This story was a fantastic rollercoaster ride, with lots of thrills, suspense and intrigue….
Event planner Joanna McNamee is scrambling to ensure her father’s company Christmas party goes smoothly, but one disaster after another has her convinced someone is trying to sabotage her career. With the help of a man from her past who she’s still not sure she can trust, she puts the pieces together and realizes her business is the least of her problems—a cold-blooded killer is out to destroy her father and take her as his prized possession.
The last thing Deputy Ryker Kane expects is for a simple truck hijacking to throw him back into the middle of the case he’d been forced to abandon, not to mention right into the arms of the sweet woman he’d let walk away ten years earlier. When he finds Jo Jo kidnapped and drugged, he has to use all his wits and skills honed from years as a detective to save them both. Despite the secrets between them, Ryker’s bound and determined to give them a second chance at love.
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|File size:||3 MB|
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By Melissa Ohnoutka, Robin Haseltine
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Melissa Ohnoutka
All rights reserved.
"Where the hell are they?"
Joanna McNamee paced back and forth across the parking lot in front of the Pine Woods Country Club's banquet hall, kicking at the gravel with the toes of her red boots. Ten years after defying her father's wishes and dropping out of college to pursue her dream, she now stood wondering if he'd been right all along.
A humid December wind swooshed up, striking her in the face and whipping her long braids around like a new cowboy's wild and untamed lasso. She stiffened, inhaling the delicious aromas of her caterers outdoing themselves with the delicacies on the menu for the party that night. Despite the unusually warm temperatures, the country club and its lush surrounding gardens decorated with thousands of white glittery lights reminded her Christmas was just around the corner. One of the top resorts around, featuring two spectacular eighteen-hole private golf courses accessible to members and guests only of the Pine Woods Hotel, the location screamed money and social status. Just what her father wanted.
And yet apprehension hung heavy in her chest.
Giving the highway and feeder road one last glance, she slid her sunglasses on top of her head and stalked back inside the building to retrieve her cell phone. Her friend still sat cross-legged on the floor in the middle of the empty hall.
"She's sabotaging my business again," Joanna huffed.
"Who? Your dad's girlfriend?" Sam glanced up from the hundred swatches of fabric and stone granite samples surrounding her.
"Who else would I be smoking mad about?" Joanna twisted her hands in front of her to keep from pounding the wall in frustration.
"What did Denise do this time?"
Joanna sighed, blowing the wild hairs away from her face. "The damn truck is late, and I know that woman's behind it. They should have arrived over forty-five minutes ago with the extra tables, chairs, and decorations. Now I'm not sure I'll finish in time. She knows how important this party is, and she's determined to make me look bad in Daddy's eyes."
"I told you this woman has serious issues, Jo Jo. You should stay far away from anything or anyone associated with Denise."
Hearing Sam use her nickname calmed her a bit and brought back a smidgen of normalcy. "As long as she's hanging on Daddy's arm, steering clear of her is kind of impossible." She shuddered at the thought of the two "lovebirds" together.
"I just wish we could read her mind so we could stay a few steps ahead of her twisted reality." Sam laughed and then turned quiet, her brows drawing inward as if contemplating her next thought.
"I'm with you on that one. Sure would make my life so much easier." Joanna cringed as she recalled all the drama Denise had rained down on them over the past few months. The woman's constant meddling and rude questions about her qualifications as a party planner made potential clients doubt her abilities to bring their visions to life. She'd already lost several clients and desperately needed to build her clientele in order to prove she could make it on her own without her father's help.
"I think she's stalking you." Her friend stretched both arms out in front of her and stood, tiptoeing around the mess she'd made. Despite working overtime to help Joanna out, as well as designing an entire new living room for a buyer she'd just sold a house to, Sam sounded as fresh as she had the day before. "You know, trying to figure out how she can get rid of you, maybe even climb under your skin and be you."
"How awful!" Joanna threw a highlighter in Sam's direction. "Why on earth would she do that? I'm a nobody."
"Nobody? Are you serious?" Her friend smacked herself on the forehead with her palm for effect.
"I don't have anything she wants. It's dear ol' Dad who has all the money. I won't see a cent unless I decide to go back to law school and then crawl on my hands and knees and beg for his forgiveness. I take his money, and he'll use that as the green light to run my life again."
"I'm just saying." Sam sighed heavily.
"You really know how to yank my chain. The last thing I need is to be paranoid. I have too much to do, too much to worry about to make sure this event goes off without another glitch. Lots of people are counting on me." Joanna tried to hide her anxiety, but it oozed out with every word.
"Sorry, hon. I just call them like I see them. And I see snake slithering all over the inside of that one."
Joanna grabbed the back of her chair for added support. "Please do me a humongous favor and go see if the delivery of white poinsettias arrived. They were supposed to be here by two. I've got a truck and crew to find."
"You got it, boss girl." Sam, Sammie, anything except for Samantha, tossed her long blond ponytail over her shoulder and walked out the back door humming the tune from the Twilight Zone, or maybe it was Psycho. Either way, it fit perfectly.
Joanna shook her head and picked up the guest list for the Christmas party. There were over five hundred people invited. All associates of her father's multimillion-dollar oil service company.
She glanced down at her watch. Another ten minutes had passed and still no word. Where the hell was her crew? No phone call, no email, no text message. Not like them at all.
Hopefully nothing had gone wrong. Again. God, she could hear her father now. "See, Joanna. I told you we needed to hire a professional for this. Your fascination with this passing phase is growing old."
How the hell did he think she paid her bills every month? Did he really believe she was between jobs and using what little savings she had in order to keep from telling him he was right? No wonder her mother left and never looked back.
Grabbing her purse off the back of the chair, she dug out her keys and headed for the parking lot. The bright lemon yellow truck carrying all the supplies was huge, with an original hand-painted mural she'd done herself. She'd find it and tow the damn thing in if she had to.
Once inside the big Dually, she buckled up and revved the engine, the large tires peeling out of the driveway as she pulled onto the feeder road, heading out of Houston.
She smiled for the first time, gripping the leather steering wheel tight and inhaling the smell of freedom. Her father hated the truck. According to him, a white Dodge Ram Turbo Diesel-Mega Cab was not what a McNamee should be seen driving around town. Oh, no. He'd given her a tricked-out red Mercedes convertible her senior year of high school. How she'd hated that car — it stood for all her father really cared about in the world.
No debutante here. His wanting a princess to prance around and show off to the masses had never been a secret.
Imagine his surprise all those years ago when he'd found her in the backyard covered in mud from head to toe, wearing the brand new ball gown he'd bought for her to show off at the company Christmas party. She'd been about five. The gown was ruined, her mother in tears, and Joanna had been grounded, made to stay in her room till all the guests went home. Which, honestly, was fine by her, and not a punishment at all.
Who would have guessed twenty years later she would be handling all the details for that very same company Christmas party? Not her father, that's for sure.
About twenty minutes out on the highway, a mile from the storage building where she kept her supplies, Joanna found what she was looking for. "Well, there you are." She lifted her sunglasses off her nose to get a better look at the truck parked on the side of the road. Sure enough, it was hers. Just sitting there on the shoulder. Alone.
"Now, where did my crew go?"
Pulling her Dually to a stop in front of the truck, she checked the rearview mirror for signs of movement in the cab. Nothing.
She blew out an exasperated breath. Maybe they'd run out of gas? Set out on foot toward town to get some? Not likely. She'd have seen them walking on the side of the road if that was the case. Letting out a frustrated groan, she opened her door and hopped out onto the gravel shoulder. Surely they'd left someone behind to watch over the truck and all the furniture inside.
Scanning the landscape, she made a mental note of her surroundings. The land was pretty flat on this stretch of the highway. In March, the fields would be covered by hundreds of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes. Now as far as the eye could see, nothing but tall brown grasses blew in the cool December breeze, the clouds above casting playful shadows across the ground as they floated by overhead. Everything looked normal enough. But there were no signs of her crew, or what made them leave the truck behind.
"This is just plain weird." She frowned and walked over to the driver's door of the truck, pulling on the handle. It clicked easily within her grasp. Not even locked? A tiny flicker of anger kindled just below the surface, but she pushed it away and heaved herself up into the cab.
A clipboard with her instructions sat on the passenger seat, along with the keys. What on earth?
Joanna yanked her cell from her pocket and dialed Sam's number. Sam answered on the second ring. "I need you and Andrew to meet me on Highway 290, just past the old creek bed. For some bizarre reason, my crew ran off and left the truck unlocked with the keys sitting on the front seat."
"Look, I can't drive both trucks back. Are you coming or not?" The anxiety built even though she tried to force it back.
"Hey, calm down, Jo Jo. I'm coming. I'll be there in ten." She heard her friend scrounging around on the other end of the line for her keys and shook her head. How this girl managed to be a top-selling real estate agent never failed to amaze her.
"Sam, find Andrew and just take the Mercedes. Daddy will never know."
"Freaking awesome. We'll be there in five!" The phone went dead, and Joanna prayed her friend wouldn't have a wreck on the way.
What was going on?
The cargo in the back was untouched.
Her crew missing. No signs of foul play.
It didn't make sense, unless her father — or Denise — was behind this in order to humiliate her.
Joanna had already started the truck and found the gas gauge sitting at over half a tank when she caught sight of the Mercedes in the rearview mirror.
Head throbbing with all she had to accomplish before the party started, she wanted to roll down the window and holler like a crazy person. How far would her father go to sabotage her future? To make her follow his chosen path?
Her love life? Check. On a downward spiral for years.
Her friends? Check. Whittled down to Sam, Keith, and Andrew.
And now the one thing she'd managed to keep him from controlling was unraveling before her eyes.
Great. Just frickin' great.
The question hitting her dead on?
What she intended to do about it.
* * *
Deputy Ryker Kane barged through the front door of the Bram police station. The stolen truck reportedly parked on the side of 290 was nowhere to be found.
Who would hijack a bright lemon vehicle with a party decal, anyway? Sounded fishy, but the sheriff had called, so he'd gone to check it out and returned empty-handed.
Likely another college prank.
Tired of the crime and brutal hours he'd put in, Ryker had moved back to Bram, Texas, from Houston six months ago. The city was far enough away to forget, yet close enough to remind him of the murder case he'd failed to crack and couldn't obliterate to oblivion. The lure of his small hometown's quiet setting, bluebonnets, and Texas history was a huge part of his decision and had made his mother happy. But truth was, he was getting pretty bored dealing with the local drunks and college kids.
"Find anything?" Sheriff Wade asked, his hands crossed over his protruding middle as he leaned against the dusty window casing in the lobby of the station, a half-eaten candy cane in his right hand.
"Not a damn thing." Ryker had a few questions for the men being detained. He wanted to see if he could shed some light on what really happened and relished doing a little detective work. "Where are the men who reported the truck stolen?"
"In the back. But they don't know anything. I asked them." Chomping on the candy, Sheriff Wade followed behind Ryker as he headed to the interrogation room. A phone rang in another part of the station, the receptionist's voice echoing down the hallway after them.
"Won't hurt to ask again. Maybe they'll remember something now that they've calmed down a bit."
"It's your time. Waste it how you want." With that, Sheriff Wade made a detour to his office, leaving Ryker in the hallway alone.
Ryker shook his head. Even after six months, Wade's feathers were still ruffled over the mayor hiring him as an extra pair of hands to manage the ever-growing college crowd. The fact that Ryker had made something out of himself after all his screwups as a teenager really pissed the sheriff off. Probably due to the fact it was Sheriff Wade who'd hauled his ass in on numerous occasions in high school. Stupid shit. Like skipping class. Drinking. Drag racing. Nothing worse than what the rich kids were doing on Friday nights, but when you come from the wrong side of the tracks, people look at you differently.
He drew in a deep breath and then pushed open the door to the interrogation room. Two heads popped up, meeting Ryker's gaze, their expressions somber. "Can we go now? Our boss is going to be spitting mad."
"I have a few more questions. It won't take long." Ryker whipped a chair around backward and straddled it. "So, how long have you guys been working for this party-planning company?"
The man who'd spoken up scratched his head. "I think it's been about a year now."
"Your name, please?"
"Jerry. And this here is Toby." The other man nodded.
Ryker rubbed the stubble on his five o'clock shadow. Another added bonus of living in a small town, where the sheriff led the pack with his unshaven mug.
"So what do you think happened?" he asked, addressing the younger-looking one, who fidgeted in his seat. He was still going with the college prank angle, although this man looked a bit too old to run with that crowd.
Toby swallowed hard, never making eye contact with Ryker. "I'm not sure. All I know is the guy had a gun and wanted us to leave the truck behind real bad. I didn't hang around and ask why."
"What about you?" He turned to the man at the end of the table who sat with his arms crossed over his chest. "Do you have any theories?" Looking as if he meant to establish some kind of superiority over the other, he sat up straighter, his facial features hardening. "I think it has something to do with that crazy broad Mr. McNamee's banging."
Well, that was a name he hadn't heard in years.
"What's her name?" Ryker doubted Sheriff Wade was told this little tidbit. The McNamees were a prominent family in town. Wade would have been all over this.
"Look, she ain't behind this. She ain't smart enough. All she's good for is flaunting those huge-ass fake tits." Toby gave the older man a warning glare. A let me do the talking or things will get ugly look.
"Name. What's the woman's name?"
"Denise, something. We ain't privy to their circle, you know what I mean." Toby raised a brow to make his point.
Yeah, he knew. Boy, did he ever.
"You got anything to add here, Jerry? Do you know Denise's last name?"
"Nope. No, sir." Jerry shook his head too fast, like he knew more than he wanted to let on. His refusal to look at Ryker made him look guilty as hell. Of something.
"Okay, then. The gunman told you to run. Did either of you look back? See which direction he headed?" Neither answered. "Where do you think someone would hide a bright lemon-colored truck? I mean, surely someone is going to see it driving down the street, right?"
"If I know Ms. McNamee, she came looking for us. I'd check with her first. I bet she knows where her truck is." Jerry seemed extra confident about this. Toby nodded, appearing to agree.
"Ms. McNamee. Is this the ex-wife?"
"Nah ... she's his daughter." Toby spoke, a new fire lighting his eyes, along with a glint of something else Ryker couldn't decipher. "She's a spitfire that one. No daddy's little girl." The man chuckled, clearly infatuated with the mere thought of the woman. Maybe a little too infatuated.
Excerpted from Sinful Secrets by Melissa Ohnoutka, Robin Haseltine. Copyright © 2016 Melissa Ohnoutka. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.5 Stars! This was the first book by this author that I have had the pleasure of reading. I love stories that have to do with cops and suspense, so this was a book right up my alley. But that also means I am a bit jaded when it comes to what I look for in a great read in this genre. Sometimes in books such as this, the female characters tick me off and in this story, JoJo definitely was one that annoyed me. While she was portrayed as a woman desperately trying to seek approval from her father, I have to ask why would someone go to the lengths and years of BS with no satisfaction or acceptance of the truth? I had a hard time with that. I did like the character of Ryker. A good man with loads of steam rolling off him. Why JoJo played hard to get, who even knows? He was protective, caring, passionate, and in deep with her but she continued to fight him and be stubborn. But once the walls fell, the story heated up with delicious results! Overall, I enjoyed the plot. I felt that it was viable and believable with a few issues along the way. For one, it was easy to figure out who the villain was going to be. But the good part is that there were some twists that the author threw in to keep you guessing enough that you wanted to find out the real story. An easy, yet fulfilling, read with plenty of development possibilities through a series, perhaps. A lovely bit of steam and a good HEA rounds out this romantic suspense story. * Copy received for review purposes
•Riveting 4.5 Stars JoJo runs a party planning company, her father thinks she's wasting her time and wants her to do what he wants. Or as she puts it, wants to dictate what/when/how/where and why she does anything. Go back to school to become a lawyer, and then crawl back to him begging and telling him he was right. NOT gonna happen!!! Someone is out to sabotage her party/progress, and wants her to look like a fool in front of her father. Her truck and crew disappear while they're setting up for her father's annual work Christmas party. After finding the truck minus the crew, a deputy comes to talk to her about it, however she didn't report the truck missing. And to add just another issue, the deputy is none other than Ryker, her almost one night stand in college. But she pretends like she doesn't recognize him. It doesn't matter how attracted she is to him or the pull he seems to have on her. She's got bigger things to worry about, who's really trying to ruin her and how far will it go? Ryker, the boy from the wrong side of the tracks has had a crush on JoJo since high school. But because of her status stayed away except to help her out a few times. Then they meet up again at a bar in college, but she sneaks out the next morning while he's in the shower without a backwards glance. What made her leave, not come back and ignore his calls? Now he's trying to figure out what's going on around her and her party planning business, before someone gets hurt. For some reason they've been brought together again and he's not going to let her get away so easily this time, not with the pull she's got to feel too. This story is full of energy and will have you continuously trying to figure out not only who did what, but what's gonna happen next. Will JoJo stop running hiding and away from her feelings for Ryker, or will she just continue to bury her heart in the sand? Will Ryker finally realize it doesn't matter which side of the tracks you're from, you both deserve to have love? Will JoJo's father ever be proud of her? You'll have to read SINFUL SECRETS to find out, but man, what an extremely exciting and emotional roller coaster this was! Melissa Ohnoutka sure does write a powerful story! I received an ARC via IndieSage through NetGalley in exchange for an honest blog tour review. Favorite Passages~ - It’s a crime as old as time, just with different players and rules.” - He was still the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks.
This was a really great read! Sinful Secrets was the first book I've read by Melissa Ohnoutka but won't be my last. Her characters are vibrant & so engaging. You can't help but be drawn into the story. JoJo is trying to plan her father's Christmas party (& prove to him that leaving law school to be a party planner was a good choice) but her truck full of supplies gets stolen. Enter Ryker, a police detective that has a past wih JoJo. The story just gets more interesting from there. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Definitely a book not to be missed! I hadn't read anything by this author before - but I'll certainly be looking out for books by her in future! I'll admit that the blurb had me intrigued but the cover nearly put me off trying this book but I'm so glad I decided to give it a go after spotting it on NetGalley. This novel had me riveted from the start and I didn't want to put it down till the very end. It is romantic suspense at its very best, with so many twists and turns you're never quite sure how things can possibly be resolved and a second chance romance, too. The characters are brought to life in the pages of the book and it is very easy to relate to the leading lady, Joanna McNamee - aka Jo Jo, who is somewhat naive and the leading man, Ryker, a resourceful, determined detective who is only too aware of his background. It shows how people can unwittingly be manipulated by others and that love can motivate people to behave in very different ways. (Can you tell I'm desperately trying not to give away any spoilers? Hope I'm succeeding!) This is an action packed, suspense filled, well written story that I thoroughly enjoyed and have no hesitation in highly recommending to anyone who enjoys this genre.
Great Read! Loved the storyline and the characters. Kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time!
Event planner Joanna McNamee is scrambling to ensure her father’s company Christmas party goes smoothly, but one disaster after another has her convinced someone is trying to sabotage her career. With the help of a man from her past who she’s still not sure she can trust, she puts the pieces together and realizes her business is the least of her problems—a cold-blooded killer is out to destroy her father and take her as his prized possession. The last thing Deputy Ryker Kane expects is for a simple truck hijacking to throw him back into the middle of the Black Widow case he’d been forced to abandon, not to mention right into the arms of the sweet woman he’d let walk away ten years earlier. When he finds Jo Jo kidnapped and drugged, he has to use all his wits and skills honed from years as a detective to save them both. Despite the secrets between them, Ryker’s bound and determined to give them a second chance at love. Review: I liked this book, but for me I would classify it as Suspense with some romantic elements. Even though Ryker and JoJo have been circling each other since high school one night and some lies sends them away from each other and different paths. The chemistry is there between the two, but they spend most of the book getting the crap beat out of them and don't really fully come together until the end. The story circles around two mysteries. One mystery is what is JoJo's father's girlfriend really up to and two who is stalking JoJo. Both are interconnected and have deadly consequences. There are many twists and turns to keep the story interesting and guessing. There is a lot going on in this story and I meant it when I said they crap beat out of them. Poor Jojo and Ryker get hurt a lot in this book. I felt sorry for them. I have not read this Author before. I liked her style and her twists and turns in her mysteries. The book is told from dual points of views, Ryker and JoJo's. This is a stand alone title so there is no worry about missing anything. 3.5Stars *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book provided by the publisher.*
The story starts off with a pacing Joanna "JoJo" McNamee daughter of a controlling oil tycoon who quits law school to become an event planner. This is her big chance planning her Father's over the top Christmas party and she's got an awol party truck with much needed supplies. She's fuming, convinced that her Father's latest (?) love interest Denise is behind this missing truck. Denise has gone out of her way to sabotage her at every turn. Helped by her best friend Sam, she takes off in her truck in search of the missing truck, which she locates abandoned on the side of the road, keys inside no sign of anyone. Meanwhile we meet Ryker Kane who downsizes his life to return to his small town of Bram after serving on the Houston PD, up for Captain and working on a very big case, he's told to back off. Taking leave and going back to Bram brings back memories of the one night with Joanna and the very brief turn of events that follow. Ryker is called out to investigate a truck reported stolen and shows up at the Country club where the event is taking place. Joanna meets and talks with him. Of course he recognizes her, she doesn't show any sort of recognition of him. She assures him all is well and he leaves. Returns back to the jail and further questions the two in the truck who insist they were hijacked. Things aren't quite adding up for Ryker, but he sets it aside.. for now. I'm going to set aside a lot of the small details that really make up the body of this story because each one builds up the suspense. The morning after the party as guests are leaving the club, things hit the fan. Ryker is there and taken hostage, Sam is missing and Joanna sets out in search of Sam. Joanna does remember Ryker and how he broke her heart. He is turn doesn't understand what happened to this girl who literally disappeared from college after their night together, which did not include sex. Neither have forgotten each other. They really both act like strangers to each other, which bothered me a little. This book continues winding through so many twists and turns it will make your head spin. The minute you think you have an idea of who did what, that goes right out the window. Meanwhile, her father's life is in danger and he's found and in the hospital. Ryker's working with Houston PD to track down the major "bad guys/girls" in this story and again when you think you know something... dang. Romance was minimal here, these two share a kiss. He backs off. There's no actual coupling until the end of the story. Honestly I don't know how to review this one. The story line was good. Twisted just enough with so many perverse details and one sick, make that a couple sick twisted people who really did some damage. But I could not relate to the characters at all. There was no pull there, they felt emotionally detached and remote. I refer mainly to Joanna and Ryker, but even the few secondaries were just one dimensional. Again, the plot was just crazy and suspenseful enough to keep you flipping those pages if you didn't expect a whole lot from the characters... and that was ok enough. I'm going to give it 3.5 stars because of the story. So much potential here with a little life breathed into these two. The potential for spark was there and the plot left plenty of room for it. **arc from NetGalley and Loveswept in exchange for an honest review**
This is a good read by Melissa Ohnoutka. I thought that the characters could use a little more developing, but the story line flowed really well and made for a good read in the end. This one is full of suspense and a little romance. Joanna is in charge of planning her father's Christmas party for his office. When Joanna quit law school and became an event planner, her father thought that she was crazy and even told her so. Well, now Joanna is out to prove him wrong and prove that she is in fact in the right profession, but someone else is out to sabotage Joanna. Will Joanna be able to find out who is behind all this before they ruin her in her father's eyes? Joanna is in a tizzy because she has a truck that is AWOL and it has some of the stuff she needs for the Christmas party she is setting up. When she gets wind that the truck has been abandoned and no one knows what is going on with it, she gets her friend Sam and goes to check it out. Little does Joanna know what she is about to walk into. Ryker is an old friend of Joanna's, but they have not seen each other in some time. When Ryker is called to the scene of the abandoned truck and these two encounter each other once again, Ryker could swear that Joanna doesn't know who he is by the way she acts. Come to find out though, Joanna does know who Ryker is and wants to try to avoid him at all costs because of the heart ache he gave her years ago. Ryker and Joanna are working on this case together because it involves both of them so they get to talking and things start to come around for them. When Ryker comes up missing, Joanna knows that it is not a coincidence with this case. Ryker has been taken hostage and Sam is missing. What is Joanna going to do with out them to help her figure this all out? This story will keep you turning the pages to find out what is going to happen between Joanna and Ryker. I did feel like they could have had more of a connection that would have brought them even closer but the overall story was good!
Joanna McNamee quit college and strayed from the career path her controlling father had mapped out for her to follow her own dream of being an event planner. She knows he's deeply disappointed with her choice, so when she is asked to plan an event for him she sees it as a chance to prove to him that she made the right choice. But someone decides to steal her delivery truck and derail her plans, which leaves her scrambling to pull off the job, and has the handsome new deputy knocking on her door... After serving as an officer for the Houston PD, and having a promotion fall through Ryker Kane decides it's time for a change, so he oads up his things and head for Bram in hopes of a new start. He's hoping his return may also put him in the path of a certain beautiful girl he spent a very memorable night with, and finally have the opportunity to ask her why she walked away. And within days on the job he gets his wish, as she is at the center of his very first case... This story captured my attention right from the start and held on tight until the last page was swiped. The story line is packed with edge or your seat intensity, a little steamy romance, and brimming with thrilling mystery. Definitely a impressive first read that took me on one exceptional literary ride, I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this title.