Title: Midnight Seccrets
Author: Ella Grace
My Rating: B
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Wildefire #1
Main Characters: Savannah and Zach
Release Date: April 2013
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT, THE HEAT BEGINS
On a hot southern night, with a storm on the horizon, a family is shattered. Three beautiful daughters—Savannah, Samantha, and Sabrina Wilde—go on with their lives, each significantly changed, as they bear the memory of the murder-suicide that killed their parents. For years, they have stayed away from Midnight, Alabama. Until Midnight calls them home.
Savannah is the first one back, when a grueling case in Nashville leads the young prosecutor to seek shelter in the quiet of the once grand Wilde mansion. But when she finds letters casting doubt on her family’s dark, shameful past, she realizes that peace in Midnight is a shallow façade and sinister secrets lurk beneath the surface. Zach Tanner, once the town’s bad boy, is now the new police chief and still has a wild hold over her. Zach can feel it, too, but he hurt Savannah once. As teenagers, they broke every rule together. Now it’s his job to keep her safe, even though he isn’t sure who her enemies are—or which ones might be his own.
The book begins 18 years into the past with the horrific murders of the triplets parents. Then it jumps 10 years into the past to show the beautiful beginnings of Savannah and Zach's relationship. When the book jumped to present day, I was heartbroken because I was already so enmeshed and emotionally involved with Zach and Savannah's romance. To know that it fell apart for some reason was heartbreaking. But....that what makes a good book... that angst.
What makes these two characters so rich is their background. From the age of nine, Zach virtually took care of his mom and younger brother. He did whatever he had to do to keep them fed and sheltered, not all of it legal. That developed him quite a reputation as a bad-boy, when in reality, he was the most responsible caring kid around. When he met Savannah, he saved her from being gang-raped and then the two of them embarked on a whirlwind two month relationship that ended when he had to leave for basic training.
Savannah is one of triplets. Their parents died when the girls were ten years old, from what everyone else thought was a murder/suicide perpetuated by their father. The reader knows differently. They were the wealthy family in town and the three girls were raised by their grandfather. Now Savannah is an Asst. DA whose life may be in danger, so she returns home to clean out the house that the girls have all avoided since their grandfather's death. There she finds letters that tell her that he never believed the murder/suicide theory. He thinks his son and daughter in law were murdered. Zach is now the Police chief.
This book is fairly complex in that Savannah is facing danger from two different areas...her work as the ADA and her digging into her parent's deaths. As such, I was kind of disappointed that the danger in the book didn't show until the last 25%. I think the suspense aspect of the story line could have been ramped way up from what it actually was. That was my one big complaint with the book.
Every thing else was great. I liked the set-up for the triplets story line, although I'm interested to see how their business works for them in the next two books, because that seemed a little sketchy in this first book. I like that all three girls are VERY different from each other.
I really enjoyed Zach and Savannah as a couple. The story wasn't anything new, but it was entertaining and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and getting to know them. I liked their 2 month courtship and the history so filled with so much emotion. For their story, everything about this small town worked for me.
I'm less convinced that the small town setting will work for the next two books and the new career the girls have set, but if anyone can make it work, I am convinced that Ella Grace will be able to. I definitely look forward to seeing how the other girls' stories play out.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.