Author: Kendra Elliot
Series: Bone Secrets
Publication: Montlake Romance (January 7, 2014)
Description: One rainy night in the woods outside of Portland, Dr. Victoria Peres is called to the site of a haunting crime scene. Six beautiful young girls—all in white dresses and arranged in a perfect circle—have been left for dead. Only one girl, fighting for her life at a nearby hospital, has survived the carnage. Things get stranger still when Victoria and the police discover that the disturbing arrangement of the bodies—as meticulous as it is mysterious—is straight from the pages of a decades-old cold case. Victoria is called on to do what she does best, read the bones of the dead for clues…while dealing with the surprise return of her first love, medical examiner Seth Rutledge. Only this time she must figure out how the two cases, fifty years apart, are connected.
In the fourth book in her heart-pounding Bone Secrets series, best-selling author Kendra Elliot sends readers on a dark and thrilling journey as forensic anthropologist Victoria Peres races to solve a horrific new case while confronting the secrets of her past.
My Thoughts: Dr. Victoria Peres is an forensic anthropologist working for the Portland Medical Examiner. She is reserved, serious, and rather intimidating. She prefers to keep people at arm's length. But things change abruptly when Dr. Seth Rutledge applies to be the new medical examiner. Seth and Tori have a history. They fell in love in college but split up when Seth decided that he had to marry the mother of his child despite the fact that she broke up with him and didn't tell him the child was his until her current relationship broke up. They have been apart for eighteen years and have both built lives and careers.
Seth and Tori get involved in a case that mirrors a case from 50 years in the past. Young women with long dark hair are found dead posed in a circle in the forest. In the first case, three of the six young woman had never been identified. Luckily, the bones had been kept and now Tori is trying to identify them. This time one of her young neighbor's friends is one of the victims. And Tori finds strange connections to her life too. She was adopted, raised by loving parents, but has questions about her birth parents. It looks like the first victims had a connection to the same church that was instrumental in her adoption.
The parts of the story told from the viewpoint of the villains were particularly chilling. It took me a while to realize that we were hearing from two different villains. I liked all the connections that were revealed between Tori's young friend and the cult that was responsible for the various murders.
I liked that very realistic relationship between Tori and Seth. I liked that Tori was hesitant to initiate a new relationship with the man who broke her heart. I also liked Seth's persistence in convincing Tori that this time nothing could come between them.
The story was thrilling, chilling, and romantic. I recommend it to all fans of romantic suspense.
"You are under my skin, Seth. I know that. But that doesn't mean I'm going to blindly trust you again and offer my heart up on a platter for you to do with as you please. I've made mistakes. Big ones. One named Seth and one named Rory. Those weren't slap-a-Band-Aid-on-it mistakes. Those were long-years-of-soul-searching mistakes. Do you think I'm going to jump in for round two with you on a whim?"I was sent this ARC by the author. You can (and should) buy your copy here.