Note: This ARC was provided by Montlake Romance via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The last thing he wanted was her out there again, but short of locking her in her room or sending a deputy to escort her out of town, there wasn't a damn thing he could do. Still, he stepped closer, closer than was strictly polite. "Be careful."
"I always am."
She stopped in the middle of stepping and raised her eyebrows. "I'll keep my phone on me. I'm no planning on kicking any hornets' nests while I'm out there."
And yet it seemed like every time he turned around, shit was starting, always with her at the center. He couldn't say that without sounding accusatory, so he didn't say a damn thing.
Katee Roberts isn't a new author to me. I've read a couple of her past series before, and my reaction to them has been mixed. But damn, did she do a bang-up job with The Devil's Daughter, the first in her new romantic suspense series from Montlake Romance entitled Hidden Sins. I can only imagine the balancing act involving all the elements to this series starter not being an easy one, but Roberts managed it quite nicely, and the result was this pulse-pounding, intensely riveting story of a woman who makes the decision to return to the cult her mother started and continues to be the head of in order to get answers to the disappearances of teenage girls in their small town. By her side is the town's sheriff, torn between not trusting her and wanting to protect her from confronting her past.
The murder of a teenage girl who was just beginning to get away from her abusive home life brings together a small town sheriff and an FBI agent. Zachary Owens grew up in Clear Springs, Montana, but Eden Collins's childhood was limited to the confines of Elysia, the commune set up by her mother that houses members of their group. Their paths may have never crossed, but by the time they finally did meet, Eden knew Zach was the town's sheriff and Zach knew Eden was the estranged daughter of Martha Collins, leader of Elysia. With no other choice but to work together in order to find out who killed the teenage girl, Zach quickly realizes that he wants to make sure that Eden remains safe as well, even as she confronts her past so as to put a stop to even more of the killings.
I more than appreciated the build-up with regards to both the romance and the suspense parts of the book. Zach and Eden had to earn each other's trust, and there wasn't this immediate wanting to jump into bed together either, thank goodness. The romance between them is subtle, which I think fits with this particular story. As far as the mystery and suspense aspects are concerned, let me put it this way: I. Was. Floored. I often have a running list of potential suspects in stories that involve a whodunit angle, and the guilty party here wasn't on my list. So, definite bonus points for catching me off-guard. This is Katee Roberts at her best and I can't wait to see where she takes us next when the second novel in the Hidden Sins series is released. The Devil's Daughter gets five-plus stars. ♥
Date Read: 26 January 2017
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