Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Publication: Ballantine Books (July 27, 2010)
Description: In her first paperback original in more than six years, New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann delivers an unforgettable novel of contemporary romance and thrilling suspense.
When history professor Alison Carter became a consultant to the film version of the Wild West legend she’d dedicated her career to researching, she couldn’t possibly have known that she would not only get a front-row seat to a full-blown Hollywood circus but would innocently witness something that would put her life in peril. Nor did she expect that a tall stranger in a cowboy hat would turn the movie—and her world—completely upside down.
A. J. Gallagher didn’t crash the set in dusty Arizona to rub elbows with Hollywood’s elite. Unable to ignore ghosts from the past that refuse to stay buried, A. J. came to put an end to the false legend that has tarnished the reputation of his family. But when he confronts Alison, sparks fly. And when Alison is targeted by ruthless criminals, suddenly she and A .J. must face the intense attraction that threatens to consume them—and survive the danger that threatens their very lives.
My Thoughts: This was a great story. Brockmann knows her way around realistic contemporary romance. Neither character was a typical romance character. Alison, daughter of an alcoholic, is determined not to have a relationship with A.J. out of her very realistic fears that he will begin drinking again. She is very guarded. A.J. isn't at all sure that he isn't crazy when he starts seeing the ghost of his beloved great-grandfather Jamie. A.J. has PTSD after his experiences in the first Gulf War and lost years to alcohol addiction. But he has been sober for ten years now. The slow steps as they learn to trust each other plays well again the diary entries of Melody Quinn, abused wife and the love of Jamie's life.
All three of them need to figure out who is trying to kill Alison and why. It is even more difficult because who ever it is has been framing A.J. for the crime.
I recommend this to lovers of romantic suspense. I also recommend the books in her Troubleshooters Inc. series as additional romances between realistic adult characters.
This begins with an entry from Melody's diary and is quoting Jamie:
"If ever I hit you," he told me with those tears in his beautiful eyes, "you will leave me. You'll walk away. Or hell, you'll pick up a gun and order me out of our house, if we ever have a house. Promise me right now that you won't take that abuse from me or from any other man, God forbid something happens to me."A.J. repeats the promise to Alison this way:
"I can't give you guarantees," he told her. "I can't promise you I'll never slip or even fall. But I do know this. You must promise me, that if I ever drink again the way your mother did, if I ever throw away my sobriety for more than one brief moment, if I leave you frightened and guessing and uncertain, you will leave me. You'll walk away. Or you'll pick up a gun - after I show you how to use one - and you'll order me out of our house. Promise me right now that you won't take that abuse from me or any other man, God forbid something happens to me.Suzanne Brockmann's bibliography is here.
Alison nodded. "I promise," she told him, as she carefully watched him put that diary back.
Challenges: RYOB Reading Challenge