In a place called thunder creek, two wary hearts are about to get a second chance at love.
When Katy Templeton fled her small Wyoming town and its painful memories, she thought she’d said good-bye to Thunder Creek forever. But now the prodigal daughter has come home. Home to the relentless ghosts of the past. Home to Jackson Brent, the lean, hard cowboy with the lazy smile--and the last person on earth she ever wanted to lay eyes on again.
Time and tragedy had come between them, but Jackson never forgot his best friend’s kid sister. The coltish beauty blossomed into a stunning woman, burned by love yet unafraid to take on the whole town to get justice for her family. Katy blames him for her beloved brother’s death, but as she digs for answers about that fateful day fourteen years earlier, there is someone ready to kill to keep her from getting them--and Jackson might be the only one who can save her. He wants her safe--and in his arms, but Katy can’t rest until she discovers the truth. Fighting her red-hot attraction to Jackson, Katy risks everything--even the yearnings of her own heart--to unravel the truth about her brother’s death.
A clutter of inessential characters bogs down the first few chapters of historical romance author Gregory's debut contemporary mystery, but once the action revs up, readers will gladly sit back and enjoy the journey. When Katy Templeton returns to Wyoming to reopen her grandmother's diner, she clashes with veterinarian Jackson Brent, the man she blamed for her brother's fatal accident 10 years earlier. After the double trauma of a miscarriage and divorce, Katy wants only to heal. But a list in her brother's old backpack and a sketch of a dead woman that he apparently drew on the day he died sends her in search of the truth. With Jackson's help, she uncovers clues indicating that her brother may have been murdered, though the key events that trigger her suspicion will strain readers' belief. After all, why would her brother need a to-do list to remind himself to report his discovery of a dead body? The story gains momentum midway as plausible suspects surface and someone makes an attempt on Katy's life, but the events that occur after the book's fast-moving climax feel de trop. Still, this minor flaw shouldn't lessen the enjoyment of Gregory's fans, who will be pleased by her treatment of the protagonists' relationship and drawn in by the book's cozy, small-town setting.