She’s hiding secrets.
For Anna, keeping her deepest scars hidden from the world has always been a necessity—from the bruises of her childhood to the mistake that nearly cost her everything. To keep herself safe, she must keep everyone around her at a distance—especially the man who has tempted her since the moment they met.
His demons are taunting him.
Mason has done his best to bury the past by achieving more than he ever thought possible. But even with all of his success, his life feels empty.
When tragedy strikes, Anna is left fighting to protect the only family she has left. And Mason will do anything to keep her and her loved ones safe—even if that means the ring of wedding bells.
But as a new spark ignites between them, someone is watching.
And they’ll do whatever it takes to snuff out that light for good.
Once again, I started in the middle because I haven’t read anything in the Sutter Lake series yet but that didn’t matter because this reads just fine as a standalone. Anna intrigued me from the first page because she really seemed to dislike Mason and the reason for it wasn’t clear. By all accounts, he’s gorgeous, smart and seeing him with the children should make ovaries burst. Anna’s sweet and friendly, making everyone feel welcome so why does she make Mason feel unwanted? That’s just one of the mysteries to unravel here, but we do get the answer.
This story has everything: tragedy, villains, adorable kids, a fake relationship and more but it’s all woven together perfectly. It flows well and the pace is great, balancing the suspense with the romance and building a new family at the same time. There’s a lot of emotion and dark at times but it’s ultimately an uplifting HEA about loving yourself and choosing your family.
I couldn’t put this book down and read it clean through because I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. Anna is so used to being alone in the world, it’s almost impossible for her to trust anyone, especially Mason, but he’s patient and understanding as she comes to terms with everything happening around her. I think Lyla and Justin are two of my favorite characters in any book ever. So many writers can’t do children justice in their stories but this author truly brings them to life. They’re so real and add so much depth to the story, I just adored them. Mason is amazing, so drawn to Anna and so devoted to saving her, but also completely sincere, with none of the patronizing white knight vibes so many heroes exude. And Anna is easily one of my favorite heroines, damaged and raw but lives to bring goodness into the world for others.
Their chemistry is off the charts so the tension is nearly unbearable but the slow burn is excellent. The mystery has some twists and turns I wasn’t expecting and gave me everything I wanted. This is an excellent read and I can’t wait to read more from this author because I can’t believe it took me this long to find her books. I received an ARC from Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review.