Dylan made Alex’s heart race and her blood pound when they were in high school. Then her dad caught them naked in her room and sent Dylan packing. Dylan left town a few weeks later, saying he’d never be back. They’re about to learn you should never say never.
When they meet again four years later, over a mummified corpse in the blazing Arizona desert, what secrets is Dylan carrying, and why does he have to look so damn good? Alex, now a college student and aspiring investigative journalist, can’t decide whether she’d like to find out what she missed all those years ago, or help put him behind bars.
Will she get the chance to make up her mind, before she's marked for murder herself?
Many thanks to the author, Jamie Jeffries, who provided me a free copy of this entire series (yes, she’s THAT awesome) in exchange for my honest review.
And as it has become my custom when warranted, I’ll put this here: This whole series has LOVELY cover art. It’s beautiful.
Alex Ward is a amateur reporter at her dad’s paper, in their small town of Dodge, Arizona. (This is southern Arizona, right on the border of Mexico) When she gets word that a body has been found in the desert she races to get the story. She is beyond surprised to find someone from her past at the scene - her former flame, Dylan Chaves. She and Dylan had a thing back several years before, and her dad basically ran him out of town when he caught the two of them together. (In her dad’s defense she was only 15 - but that’s still no excuse to call your only daughter a whore. It took me a long time to warm up to her father because of that.) Dylan has only recently returned to town. He is a Park Ranger at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Part that is near town. The area that they live in is one often used by illegal immigrants entering the US, and he spends a lot of time in his job picking up illegal immigrants lost in the park, or lost in the desert.
However, that’s not the reason he is interested in this particular body: Dylan has some pretty complicated troubles of his own. I like him, he seems like a good guy, even if he does have a LOT on his plate. His mom is dying of cancer, and is basically just a shell waiting for the lights to go out. He is doing all he can to take care of his mom, along with the nurse he’s hired because she has to have round the clock care. His two little brothers were taken by the state when it was determined that she couldn’t care for them, and he is fighting to get custody of them. In order to do that he has to find their father, Rufio Mendez, and convince him to sign away his parental rights. Rufio is a possible illegal and an all around jerk, who fathered the boys, knocked around his mom for several years and then split. So when Dylan hears about the body he turns up in the desert on the off chance that he will be able to identify it as Rufio.
Dylan is just as surprised as Alex is to reconnect. Dylan never figured he would be back in Dodge again, at least not willingly, and still has feelings for Alex. He would love to pick up where they left off, but she blows him off, still pissed that he didn’t try to keep in contact with her. Little by little they begin to talk again, and Alex realizes that her feelings for him are still simmering beneath the surface as well. They decide to work together to solve the mystery, and to explore their emotions as adults. This sets off a line of events: there are people in their tiny town that would be benefitted by that body never being identified. On the same day, Dylan is ran off a empty desert road and nearly killed; back in town Alex is grilled mercilessly by the police on her involvement with Dylan. This is only the beginning of a non stop action ride that carries you straight on through to the end of the book.
Alex is kidnapped, injured, and abandoned out in the desert to die. This section was my favorite in the book, showcasing Alex’s struggle for survival with Dylan’s increasingly desperate search for her. He is devastated at the thought that he could lose her, after having just gotten her back in his life. Bigger forces are at work than either of them suspected.
I was thrilled to read this romantic suspense from Jamie Jeffries. The action was faultless, and I found that I could not put the book down. I found Alex to be just a bit immature, but in her defense, the girl is only 19, and has been fairly sheltered. I loved, loved LOVED Dylan’s character, and found him layered, interesting, and easy to read. He’s taken a lot of responsibility on his shoulders, and to be as young as he is, I found that impressive. I jumped right into the second book in this series, Fatal Divide, hungry for more. That review will be along soon, so keep your eyes open for more.
About the Author:
Jamie Jeffries is the pen name of a successful author with published novels under other pen names in addition to her titles under this name. She likes to bring a bit of the unusual, the unlikely and the humorous to her plots. Jamie brings you heroines who overcome hard challenges, sweet, sexy heroes with a hint of alpha male, and side characters you'll love to hate or laugh with.
When she isn't writing (which is almost never) Jamie enjoys reading, hiking in the foothills near Denver, live blues music, karaoke and now and then indulging in her karaoke habit.
Jamie would love to let you know when she releases a new book, runs a promotion on an existing title, or has a giveaway running. Please go to www.jamiejeffriesbooks.com and join her fan community! You'll receive a complimentary ebook copy of Jamie's first novel, Impermanent, in appreciation.
Caution: whether reading or writing, Jamie bites when interrupted in the middle of a good chase scene, whether it's bad guys chasing the hero in cars, or the hero chasing the heroine around the bedroom.