo moved from south California to Idaho as a stepping stone to the Ivy League and tenure to make her father proud. During the first snowstorm of the season, Zoe skids into a ditch and is rescued by charming, funny, confident, sexy, hometown hero and successful rancher Cal. He’s been alone since his wife chose his teammate when Cal was injured.
Settling into a different kind of life than she’s used to, Zoe works toward her goal but doesn’t share with Cal who sees a different future for them. When Zoe notices a change in one of her more dedicated student’s grades, Amy confesses she’s being stalked though no one believes her. The serial stalker with rape in mind has no problem switching targets when Zoe ruins the game planned for Amy.
While this reader was charmed by Cal and liked Zoe, the romance disappointed. (Unbelievable role model) Zoe’s esteem and daddy issues were evident and stagnant. Amy portrayed terror well and the stalker kept you guessing at their identity until the unmasking. For my taste the surface simplicity overlaying a seedy underbelly didn’t read as planned and the multiple POV’s didn’t help the flow.