This is a fantastic book. I was totally and completely sucked in.
First off, the scenery is amazing. It’s set in Idaho in a teensy tiny little town called Trail Stop. If you’ve ever been travelling and driven through a tiny town that has nothing more than a feed store then you’ll be able to picture in your mind the kind of town Trail Stop is. Howard does a phenomenal job of putting you right inside this community. I felt as though I’d lived there and I knew the area and its people.
There’s just the right amount of backstory on all of the townsfolk as well as the main characters Cate and Calvin. Once you learn a bit about Cate you completely understand why she’d abandon her life in Seattle after her husband unexpectedly dies and relocate to a remote place such as Trail Stop with her two young twins. Calvin’s backstory on the other hand comes a little bit later in the book but it’s perfectly timed. You know just enough information when you need to know it. (sidenote: there’s a lot less romance in this book than the cover would lead you to believe. If you’re not one for steamy sex novels, don’t shy away from this one just because of the jacket illustration).
There’s room for much more backstory where the ‘bad guys’ are concerned but you’re so caught up in the storyline that you hardly notice that it’s missing. The very last page did leave me a bit confused about the villains though. There’s a sentence in there about a serial killer who is “eyeball snatching” and unless I skipped a page somewhere in the book, there’s nothing in the book that even remotely relates to eyeball snatching. I’m not sure if this was just to throw people off and make them say ‘huh?’ like I did or if it was a plug for her next book or what.
I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick and entertaining read. It’s not romance-y and I promise there’s no eyeball snatching. Go pick it up today!
Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:
In the charming rural town of Trail Stop, Idaho, accessible to the outside world by only a single road, young widow Cate Nightingale lives peacefully with her four-year-old twin boys, running a bed-and-breakfast. Though the overnight guests are few and far between–occasional hunters and lake fishermen–Cate always manages to make ends meet with the help of the local jack-of-all-trades, Calvin Harris, who can handle everything from carpentry to plumbing. But Calvin is not what he seems, and Cate’s luck is about to run out.
One morning, the B&B’s only guest inexplicably vanishes, leaving behind his personal effects. A few days later Cate is shocked when armed men storm the house, demanding the mystery man’s belongings. Fearing for her children’s lives, Cate agrees to cooperate–until Calvin saves the day, forcing the intruders to scatter into the surrounding woods.
The nightmare, however, is just beginning. Cate, Calvin, and their entire community find themselves cut off and alone with no means to call for help as the threat gathers intensity and first blood is drawn.
With their fellow residents trapped and the entire town held hostage, Cate and Calvin have no choice but to take the fight to their enemies under the cover of night. While reticent Cal becomes a fearless protector, Cate makes the most daring move of her life . . . into the very heart of danger.