This has got to be, hands down, one of the most intense and thrilling books I’ve read so far this year. Simply amazing!
What’s it About?
Forty years ago the Australian rural town of Burrawang Bend was the scene of a brutal murder, and the townspeople are still calling for justice. Marlee Moore, the suspect’s and victim’s granddaughter, is fighting to clear her grandfather’s name. And no one is going to stand in her way. But when things take a dangerous and deadly turn, Marlee must turn to the one man she was determined to run out of town.
Devon Reilly, investigative journalist for his hit TV show, Justice Served, is in Burrawang Bend to solve the forty-year-old cold case murder. But, he didn’t bargain on Marlee keeping him from investigating the case and he soon questions where her loyalties lie. With the living? Or with the dead? But when Marlee and her son’s life are put in danger, Devon knows he is the only man who can keep them alive. But what happens when he soon realizes he is the bigger threat to the woman and kid he loves?
Goodness gracious, where to begin?! I don’t really know what I was expecting from this book before going into it, but let’s just say I got a whole hell of a lot more than I bargained for. Before you know it the plot takes on a life of its own, sucks you in, and I found myself having to remember to breathe a few times from holding my breath in anticipation. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’ve found it really does take a lot to surprise me when it comes to romance novel plot lines. This one? Left me absolutely floored and took off in a direction I never saw coming.
Small Towns Can Be Deceiving
Marlee lives in a small town in the middle of nowhere Australia. It’s a quiet town, and nothing ever happens there. Except of course the murder of Marlee’s grandma 40 years ago. The prime suspect? Marlee’s own grandfather. But it’s now a cold case, and her grandpa was never arrested for any crime. Marlee has spent the last few years trying to sway public opinion and convince the town that her caring grandpa is truly innocent. Just when she feels like she’s starting to make some progress, Devon comes rolling in. He’s the host of a crime TV show, and he’s intent on finding out who the real killer is behind this cold case.
You Can’t Fight Chemistry
Marlee is determined to hate Devon with every fiber of her being. Here is this outsider, dredging up painful memories and accusing her grandfather of the most heinous of sins. But, she’s inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. I’ll admit, it did seem kind of strange how often these two would blatantly check each other out when having such intense arguments about her grandfather’s innocence. But on the other hand? Hell, we’re all human! Sometimes you can’t easily tell your body to simmer down!
Who Do You Trust?
This novel was like a psychological puzzle of mayhem. Marlee is convinced of her grandfather’s innocence, but when Devon arrives he presents her with some other possible scenarios of what went down 40 years ago. Could it be possible her grandfather isn’t as harmless as he appears? Who should she trust? A good looking stranger, or her beloved relative who took her and her son in when nobody else would? Has she been blinded by family loyalty, or is Devon merely presenting her with false information that would make for a good TV episode? So…freaking…amazing! You’ll question everything and everyone!!
And then there’s Devon, a TV personality who’s drive for success links back to his past, and the unsolved murder of his twin brother. He still hasn’t brought his brother’s killer to justice, so he strives to help other families find peace where his could not. Then he meets Marlee. He’s trying to find justice for her grandma, but his main suspect is also her own flesh and blood. He finds himself being drawn closer and closer to the enchanting Marlee, as well as her young son Max, who by the way is the most adorable freakin’ character everrrr. Anyway, Devon is drawn to them, but believes if he gets too close he’ll fail to keep them safe, since he failed to keep his brother safe as well. Such depth! Such inner struggle! Such awesomeness!!
Getting Down and Dirty
Alright, let’s talk whoopie. Believe it or not, this was the one part of the novel which kind of…confused me. You see, Devon likes to walk on the wilder side. Apparently, Marlee was aware of some of his secret desires because of a magazine article published by his ex. Hey, as long as we’re dealing with consenting adults, I’ve got no problem.
My confusion however was two-fold. One: for pretty much the first half of the novel, Devon is extremely hesitant to start anything physical with Marlee, believing it could compromise his investigation. He’s constantly pushing her away, yet when they finally cave to their baser desires, it was like, well holy hello Mr. Dirty Talker!! You wanna put what where exactly?! I guess it was just a rather jarring switch to go from 0 to 120 mph in the span of a page.
Then there’s Marlee’s reaction to it all, which was my second area of minor confusion. She craves more. She wants him to be even rougher, and delights when he tugs her hair, and even grasps her neck. Marlee claims it’s because in those moments she can live in oblivion and find peace from all the drama and craziness going on with her grandpa’s investigation. Ok, I kind of get it, but considering how much was actually going on in her life I probably would have settled for a bubble bath and a good back rub.
*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*
Series: Justice Served, book 1. What’s next?! Gimme, gimme!
Should you read it? I just loved this one, and had trouble putting it down! You can feel Marla’s inner dilemma at how she should view her grandpa. Loving caregiver, or sick killer? Then we have Devon, who feels like he has to protect everybody, and solve every case to make up for failing his brother. A thrilling read with some sexy times thrown in too.
Smut Level: The primary focus of the novel is on the cold case, so actual romps don’t come until after the halfway point, but there are quite a few smoldering looks beforehand. They both like it rough, yet nothing too outlandish. Most out there thing they do is anal, and there’s quite a bit of description involved.
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. Loose Id LLC.