I read another book by this author and loved it so when I had the chance to pick up this one, I did. I love that the author is an Australian setting her romantic suspense in Australia. The story was a nice balance of both romance and suspense with a fair amount of character development tossed in for good measure.
The story opens with Rory Sutton Whitfield returning home from her travels to figure out her future. She grew up with wealth, but this brought it own problems. Rory wants to make her own way, but before she barely gets home from the airport trouble comes. She and her grandfather are almost victims of a hit and run, her grandfather has a heart attack, her half brother is missing along with some company money, and Rory is confronted by a brooding cop, Vince Maroney, who is ready to nail her brother for the crime. Her grandfather smoozes Vince into being her bodyguard and this is bad because she is attracted to him and he isn’t in a place for a relationship.
Vince is not in a good place. He has been slowly losing his soul a piece at a time. His best friend and his only child both died on his watch, he and his wife grew apart over it all and now she has died too in a car accident, and for years Vince has been deep undercover in the drug world. He just wants to be left alone, but saving the lives of Rory and her grandfather now involves him in their troubles especially when he thinks his wife’s death was no accident and Rory’s brother is Vince’s prime suspect. Vince doesn’t think he has anything left to give so he does his best to hold Rory at arm’s length while working together to get the truth about his wife’s death and her brother’s disappearance.
The story was engaging from the beginning. The author did well making me second guess along the way and feel the surprise behind the twist in the end. The story is balanced with easy going and tense moments. It focuses on the story and not a lot on the setting, but I loved the local flavoring I did get with a blend of city and rural recreational.
The mystery seemed to morph as the reveals came so that the reader isn’t sure if there really is something sinister or if there is just a bunch of coincidences. Did the death of Vince’s wife really point to murder or was it a sad tragedy? Was Rory’s brother missing for real or was he just away and didn’t tell anyone? I liked that feeling. And the big twist at the end was a good one.
Rory and Vince were a nice pair as a detecting team and as a couple though they started out mostly as wary opposites and prejudiced against each other. I liked how there was more to both of them than met the eye.
Vince was rough around the edges and tended to get snarly when Rory poked at his wounds. He might not have grown up with her money and he led a rough life even as a cop because of his undercover work, but he was rich in family.
Rory was touchy about proving that she wasn’t just a rich princess and that she was healing from a guy cheating on her and only with her for her money so she was as wary as Vince in her own way. They both brought good things to the table.
All in all, it was an engaging romantic suspense that had some tension and mystery as well as passion. I would definitely recommend it particularly to those who might enjoy some suspense and romance set in Australia.
My thanks to Escape Publishing for the opportunity to read this story in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #150 RS
Mt. TBR #65