Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Publication: Putnam Adult (January 7, 2014)
Description: From the New York Times–bestselling author of Dream Eyes and Copper Beach, a brand-new quintessential Jayne Ann Krentz romance.
It’s been thirteen years since Lucy Sheridan was in Summer River. The last time she visited her aunt Sara there, as a teenager, she’d been sent home suddenly after being dragged out of a wild party—by the guy she had a crush on, just to make it more embarrassing. Obviously Mason Fletcher—only a few years older but somehow a lot more of a grown-up—was the overprotective type who thought he had to come to her rescue.
Now, returning after her aunt’s fatal car accident, Lucy is learning there was more to the story than she realized at the time. Mason had saved her from a very nasty crime that night—and soon afterward, Tristan, the cold-blooded rich kid who’d targeted her, disappeared mysteriously, his body never found.
A lot has changed in thirteen years. Lucy now works for a private investigation firm as a forensic genealogist, while Mason has quit the police force to run a successful security firm with his brother—though he still knows his way around a wrench when he fills in at his uncle’s local hardware store. Even Summer River has changed, from a sleepy farm town into a trendy upscale spot in California’s wine country. But Mason is still a protector at heart, a serious (and seriously attractive) man. And when he and Lucy make a shocking discovery inside Sara’s house, and some of Tristan’s old friends start acting suspicious, Mason’s quietly fierce instincts kick into gear. He saved Lucy once, and he’ll save her again. But this time, she insists on playing a role in her own rescue . . .
My Thoughts: This story was Jayne Ann Krentz at her romantic suspense best. The characters were amazingly life-like. Well, except for the fact that, if men life Mason Fletcher exist, they are staying well away from me.
The story begins with a prequel. Lucy Sheridan, age 16, is being hauled away from a wild party by her crush, the responsible and mature 19-year-old Mason Fletcher. She leaves town the next day and doesn't return to Summer River for thirteen years. What Lucy doesn't know is that she has been targeted by Tristan Brinker who wants her to star in his latest rape video and Mason saves her from that fate.
Now, Lucy is grown up and working as a forensic genealogist. She works for a private investigation firm and finds lost heirs. She is a successful woman in all areas of her life except her romantic life. She has dumped her fiance after finding him in bed with another woman. Her therapist tells her she has commitment issues. She is currently trying to find Mr. Right by using an online matchmaking service.
She has returned to Summer River to settle her aunt's estate. Her beloved Aunt Sara and her partner Mary Colfax recently died in an automobile accident. Lucy has inherited her aunt's estate and some shares in Colfax Inc. from Mary. She is being urged to sell Sara's house and land to turn it into a vineyard and she is being wooed by various Colfax family members who want those share back, too.
Mason Fletcher has returned to Summer River too. He has established a successful private investigation business specializing in cold crimes with his younger brother Aaron. But when a case goes wrong, he heads for home to rethink his life. He is working in his uncle's hardware store when Lucy comes in for light bulbs. An offer to help her with some home improvements lead to the discovery of Tristan Brinker's body bricked up in her aunt's fireplace which starts a chain of events that combine the past and the present.
I loved that both characters were strong people and that, in the course of their falling in love, they didn't have misunderstandings that hurt each other. I also liked the way Krentz wove events and characters from the past into the mystery. She also managed to surprise me when she revealed the villains of the story. I really enjoyed this story and couldn't put it down. For me, it was a compelling page-turner.
"I can't imagine the shock of having a body fall out of the fireplace. And your aunt's fireplace, at that. She was a vegan, for heaven's sake."I got this ARC from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer Program. You can buy your copy here.
"She killed him, Mom. She didn't eat him."