Friday, September 7, 2012

Midnight Exposure by Melinda Leigh

Title:  Midnight Exposure
Author: Melinda Leigh
My Rating: B+

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: #1
Main Characters: Jayne and Reed
Release Date: August 2012

ISBN: 978-1612184753 

Publisher: Montlake Romance
Links to Purchase:

Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Reluctant tabloid photographer Jayne Sullivan is on assignment: find an elusive wood sculptor and get the first pictures of the hottest new superstar in the art world. An anonymous tip sends her to rural Maine, where she is stranded by a snow storm. But instead of the reclusive artist, Jayne finds a sexy, mysterious handyman. An attack on Jayne sets off a violent spree that stirs up terrible memories for Jayne. Is the angry artist trying to protect his privacy? Or is someone else stalking her? She is certain of only one thing. Nothing is what it seems. Both the hot handyman and his hometown have secrets. As if Jayne didn’t have enough of her own.

Reed Kimball is tired of death. Since his wife’s murder five years ago, the former homicide detective just wants to be left alone, far away from the media publicity that nearly destroyed him. But the local police chief wants Reed’s help with the bizarre murder of a college student in which the killer left an ancient Celtic coin under the remains. As if his life isn’t in enough turmoil, Reed is stunned by his attraction to a gorgeous, overly curious photographer. When Jayne is attacked, Reed is torn. His hidden past is far too scandalous to risk exposure. Isolated by the blizzard, Jayne and Reed wish temptation was the only peril that faces them. But Jayne’s assailant isn’t finished with her yet—and his desires are darker that anyone could imagine.

My Review:
Melinda Leigh knows how to weave a great romantic suspense. This book features two people who are both hiding things...already her web is starting to spin. 

Jayne is a photographer. Traditionally, she's worked for magazines shooting landscape photography, but a chance photo has launched her career into tabloid journalism. She hates it, but with a brother who is dealing with PTSD and piles of doctor's bills after his tour in Iraq, she can't turn down the money. If the family wants to keep the family bar, she has to do this job. Her latest assignment is to track down an elusive sculptor and get his photograph. That leads her to a small town in Maine and Reed, a former Atlanta homicide detective turned handyman that wants nothing to do with a journalist. BUT he doesn't know why Jayne is in town.

Her first day in town, Jayne takes a photo that she doesn't realize she's a photo of a deranged killer and now he's after her. Several years ago, Jayne was attacked by another serial killer, but he's just been released from prison and now her life is spinning out of control again.

The backdrop of this book is a tiny little town with lots of secrets. I love the way that Melinda weaves her stories and her characters. After you're finished with the book, it all makes sense, but while you are reading it, you (totally meaning me) are just floundering trying to grasp onto all the clues. It makes for a great suspense read. 

But her books are also full of great characters. I LOVED both Jayne and Reed. Their histories are full of scars and emotional pain. Neither one trusts ANYONE, but they find their way to each other...not necessarily an easy thing especially since they are both harboring secrets. But they are both also incredibly strong and willing to stand up for what they want to fight for because they've been through the gauntlet of their pasts. They've learned to grab onto what is important.

Then there are the fabulous side characters...I cheered for John and his flagging spirit. I just wanted him to find the strength to survive just a little bit longer. I liked Reed's son Scott, especially the scene where Jayne protected him...that was such a great scene for the development of her character. Then there was Danny and Mandy...I'm REALLY, REALLY, REALLY crossing my fingers that this book was a set-up for them to get their own book. There was just something there for them...

Another great read by Melinda Leigh. I highly recommend it!!

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