Series: Who's Watching Now #1
Format Read: eGalley
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Buying Links: Amazon* | Kobo | ARe* | Barnes & Noble |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.
Blurb from goodreads:
No matter where she goes, he knows her every move…
Long ago, Rachel Carpenter was a glamorous soap star. She gave it all up to move to Napa Valley with her daughters to open up a bookstore near her family vineyard. Her life is safe and dependable, until she encounters Kane Lafferty at a wilderness camp in the rugged High Sierra. A burned-out police detective struggling with his own demons, Kane is instantly attracted to Rachel. And like Rachel, he isn’t sure if he’s ready to open up his heart. But everything is about to change…
Someone is watching from the darkness. A fanatic obsessed with Rachel for years has decided to claim what he believes is his. It will be up to Kane to not only protect his new love and her family, but to uncover the identity of the stalker before it’s too late for all of them.
Now, how could I pass up that yummy cover? Although, why is head chopped off? That's a cover trend I intensely dislike. Anyway, the book. Delicious cover, hot hero, mostly smart heroine, lots of heat. The romance rocked but the suspense part, not so much.
Kane, a cop on an extended vacation, and Rachel, a single mother meet when a friend of his is dating her sister. There's an immediate attraction between them. Shortly after meeting, Rachel and her oldest daughter Lark have a come-to-Jesus meeting when she lies to her mother about where she's going and gets a tattoo. She's only 14. Rachel takes her kids to a camp owned by Kane's brother and she and Kane hook up. The heat between them is strong but of course there are obstacles: she hasn't been involved with anyone since she and her husband, now dead, divorced. Kane was injured on the job and his partner died; now he's rethinking his life and what he wants to do.
The romance between Kane and Rachel moves quickly even though Rachel puts on the brakes on repeatedly due to her concerns about her daughters. Kane is amazingly supportive and patient, and he even cooks. I want a Kane of my very own and I don't have any daughters to harass me over whom I'm dating. Again, Kane is amazingly patient and supportive but he also knows when to take the hard line.
When Rachel acquires a stalker who attacks her, Kane is immediately there, offering his bodyguard
services as well as investigative services. I found it odd and unlikely that the local police were so welcoming of his assistance and he was allowed to do so many suspect interviews. Honestly, he did most of the legwork, with the police's blessing which, as I said, I just didn't find believable.
Gallant gives us a few scenes from the stalker's POV, without revealing his identity, but they didn't add anything to the story. It would have been a stronger story without those scenes. She does give us some believable red herrings concerning the stalker's identity and his motivation is believable if unoriginal.
The romance portion of the story is both sweet and hot and I was rooting for Kane and Rachel (I keep wanting to type Kane and Abel! :D ) to work things out and stay together. The mystery is adequate; I didn't feel the suspense, it was mild but it did add a little spice to the story. The characters though are delightful: smart, sassy, believable, and people I'd like to meet. I mentioned that Rachel was mostly smart; she does one TSTL thing at about 90% into the book that had obvious consequences. It had to happen, to up the drama, but it was stupid and careless of Rachel. I'm sure Gallant could have found another way to bring about the ending without making Rachel behave so stupidly. Still, I enjoyed the book and would read more in this series.