Genre: Christian Romance/Suspense
Release Date: January 23, 2018
All Maggie Jones wants to do is sell her late father’s property and get out of Whitehaven, Texas as fast as possible—before she runs into the one man she’s spent the past six years avoiding. Someone has other plans for her, though. Sinister plans. And when a seemingly harmless act of vandalism turns into a series of menacing threats, she has no choice but to turn to the last person on earth she wants to see for help.
Sheriff Cody Smith never expected to see Maggie again, especially after he’d broken her heart all those years ago. Maybe this is the second chance he’s always wanted. But when he realizes Maggie’s in grave danger, he intends to keep her safe at all costs. With lines from an old nursery rhyme as their only clue, he needs to find out who’s behind this deadly game before the rhyme ends and Maggie’s time runs out. Can he protect her, catch the bad guy, and make amends for past wrongs? Or will old wounds get in the way?
I was blessed to have received an advance reader copy of this book in an exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Jen! As this is a debut, and releasing books is nerve wracking, even for established authors, I am excited to post a review for this.
The first thing I noticed was the immediate suspense established on page one. When Maggie arrives at her deceased father’s house in Whitehaven to take care of his personal effects, she doesn’t even understand the threat left in the form of vandalism on her father’s garage door, and sort of brushes things off. But the intensity of the threats and attacks escalate, and she’s forced to take it very seriously. That’s why, for me, this book was fun to read!
Pierce displayed the ability to reveal backstory in increments instead of dumping all of the characters’ back stories onto the reader in the first chapter. Each new piece of information led to a better understanding of the characters and the overall plot. The important aspect of suspense stories (or any story really) is that every single scene and bit of information within the scene must connect and must be important to the overall story line. Foreshadowing has to be delivered to the reader. I think she succeeded in these areas. Foreshadowing was never blatant, but subtle and flowed with the plot.
The more pages I read, the more I liked the characters. Their reactions to the situations they encountered stayed true to their personalities, to their traits and their overall professions. (Cody being a Sheriff, had much different reactions to the attacks than Maggie did.) The descriptions and actions and dialogue seemed well balanced. With the side characters, however, a bit more physical descriptions would have helped.
In my opinion, because of the complicated backstory between Cody and Maggie, romance kind of took a back seat until 1/3 of the way through the book. That’s okay, that’s not a bad thing. (I do like my romance!) But for this story, it worked well. As the threats escalated in intensity against Maggie, the romantic tension between Cody and Maggie also increased. It wasn’t too fast or too slow.
If you like suspense with romantic tension thrown in, I think it’s a great story and you’ll definitely enjoy it.