Time spent with Nora Roberts, the quintessential storyteller, is
always time well spent. Every book delivers a smart plot, riveting
suspense, and strong, interesting characters. In her latest
romantic suspense novel, the reader is transported to the
ranchlands of South Dakota.
What 11-year-old New York City kid wouldn’t want to spend
his summer in South Dakota? Certainly not Cooper Sullivan. But when
his parents send him to visit his maternal grandparents, the summer
becomes an important turning point. Not only does Coop discover the
special love that his grandparents have for him, he also meets
Lillian Chance, who lives on the neighboring ranch. The two become
fast friends, bonding over baseball and ranch life. Lil, whose
great grandfather was a Lakota Sioux, also shares with Coop her
natural affinity and love for cougars.
Lil and Coop spend many summer vacations trekking the Black
Hills and falling in love. Their last summer together brings them
to another turning point: Lil and Coop discover a hiker’s
body, and Coop decides to break away from his father’s
expectations and follow his own dreams. Life takes Lil and Coop in
different directions, leaving their relationship and the mystery of
the murdered hiker unresolved.
Coop returns to New York and takes control over his future and
his trust fund. Instead of becoming the lawyer his father wants him
to be, he enters the police academy and eventually opens his own
private detective agency. Twelve years later, Coop returns to South
Dakota to help care for his grandparents after his grandfather is
injured in a fall. Ready for a change of pace, he sells off his
agency and decides to stay.
Over the years, Lil has stayed true to her dreams of becoming a
wildlife biologist. As a big cat specialist, she has founded and
runs the Chance Wildlife Reserve near her parents’ ranch.
After a six-month sabbatical studying pumas in the Andes, Lil
returns home to find Coop back in town. Will their love be
reignited? Only time will tell.
When one of Lil’s beloved cougars is killed, Coop’s
cop instincts tell him that someone is trying to sabotage
Lil’s wildlife reserve. Who and why? Then a hiker is murdered
and Coop begins to worry that someone is after Lil. His criminal
training leads him on the trail of a serial killer whose crimes may
well include the body he and Lil found all those years ago.
When the danger comes too close for comfort, Coop moves in with
Lil and the two partner up to protect the wildlife reserve and
Lil’s safety. Living and working so closely together brings
up unresolved feelings and issues. Will Coop find a way to explain
to Lil why he could not stay with her? Can they rekindle the old
flame? As they begin to settle their past, the killer makes a bold
move. Lil and Coop must combine their skills and knowledge of the
South Dakota wilderness to stop the killer and survive.
Nora Roberts’s story is a marvelous blend of family
relationships, suspense and love that connects with the reader.
This reviewer can’t imagine ever passing up her newest book
--- she always delivers. You will not be disappointed.
Reviewed by Jennifer McCord on December 22, 2010