From New York Times bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz comes an electrifying novel of passion, murder, and small-town scandal.
Investigative reporter Irene Stenson hasn’t been to her hometown of Dunsely, California, since the gruesome night she found both her parents dead on the kitchen floor. Now, seventeen years later, Irene has received a shocking new lead about their deaths—and is determined to discover the truth of what happened on that long-ago night.
Staying at a local lodge, she finds herself confiding in handsome Luke Danner—an ex-marine who’s as used to barking orders as Irene is to ignoring them. But Luke sees the terror beneath her confident exterior—and can’t help but want to protect her. He is also driven by passions of his own, and as they’re drawn together into the heart of danger, they will risk far more than either of them expected.
Krentz's latest fast-paced, well-plotted romantic thriller takes place in the tiny Napa Valley village of Dunster perhaps named after the Amanda Quick heroine Emma Dunster. A mysterious e-mail from a childhood friend, Pamela Webb, draws big-city reporter Irene Stenson home, but when Irene arrives, Pamela is dead, apparently of a drug overdose. Handsome but damaged ex-Marine Luke Danner, who owns the lodge where Irene is staying, helps her look into the case. The plot thickens when Pamela's house gets torched shortly after she dies, and soon Irene and Luke follow a trail that leads to Pamela's father, a powerful senator who may have played a role in the death of Irene's parents when she was a young girl. When Senator Webb's PR flack is found murdered after getting caught up in a blackmail scheme and Luke and Irene start their predictable but torrid romance, Krentz sets up a series of compelling confrontations, as Irene comes up with information that could jeopardize Webb's impending White House run. The dialogue, which dominates the book, is strong throughout; the plot is tight. Flaws like secondary-character overload and one-dimensional takes on politics aside, this is an impressive page-turner from a master of the genre.