Some kids inherit a family business; Jo Ward inherited a badge. Once voted Most Likely to End Up in Jail, the town wild child has become sheriff—hell-bent on uncovering the truth about her father’s mysterious death. Life is quiet in rustic River Bend, but Jo longs for something beyond her small hometown and the painful memories it holds. All that keeps her sane is the support of her best friends, Melanie and Zoe.
But when Jo signs up for an expert law enforcement training seminar, she meets Gill Clausen, whose haunting eyes and dangerously sexy vibe just may challenge her single-minded focus. Commitment-phobic Jo can’t deny her attraction to the arrogant federal agent, and when odd things start happening around River Bend and danger surrounds her, she realizes she’ll need his help to discover who’s out to remove her from River Bend…permanently.
As Jo and Gill work together, it’s clear they make a great team. But can Jo loosen her grip on the past enough to let love in and reach for the future?
Catherine Bybee is a go to author for me. And, books like this one are the reason. I really enjoyed Jo's story, which was a surprise for me as her story was the one I wasn't looking forward to of the 3.
Jo was interesting. And, I loved the exploration of the idea that she was living her life possibly for someone else rather than for her. I think a lot of us are in the position of doing things, or acting in certain ways, because of the expectations of others, or the expectations we place on ourselves because of the influence of others, because we think it is what they want us to do. I loved that this was explored in the guise of jo following in her father's footsteps (don't worry, really not a spoiler as this is something that comes up throughout the book).
I adored Gill. There was just something about him that made him incredibly appealing. I think a lot of it was how much he just plain adored and respected JoAnne, as he calls her. There is an appeal to a story that features a hero who just plain adores the heroine. And, it lets him get away with challenging her, and with calling her out, without losing the respect of the reader, as you know he thinks she is great.
As always, the book is well written and well paced. I would have liked a little less of the "murder mystery" but at the same time, I think it was important for the story of Jo as a whole, so I am not even positive that this was not well balanced.
There is an acknowledgement in the end of the book that is both heartfelt and rather funny, and, yes Ms. Bybee, I think ending it with a big fire would have left us readers with an ending we didn't love.
I recommend this book, as both a standalone and as the satisfying end to a series.
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New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Weekday Brides Series and the Not Quite Series. Bybee lives with her two teenage sons in Southern California.
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