I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Midnight Secrets by Ella Grace
Published by Ballantine on April 30th 2013
Genres: Romantic Suspense
AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT, THE HEAT BEGINS
On a hot southern night, with a storm on the horizon, a family is shattered. Three beautiful daughters—Savannah, Samantha, and Sabrina Wilde—go on with their lives, each significantly changed, as they bear the memory of the murder-suicide that killed their parents. For years, they have stayed away from Midnight, Alabama. Until Midnight calls them home.
Savannah is the first one back, when a grueling case in Nashville leads the young prosecutor to seek shelter in the quiet of the once grand Wilde mansion. But when she finds letters casting doubt on her family’s dark, shameful past, she realizes that peace in Midnight is a shallow façade and sinister secrets lurk beneath the surface. Zach Tanner, once the town’s bad boy, is now the new police chief and still has a wild hold over her. Zach can feel it, too, but he hurt Savannah once. As teenagers, they broke every rule together. Now it’s his job to keep her safe, even though he isn’t sure who her enemies are—or which ones might be his own
The Set Up
Triplet sisters Savannah, Samantha and Sabrina Wilde lost their parents in a brutal “murder-suicide” in Midnight, Alabama when they were 10 years old. It was blamed on their father but we know that’s not so from the prologue. Their paternal grandfather is left to raise them and when Savannah was 18, she fell in love with Zach Tanner, a noble boy from a troubled home.
It’s 10 years later and Savannah returns to Midnight for a couple of months, not having seen Zach in all that time. He’s hoping for forgiveness for what tore them apart and she’s not sure she can handle seeing him again. Both have secrets that they’ve held back.
Somebody murdered Beckett and Maggie Wilde 18 years ago and they killer or killers are still out there with no one really aware someone other than Beckett committed the crime. The suspense element slowly elevates as the story evolves.
What I Loved
Zach and Savannah. I felt like I knew exactly who they were in their teens and again ten years later. They were always true to character, and awfully appealing ones at that. There’s a humble nobility about Zach…he’s not perfect but he comes close. And, Savannah epitomizes beauty, grace and Southern elegance. Having the undiscovered and unsolved murder as a backdrop added a subtle edge to the entire story. Their romance was poignant, tragic, lovely, steamy…all of that. And, it was always at the forefront of the story. The Southern element was pitch perfect, too..no caricatures here, just a realistic portrayal of what’s true about the culture.
What Didn’t Work
Nada. This is the complete package.
There are three timelines in the story: the parents’ murder when the girls were 10 years old; Savannah at 18 when she begins seeing Zach; and, Savannah at 28 when she returns home.
This is a strong start to what promises to be a really good series. The romance was utterly satisfying, the suspense creepy enough, the mystery puzzling and the Southern setting appropriate to the story. We already know enough about the other two Wilde sisters, Samantha and Sabrina, to anticipate their stories and there are a couple of other characters whose stories would reel me in. I really liked this book. It’s 4.5 halos!
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