Home to Whiskey Creek (Whiskey Creek Series #4)

Home to Whiskey Creek (Whiskey Creek Series #4)

by Brenda Novak

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Original)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Tuesday, April 30

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778315452
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 07/30/2013
Series: Whiskey Creek Series , #4
Edition description: Original
Pages: 409
Sales rank: 305,769
Product dimensions: 4.42(w) x 6.48(h) x 1.13(d)

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak has penned over 45 novels. A two-time Rita nominee, she's won The National Reader's Choice, The Bookseller's Best, The Bookbuyer's Best and many other awards. She runs an annual online auction for diabetes research every May at www.brendanovak.com. To date, she’s raised over $2 million. Brenda considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life.

Read an Excerpt

No way would he be able to reach her, not with his bare hands. And Noah Rackham didn't have anything else—just his mountain bike, which lay on its side a few feet away. In the pouch beneath the seat he kept a spare tube, the small plastic tool that made it easier to change a tire and some oil for his chain but no rope, no flashlight. He wouldn't have packed that stuff even if he'd had room. For one, he'd come out for a quick, hit-it-hard ride before sunset and wasn't planning to be gone longer than a couple of hours. For another, no one messed around with the old mine anymore. Not since his twin brother had been killed in a cave-in a decade and a half ago, just after high school graduation.

"Hello?" Kneeling at the mouth of the shaft where someone had torn away the boards intended to seal off this ancillary opening, he called into the void below.

His voice bounced back at him, and he could hear the steady drip of water, but that was all. Why wasn't the woman responding? A few seconds earlier, she'd cried out for help. That was the reason he'd stopped and come to investigate.

"Hey, you still there? You with me?"

"Yes. I'm here!"

Thank God she'd answered. "Tell me your name."

"It…it's Adelaide. But my friends call me Addy.


"I want to know who I'm talking to. Can you tell me what happened?"

"Just get me out. Please! And hurry!"

"I will. Relax, okay, Addy? I'll think of something."

Cursing under his breath, he rocked back on his haunches. Ahead of him, the dirt road that temporarily converged with the single track he'd been riding disappeared around a sharp bend. To his left was the mountain, and to his right, the river, rushing a hundred feet below. He saw more of the same scenery behind him. Trees. Thick undergrowth, including an abundance of poison oak. Moist earth. Rocks. Fifty-year-old tailings from the mine. And the darkening sky. There were no other people, which wasn't unusual. Plenty of bikers and hikers used this trail, but mostly in the warmer months, and certainly not after dusk. The Sierra Nevada foothills, and the gold rushera town where he'd grown up, were often wet and chilly by mid-October.

Should he backtrack to the main entrance of the mine? Try to get in the way they used to?

He'd already passed that spot. Someone had fixed the rusty chain-link fence to keep kids from slipping through. Noah couldn't get beyond it, not without wire cutters or at least the claw part of a hammer. That entrance and this shaft might not even connect. It was likely they didn't, or whoever was stranded down there would've made her way over—provided she was capable of moving.

Scooping up his bike, he hopped on and went to check. Sure enough, the fence, with its danger keep out sign, was riveted to the rocky outcropping surrounding the entrance. He couldn't get through; he didn't have the proper tools, and there was nothing close by he could substitute. The only foreign object in the whole area was a bouquet of flowers that lay wilting in the mud. Noah guessed Shania Carpenter, Cody's old girlfriend, had placed them there. She'd probably come up here to commemorate the anniversary of when she and Cody had started dating, or become an item, or first made love or…whatever. She'd married, divorced and had a kid, in that order, but she'd never gotten over Cody's death.

Neither had Noah. It felt as if a part of him had died that night.

And now someone else's life could end the same way.

Certain that this entrance wasn't the answer to his problem, he returned to the shaft. He never would've noticed this other opening if not for that cry for help. The boards that'd been pried loose were so covered by moss they blended in with the rest of the scenery.

"I'm not going to be able to reach you," he called down. "Is there some other way out? A tunnel that might not be sealed off?"

Considering what had happened to his brother, was it safe for her to move?

"No. I—I've tried everything!"

The hysteria in those words concerned him. "Okay. Listen, I know you're…frightened, but try to stay calm. How badly are you hurt?"

"I'm not sure." It sounded as though she couldn't suck in enough air to speak normally, but he couldn't tell if that came from fright, exhaustion or injury. "Help me, please."

He wanted to help; he just didn't know how. The shaft was too deep to reach her without rope. But if he hurried off to notify rescue personnel, he wasn't sure she'd be alive when he got back. Trying to bring others would take too much time. There was no place for a helicopter to land. And it wouldn't be easy to get an ambulance in here. A Jeep or truck could make it, but even that would be a challenge in the dark. Flooding several years ago had washed away parts of the old road.

But if he stayed, he'd soon lose all daylight and he had no flashlight. Even if he managed to get the woman out, how would he transport her in the pitch-black?

"Can you walk?" he called.

There was a slight delay. "How far?"

"I'm wondering if you're mobile, so I can assess the situation."

"I—I'm mobile."

That made a difference. It meant she wasn't so badly off that he couldn't sit her on his bike and run alongside. If he could get to her.

He was pretty sure he had a flashlight and a length of rope in his truck. He might even have food or something else that would come in handy. A sweatshirt would keep her warm, at least. He could use it if she didn't need it. It'd been a nice day, hence his lightweight bike shorts and T-shirt, but it was growing colder by the minute.

"Sit tight," he called down. "I have to go to my truck but I'll be back. I promise."

"Don't leave me!"

Panic fueled those words. "I'll be back," he repeated.

Tension tied his stomach into knots as he ignored her protests and clipped his feet into the pedals of his bike. The uneven ground and rocks and roots that offered the challenges he so enjoyed suddenly became unwelcome obstacles, jarring him despite the expensive shock absorbers on his bike. He was moving faster than ever before, especially through this stretch, where the riding was so technical, but he had no choice. If he didn't…

He couldn't even think about what might happen if he didn't. He'd seen his brother's crushed head. They'd made the decision as a family not to have an open casket.

Small pebbles scattered, churned up by his tires as he charged through patches of gravel. Hoping to shave off a few minutes, he climbed a steep embankment he typically tried only when he wanted maximum difficulty.

He made it up and over the ridge, and down the other side without mishap, but it felt as if it were taking forever to reach the highway.

By the time the trail leveled out, his lungs burned and his quads shook, but he knew that had more to do with fear than physical exertion. He owned Crank It Up, a bike shop in Whiskey Creek, and raced mountain bikes professionally. Thanks to endless hours of training, his body could handle twenty minutes of balls-to-the-wall riding. It was the memories of the day he'd learned his brother was dead and the frightened sound of Addy's voice that made what he was doing so difficult.

In case her life depended on his performance, he forced himself to redline it, but daylight was waning much faster than he expected. What if he couldn't see well enough to return? Considering how narrow the trail was in places, and the sharp dropoff on one side, his tire could hit a rock or a groove in the hard-packed dirt, causing him to veer off and plummet into the freezing-cold river—an accident he wasn't likely to survive. The road, though wider, would take twice as long.

You won't fall. He knew this trail far too well. This was where he felt closest to his brother—and not because Cody had died here. They'd started mountain biking when they were only thirteen, used to explore these mountains all the time. That was how they'd found the mine in the first place. It was Cody who'd turned it into a popular hangout during the final weeks of high school. Kids could bring booze or weed up there without being noticed or interrupted by the police, so a core group from the baseball team had thrown parties that had occasionally gotten out of hand. Toward the end, Noah had stopped going. He hadn't liked watching his brother snort coke, didn't appreciate the way Cody behaved when he was stoned. Noah had also been afraid Cody would get Shania pregnant before they had the chance to leave for college and he didn't want to attend San Diego State without him. They'd done almost everything together since birth.

He'd mentioned the risks to Cody many times, but no amount of warning seemed to faze him. Although Shania hadn't been at the party—her parents had whisked her away to Europe as soon as she had her diploma in hand—his brother had gone a little crazy that night with all the drinking and drugs, and he paid the ultimate price. From what Noah had heard, the party Cody had thrown graduation night had been as wild as they came.

Maybe if his brother had been thinking straight, he would've made it home safely, like everyone else….

After navigating a few final twists and turns, Noah spotted the gravel lot next to the two-lane highway where he'd parked, and raced down the straightaway.

Sweat rolled off him the second he stopped, despite the cold, but he barely noticed as he searched his truck. He found the towrope in his toolbox, a sweatshirt shoved under his seat not far from the flashlight and a stash of energy bars. He already carried all the water he had in a bladderlike contraption on his back. Unfortunately, he'd drunk most of it, but he found a first-aid kit in his jockey box, which was some consolation.

He had what he needed, but in case things didn't go as smoothly as he hoped, he wanted to call for help so there'd be a rescue team waiting.

He'd put his cell phone under his floor mat to keep it out of sight. There'd been a rash of car burglaries several months ago, courtesy of a group of teenagers who smoked pot and hung out at the river all summer—"river rats" they were called.

He fished his phone out to check for service. Coverage was spotty in these mountains. But obtaining a signal didn't turn out to be the problem. His battery was dead.

"Shit!" He wasn't one of those people who kept his phone attached to his ear 24/7. It was more of an afterthought—obviously, since he didn't carry a charger.

He gazed up and down the road, hoping a vehicle would come by, but after a few seconds, he realized he couldn't keep standing there. He had to make a decision. Should he drive to Jackson, which was closer than Whiskey Creek, or go back for the woman as he'd originally intended?

Jackson would take too much time. He'd promised he wouldn't be long and for some reason it was important to him to make good on that.

Draping the rope around his neck, he tied the sweatshirt to his waist and tossed out the extra tube and tire-changing equipment he had in his seat pack without even caring where it fell. He needed room to squeeze in the energy bars and the contents of the first-aid kit. Then he held the flashlight against the handlebars and took off.

He had to get back to the mine before full dark. Otherwise, he'd be forced to take the road or travel even more slowly on the trail, and he feared that whoever was stranded in the shaft couldn't survive the delay.


Adelaide Davies stared at the hole above her, the only thing she could see in this dark space. Would the person who'd called to her really come back?

It didn't look hopeful. She had no way of keeping track of the passing minutes, but it seemed as if an hour had gone by since he'd promised to help.

Maybe he was the same person who'd put her down here and he'd just returned to make sure she didn't survive. Maybe he knew she was guilty of something even worse than what he'd done, and felt that this would be a fitting end….

No! No one knows the truth. Except me. She had to quell the fear charging through her, or she wouldn't survive this emotionally, even if she survived it physically. It was fifteen years since she'd last been inside the mine, since she'd been anywhere close. As a matter of fact, she'd been here only once before—to attend a high school graduation party when she was a sophomore.

It'd all seemed so exciting, so hopeful when she was invited. But that party had changed her forever. Never again would she be the same shy but happy girl she'd been before. And, unlike so many other victims, she knew exactly who to blame. There'd been five of them, five of the most popular jocks, all upperclassmen.

The memories of that night made her sick. She would've gone to the police, would've seen to it that they were prosecuted as they deserved. But she couldn't, for a lot of reasons.

It was getting too cold. She had to do something or she'd freeze to death in this damp, dark hole. After myriad attempts to climb or dig her way out, she could hardly move. Her wrists burned from the welts she'd caused by straining against the rope that had bound her hands. One whole side of her body was bruised from when she'd landed. But she had to scream, at the very least. She couldn't let the discouragement, the heartbreak, the memories, win.

"Hello? Can someone help me? Please? I'm in the mine!"

There was no answer; calling out seemed futile. The guy who'd stopped before was gone.

Her throat too raw to continue, she got to her feet and made another attempt to climb. She had to save herself before it grew any darker. But she slipped and slid down on her aching bottom. Nothing worked. The walls were irregular and too steep, and the pile of broken and fallen beams, jutting out in all directions, gave her slivers when she tried to use it for support.

What now? she asked herself. The person who'd thrown her down here had only beaten her enough to get her to comply with his demands. He hadn't raped her. But the moment she dropped her guard or became too distraught, the memories of what it'd been like that other time—the night of the party—washed over her, lapping higher and higher, like the incoming tide, until her mind was saturated with the past and she felt no different than the terrified girl she'd been at sixteen.

It was the smell, she decided. The smell conjured up that night as vividly as though she'd just lived it.

Sweet sixteen and never been kissed, one of them had breathed in her ear.

Hugging herself, she began to rock. She was shaking so hard she could hear her teeth chattering but couldn't stop. Was she in shock?

Would she even think of shock if she were?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Home to Whiskey Creek 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When something terrible happens it is usually easier to put it behind you and forget it ever happened. But what about when you can no longer forget or live with the memories? Addy's past is marred by a vicious event that took away both her innocence and peace of mind. Gone are the days of beautiful daydreams, and in their place a raw place of deep seated shame and regret. Even so, Addy does what she has to do to get by. Fifteen years have passed, and her life is far from perfect. Still, it is all she knows anymore. So, when life pulls her back to a home she long ago ran away from, Addy is intetested in just one thing. Taking care of her aging Gran and her restaurant JUST LIKE MOM'S is the only reason Addy returns home to Whiskey Creek. As soon as she is able to get things settled and hopefully convince Gran to move away with her, the better. However, everything isn't quite as cut and dried as she'd have hoped. A late night attack and abduction, a timely rescue, and an undying love are just a few of the reasons which cause Addy's return home to be anything but what she intended. But, can she sift through the rubble of her humiliating past to once and for all gain the necessary closure to truly move on, and allow herself to really live- and love- again? Pick up a copy of HOME TO WHISKEY CREEK to find out for yourself! *Thanks to Brenda Novak for the wonderful opportunity to review an e-ARC of this incredible book. While not my first introduction to her books (I love her!), this was actually my first time to read a book from this particular series. It didn't matter that this was the 4th installment in this series, I was able to jump right in and take off. And it did not disappoint. Now I just need to go back and introduce myself to books 1-3. ;) -RebekahC aka monkeygirlsmama & the_littleminx
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have loved all the whiskey creek novels but my favorite is the story of Adelaide and Noah. Brenda Novak delivers a book rich in emotion and complex characters. Noah must be the hardest person for Adelaide to trust ... But sometimes you need to follow your heart and allow the past to be healed. Sometimes it is hard to listen to your head and not your heart .. And sometimes , as Adelaide learned at a young age , life is not always fair and good but the only way to heal is to believe and trust in people and in the beauty of love. Brenda Novak is amazing at building complex and dimensional characters and books rich in description and detail .. Home to Whiskey Creek is no exception. A wonderful book that will have you up till the wee hours immersed  in the story and unable to put down until the last page is read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Home to Whiskey Creek is as engrossing as all of Brenda Novak’s books and the Whiskey Creek series in particular. I had a little trouble with Baxter’s part of the story – I’d rather that part had been a separate book (that I could decide not to read). Not politically correct, but that’s the way I feel.
Robbiebee More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put the book down.  I loved how Noah and Addy help each other to heal from old wounds and deal with new ones.  Reading a Whiskey Creek novel is like coming home for a visit with old friends.
lhill82125 More than 1 year ago
What a fantastic book! I love Brenda Novak’s books, she always writes so you feel the emotions of the characters! If you have never read any of her books, you really need to start. You won’t be able to put them down! Thanks Brenda!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book. I got caught up in the story right from the start ! Great ending too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
rvingmillers More than 1 year ago
Another great story from Whiskey Creek.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story gives an interesting glimpse into the possible repurcussions a horrible gang rape could have on everyone involved, even years later, including the small community it occurred within. Another great brenda novak novel. Once you pick up one of her stories, you can barely set them down.
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Aubrey Book provided by NetGalley for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book Brenda Novak’s Whiskey Creek series just gets better and better. Each book has all the characters you know and love. In this installment we have have Noah who has never been in love and Addy who has loved Noah since high school. Noah has always been the guy that girls flock too but never settles down with anyone. It was so neat to see Noah finally open up and lead with his feelings and heart. However, she has a dark secret that involves Noah’s deceased brother Cody and 4 other men of Whiskey Creek. She left Whiskey Creek as soon as she could and never returned till her grandmother was too old to run her restaurant. Addy doesn’t want to be in town for long. Upon her return a series of events happen trying to scare her. The 4 men do not want the dark secret revealed. Noah saves Addy and soon after falls in love with her. Addy is reluctant to date Noah. She doesn’t want to get hurt or hurt Noah. But neither can resist the other. Their love story is sweet and endearing. Noah becomes her protector and stands by her when most of the town does not. The secret that she has been keeping, she believes will ruin any relationship she has with Noah. Addy needs to stop running and realize how much the people in her life are there to protect her. Brenda Novak does an excellent job tackling difficult topics such as Noah’s best friend Baxter being gay. Baxter also takes a chance and shows Noah his true feelings. Will Noah reject his friendship? She never makes light with the topics instead writes about them with dignity and grace. I can’t wait till the next Whiskey Creek novel to come out. I can’t wait to read about Ted and Sophia in October.
ReneeEntress More than 1 year ago
4.7 Star Review - Home To Whiskey Creek Adelaide is back in town to help out her grandmother. When she is kidnapped and thrown down into an old mine and left for dead she wonders of she should have ever come back. Out riding Noah hears shouts and rescues Adelaide. She will not tell him exactly what happened to her and he believes that she knows who did it. He can tell she is scared of someone and that whoever it is lives in Whiskey Creek. As they date she wonders what would happen if he knew the truth about the graduation party? What would he do if he found out how his twin really died? When the truth is finally revealed will she run as she believes she has to? Or will she stay and make the town and Noah believe the unthinkable things that happened in the mine the fateful night?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a beautiful story! I read about this couple in earlier stories, but glad a more detailed account has been written by Ms. Novak. Love continues to rein supreme. Loved it! LA-TXN
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KimP65 More than 1 year ago
This book in the series was a bit harder to read.  The subject matter was intense and painful but most of it was handled with honesty  and heart.  Brenda Novak takes the small town attitudes and prejudices and flushes them out, bringing them to light in a way that allows us to see both sides of the issues involved.  There is a lot of pain in this one but as always we have the HEA, even if it's almost  like pulling teeth to get there.  It's an intense read and I'm sure due to some of the subject matters it will make some very uncomfortable, but it's written in such a way that the hard parts are expressed but not dwelled on and it shows that with love and patience, healing can happen.
JoniBugs More than 1 year ago
You must read the Whiskey Creek series by Brenda Novak! You will love hanging out with the group of friends in the coffee shop of Whiskey Creek.. So grab some coffee and lose yourself in this series. JDB
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Koalabear3 More than 1 year ago
The latest book in the Whiskey Creek series is amazing. I enjoyed getting to know Adelaide and Noah. The book had a lot of twists and turns. It will make you laugh and make you cry. Looking forward to the next book in the series. If you haven't read any of the books in the series buy them today you will not be sorry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
chance More than 1 year ago
Brenda Novak's books are a must read for me, whether they're contemporary romance or romantic suspense.  Her Whiskey Creek series is no exception.  In previous series installments Novak has crafted a warm, welcoming environment populated by colorful characters and an engaging community of friends. With Home to Whiskey Creek, the series continues to shine, albeit a little less brightly.   The novel's protagonist, Adelaide Davies has come back to Whiskey Creek to care for her grandmother and run the older woman's restaurant. In doing so, she's forced herself to revisit the site of a traumatic experience that has haunted her since high school.  Adelaide has understandable motives for avoiding Noah Rackham, but when a menace from her past resorts to threats and violence to ensure what happened in the past stays buried, Adelaide must rely on Noah's help to identify the culprit before he can strike again. Novak knows romance, and the interactions between Adelaide and Noah are full of wit, warmth, and chemistry.  Surprisingly, my only qualm with the narrative is the suspense plot (something the author usually crafts with a deft hand). The threats to Adelaide serve their purpose of bringing her together with Noah, but beyond that the mystery feels rushed, and the danger to the heroine is less than convincing at times.  The book occasionally feels torn as to what it's trying to be: a heart-warming small-town romance or a chilling, romantic suspense.  Still, the occasional disjointed moments do not take away from the overall enjoyment I felt while reading book, and I enthusiastically recommend it.
rockygirl1 More than 1 year ago
     What a sweet story! I previously read when summer comes by Brenda Novak, so I was so excited to get a chance to read and review Home to Whiskey Creek. Brenda writes the most amazing characters, and Adelaide Davies and Noah Rackman are no exception! I fell right back in love with the town of Whiskey Creek! I love all the gang that Noah hangs around, and all the drama that seems to follow them around. This story was great. I pretty much guessed before the end of the book what was going to happen, but still, it was a great story and I kept reading until the end! Another winner by Novak!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this work by this author
MissBethBC More than 1 year ago
Fifteen years ago, there was a graduation party. Addy was told she could not attend, but she snuck out and went to the party anyway. This was a night she would never forget; it changed her and it changed the lives of five boys in the graduating class. Nothing would ever be the same again. After Addy graduated two years later, she left Whiskey Creek and those horrid memories behind her, hoping not to return again. A lot happens in thirteen years and she did return home to help her elderly grandmother and to help with Gran's restaurant. Some people weren't too happy to see her back in town. She herself, was not too happy about it. Her first week back in town, she received a very unpleasant warning which placed her in the bottom of a mine shaft. That warning was loud and clear. Her high school crush became her Prince Charming and happened to hear her cries for help. He gallantly pulled her from the mine and you guessed it, he fell in love with her. Ok, I've made this sound like a fairytale--it wasn't but it was a pretty good romance read. It was a very sweet romance read as Addy wanted to protect Noah from her dark secrets of the past as much as she wanted to forget it all. Brenda Novak has a way of stirring the heart within the pages of her books. She creates strong and believable characters. She addresses issues from rape to a character coming out of his gay closet. And the reader is deeply invested in the story each character has to tell. I love reading her novels and just can't put them down once I've started them. She is sure to be one of my favorite authors. If you get a chace to read her books, do so. It's an experience waiting to happen!!
GwenL More than 1 year ago
This story of Addie and Noah and their struggles as they find love is a wonderfully strong book that can stand on its own. But if you haven’t read the rest of the Brenda Novak’s Whiskey Creek series, do yourself a favor — stop now and go back and read them in order. I love all the romance series set in small towns — Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold, California; Joann Ross’ Shelter Bay, Oregon; Carly Phillips’ Serendipity, New York; and Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor, Washington. In my opinion, Brenda Novak has created the perfect way to check in with her recurring characters and move along not only the current story but future ones, too, without overloading the novel. She accomplishes this with a core group of friends who graduated high school together. Although their lives may have taken them away from Whiskey Creek, they’ve remained close. Thanks to a weekly coffee date on Friday mornings, we can catch up with favorites from past novels and see hints of future storylines. In Home to Whiskey Creek, Addie isn’t part of the coffee klatch. She was two years behind them in school and, thanks to a traumatic event when she was 16, her diploma was barely dry when she drove away from Whiskey Creek and never looked back. Now, however, her grandmother who raised her needs her help and she feels obligated to return despite the personal pain and horrible memories the town holds. Intent on getting in and out of Whiskey Creek as quickly and quietly as possible, Addie isn’t happy that fate crosses her path with Noah’s. After all, Noah has no idea how intertwined their lives really are thanks to Addie’s sophomore year in high school. Author Novak takes a traumatic, painful event and looks at what would happen to those involved. Would Addie live her life as a victim or would she struggle against being victimized? What about the perpetrators? Will they regret their actions? Will they repeat them? And what about Noah, who wasn’t part of the original incident? How will he react if he finds out? As I read Home to Whiskey Creek, I kept asking myself how Novak could possibly resolve these issues in any kind of realistic way. I shouldn’t have worried. Novak wrapped up her storylines and remained true to all of her characters — even the myriad members of the coffee klatch.