Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Brilliance Audio
Released on December 9, 2014
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Just a few days ago, I had the delightful experience of finishing my first Melinda Leigh novel, Say Your Sorry. It is the first in the Morgan Dane series. I loved it through and through, but I had the oddest sensation that I was catching a book in the middle of a series. It was faint, but there. I did a little digging (okay, I hit search on the author’s name at Amazon). Lo and behold, the Morgan Dane series is a spin-off from the existing Scarlet Falls series. Naturally, I had to go back to the beginning and get these stories before pressing forward and I enjoyed another one just as much as the last.
Hour of Need was a Kindle Unlimited borrow for me and included audio so I chose to experience the wonderful narration work of Cris Dukehart again after experiencing her reading the first time with Say Your Sorry.
Hour of Need began with a traumatic murder scene of a couple, Lee Barrett and his wife. The deaths bring Lee’s brother, Grant home from Afghanistan struggling with grief over their death, adjustment to being out of a war zone, and taking care of his little niece and nephew. He seethes with the need to discovered who murdered his brother and sister in law even as he grows close to beautiful Elle Ross next door. He tells himself to resist the attraction since he’s only there on leave, but when danger continues to threaten her daughter and the kids, they are brought together.
Elle made a huge mistake in highschool with a teen pregnancy and has sworn off bad decisions sense then. Too bad her stupid heart and libido think the tall, fit Army guy next door is a wonderful decision. But, then her life and the life of her family are threatened if she doesn’t produce the file on the case Lee was working on. She must learn to trust Grant or face a mounting deadly danger alone.
So, this was chock full of all sorts of possibles. There is the murder of Lee and his wife, the killer stalking the house after Lee’s file, the flashback story from a dead girl’s point of view of what led to her being bullied and driven to suicide, odd things going on at the law office, and all in all, too much interest in Lee’s last case which was a civil suit against the girls who bullied another girl severely enough that she took her life. As a result, this was a slow build and slow burn story with a good balance of the romance with the suspense.
This was the first book in a series that focuses on the three remaining Barrett siblings. This one is Grant’s story, but his sister and brother were both introduced. And, hey, I recognize police detective Brody McNamara from the other series. I loved that this will focus on this family all getting their story in small town Scarlet Falls and that each sibling is so unique so I’m guaranteed a diverse story with each one.
As I noted in the other book, Hour of Need did a good job with the details like with plot. Grant struggled hard with combat stress and the need to decompress in a tough situation with a killer on the loose, figuring out what to do for the orphaned kids, grieving, a dad with dementia, and at a crossroads in his own life about duty to his dad’s dream for him or his own desires. Grant was adorable with colicky baby Faith, diapers, trying to get his nephew to eat. He knew nothing about kids, but was all in. It was also neat how Elle was a wonderful blend of office assistant by day and home flipper by night. She lives with her feisty gran and teenage daughter. Her parents disowned her when she kept her baby and her boyfriend walked away. These things scarred her so she walked a straight, boring line all these years until Grant.
The suspense thread was deceptively simple. It seemed like a situation where the motive was clear and as the reader, I had access to the killer and got the murder scene first hand. Note, I said it was deceptive. This one cruised along the paths I anticipated until whoosh, where did that come from? The hints were there and I missed them. Well played, Ms. Leigh!
So, I had a grand time with this first of the Scarlet Falls series. I can’t wait to get my hands on more. Romantic Suspense fans need to take a close look.
Romance Roundabout #312 RS