Abby Foster just wants a quiet, normal life. The high school teacher left everything about her past behind when she moved to the mountains of Pennsylvania, but only three years after surviving a brutal attack, Abby awakes in an icy river, facing death once again. This time, though, she doesn’t have to face it alone—if she can manage to trust the sexy cop who just risked his life to save her.
Officer Ethan Hale’s gut tells him there’s more to Abby’s “accident” than meets the eye. When his investigation uncovers a fresh string of murders tied to her old case, he’s driven to do anything to keep Abby safe. But Abby’s former assailant is in prison, so who else wants her dead?
As a killer shows no sign of stopping, Abby has no choice but to trust Ethan with the truth about her past…and any hope she has for a future.
*** small spoiler alert ***
After spending the last two hours with his cousin and other SPCA officers, Officer Ethan Hale leaves a farm and heads back towards the station. The sleet and cold had him half frozen already. He was trying to warm up as he heads towards the bridge he sees a car is over the embankment. When he stops he sees a head bobbing out of the water. He jumps in and wades out; being swept out into the water and is able to pull her out of the water. Abby Foster, a high school teacher had woken up in her car in the river. When she tried to escape the river she was saved by Ethan. He managed to get her to the car and wrapped her up in a blanket. He had no idea how long she had been in the water at this point. When Abby came to she was looking at Ethan standing over her. She couldn't remember how she ended up in the water. She was being attended to now by the EMT’s and watched while she was settled into the ambulance.
As Mike and Ethan search her car a day later, looking for any clues as to what may have happened they spot a half empty bottle of Gatorade. Something Abby drinks before and after her runs in the park. Which is where she was headed when she left school. On a hunch they have it tested. And… when they call her into the police station to talk to her they explain that her Gatorade had been spiked with GHP. If she had drank that whole bottle it would have killed her. There was no way she would have woken up in her car and escaped drowning. This throws her for a loop and she panics. asking to use a laptop to check to see if an inmate is still in prison she searches. freaking out more when she finds he is not in the system.
Abby has to now tell them about her past, something she has been hiding all this time. 3 years earlier she was attacked in her home, kidnapped and left in a well for 10 days. Luckily she was found but it has scared her since then. She left New Jersey to come to Westbury to start over. Mike double checks with the warden and finds out he has been released and puts a car on her house. Anything to keep her safe until they can find out what is going on. The next day Ethan drives Abby to New Jersey to see the new district attorney to find out why she wasn't notified the asshole was let out of jail. By the time she gets there she is in a state of shock? I think that’s a good word. But talking to the attorney only makes it worse. The ass was released as were many others due to tampering of evidence and a crooked clerk.
So he is free… Could he really be the one who had tried to kill her? When they leave they decide to try and track him down. Just to see where he is. After Ethan calls Mike to fill him in Mike calls in a few favors and gets the mans mother’s address. When they leave her home they head to the first place on the list of possible hold ups him mom gave Ethan. Lady is not a fan of her sorry ass kid. But what they find at the motel is not what they expected. He is there… but he is not a danger to anyone… he has been killed.. and not in a nice delicate way. They head back home and as they get back into town Ethan gets a call from his brother. An emergency has come up at the farm with the horses. When he gets there he goes to deal with the horses and has Abby and Derek (Abby’s neighbor kid who they picked up to keep him from walking home in the cold and snow) inside and his mom feeds them. Ethan’s mom not so delicately tells Abby to spend the night. She needs to be safe. Ethan agrees.
They take Derek home and grab some of Abby’s things and head back to the farm. When Abby waked the next day she finds Ethan in the barn where he spent most of the night watching the sick horse. After breakfast they head back to New Jersey to see the police detective that handled her kidnapping case. But again when they get there they get a welcome they don’t want. A man attacks Ethan and runs off. Ethan and Abby chase after him but he gets away. When they get back to the house they find the detective dead. Now.. they are left to try and piece this puzzle together. Who is the killer? Why did these men get killed? Are the two murders connected? Too many missing pieces to suit Ethan. They still have to figure out who tried to kill Abby the week before.
When things finally start falling into place for Abby and Ethan they discover that they really don't know what is going on around them. Stopping at Abby’s to get some things Abby notices that the lights are out. They are not supposed to be out, ever. Ethan goes to check it out but finds nothing. But when Abby lets Zeus out of Ethan’s truck he takes off around the house. Following the dog around the property Ethan notices her garage’s window has been tampered with. He goes inside and what he finds are home made bombs on the floor mixed with the recycling. The neighbors are evacuated and it is then that they find out there is more in Derek’s moms house than they thought. As the night progresses they figure out Joe has Derek’s mom. Leverage maybe? Doing his duty he had to notify social services of Derek’s situation. When the lady shows up to get him he freaks out as does Abby. Even when Ethan tells him to trust him its only temporary they still think the worse.
Abby takes off out of the station going to the one person that may be able to help. Ethan thinking fast once he realizes she is gone tracks his tablet that is in her bag. Only minutes behind her he stalks her as she enters a casino.
What he discovers about Abby blows him away a bit. When he is ‘escorted’ up to the penthouse he is greet by Abby sitting with an older man. Of course he sees green, I mean come on anyone would. But when Abby tells him the gentleman is her father -Ryland Valentine of Valentine Records- things change. She wanted him to find out who was after her. She had never asked him for anything until now. Meanwhile, Derek pulls a Houdini and escapes the foster home only to be caught by Abby’s fathers henchman Kenneth. He is the one that is going to put an end to Joe.. if they can find him. But Derek is street smart and escapes him as well. When Abby and Ethan get back to her place to take a last look they see his footprints coming from her shed. But what they don’t know is the killer that is after he is close.
Derek sends Abby a text and then all hell breaks lose. Derek is snatched up, beaten (as is his mother) and it takes Abby giving herself to Joe to keep them all safe. Ethan follows them out. He is only a few minutes behind them. he runs them down just in time to see the truck they were in in the river. Abby was in the damn river, again. Ethan gets in the water to go after her but is stopped when Joe pulling a gun on him. before Ethan can get a shot off Joes hits him twice. Abby -who has managed to get out of the truck- pulls her gun -that was stashed in the back of her pants this whole time- and takes Joe down just as other officers and Mike arrive. Ethan was wearing a vest, thank god so he will be fine. A gunshot to the shoulder will need to heal but he will be fine. As will Derek who was getting stitches and would be fine in a few days.
After Abby is taken home to rest by Ethan’s mother and Mike she collapses into the bed but is awakened by a strange noise. When she makes it to the kitchen a woman is there with a gun -which is now trained on Abby- and is determined to make Abby for her mother’s sins. Ethan’s cousin thankfully was at the house for the night and when Abby got away from the crazy lady the cop pulled a gun on her. But before she could be subdued the crazy lady was shot by an unknown assailant.
Weeks later, Ethan and Derek are healing, Abby is trying her best to cope and move on but one thing still remains. Her home no longer feels like home. Too much bad had happened to a good person.
I will be honest and say... Oooooh My Gooooood! This one almost gave me a heart attack a few times. (laughs hard) God, it was great. I really wish this series was longer. Like many, many more books. I have become to love the characters and the interactions. Melinda has outdone herself to say the least.