Marlene Marcoli made the mistake of falling in love and almost lost her life. Hoping to put her abusive marriage behind her, Marlene moves to Wolf Creek, Pennsylvania. But danger follows her once again when her apartment is vandalized. To make matters worse, the sexy detective working the case is distracting her beyond reason.
Detective Frank Delaney hasn’t been interested in dating since his wife died—until Marlene comes to town. Irresistibly drawn to the blonde, he’s got to find a way to make her trust him. And when Marlene’s life is threatened, Frank must race to protect her—if they both hope to have a second chance at love.
It is an unfortunate commentary on our society that spousal abuse is so much a part of the relational scene these days. Thus this scenario has found its way into the romance fiction genre, as it should. It is a part of real life and it is the part that is, for me, one of the most scary contexts for a love story. There is so much that law enforcement either can’t or won’t do. I guess it depends on the community and the policing in that area. In this short novel the heroine has run for her life back to the haven of her family, or so she thought. Even the safety of her family does not prevent her abuser to continue searching for her in order to prove to her that she can never hide from him. The vandalism and all that continues to disrupt her life keeps her aware that she is not safe, and that is truly the kind of psychological abuse that can defeat one’s deepest sense of self.
The detective is nurturing some significant wounds as well, only he has become a master at beating himself up over his wife’s suicide. Yet being drawn into Marlene’s life does indeed begin a cycle of moving out of that inner world of self-destructive thinking and begins to move him toward wanting and needing a new “someone” who will care about him and help him to renew his joy of living.
This is a really nice read–good length with a complete story, fine characters and a story that moves along. There is sufficient tension from the mystery surrounding the activities of Marlene’s abuser, but the sensual content is really toned down. Nevertheless, this is indeed a romance and while it’s not getting hot between the sheets kind of story, there is the sensual tension between two people who recognize someone who is potentially special. I enjoyed the fact that Marlene knew she had somewhere to go when she needed to leave her abusive marriage. I liked knowing that the community and her family were “there” for her. So this was a very heart-warming story for me and one that was easy to read and which filled an evening nicely for me. Of course, Ms Cassidy is one of those tried and true authors who have built a following and whose stories are anticipated and appreciated for their good writing and plot development. Her books are also written with good language skills and give evidence that the author knows her way around the task of crafting a story so that it all “hangs together.” I guess that is one of the main reasons I enjoy her work.
This is the second novel in her series about Wolf Creek and I am looking forward to her next effort. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.
You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place