Series: Southern Comfort #2
Published by Self Published on January 31, 2013
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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Special Agent Clay Copeland lives his job. As a behavioral specialist with the FBI’s Investigative Support Unit, his days are spent traveling the country assisting other law enforcement agencies with their most disturbing and difficult cases. Clay excels at his work, maintaining an easygoing affability and sense of humor despite his frequently gruesome job. Until one case goes terribly wrong…
Shaken by the loss of a young child whose death he lays at his own feet, Clay seeks refuge in the sandy beaches and plentiful feminine distractions to be found along the South Carolina coast. And no female has ever distracted him quite as much as local innkeeper Tate Hennessey.
A woman with her own ghosts, Tate is a single mother to five-year-old Max. Against her better judgment, she finds herself drawn to the charming and handsome agent. When an outing to a traveling carnival ends with another family’s tragedy, Tate and Clay are sucked into the resultant investigation into the abduction of a young teen.And neither of them can be prepared for what their chance encounter eventually uncovers.
FBI profiler Clay Copeland was ordered to take a week of vacation following the tragic ending to his last case. The serial dater decides to spend the time outside of Charleston at his best friend’s beachfront home. When he spots Tate Hennessy sunning on the beach, he makes the move of a lifetime.
Clay is one of the most appealing fictional characters I’ve read. He’s bright, handsome, good at what he does and has a wicked wit and sense of humor. He isn’t perfect but his honesty and directness more than over compensated for his flaws. Tate was a perfect match as she “got” this man and had a strong sense of self. She’s a single mother raising a 5-year old son and is cautious without being overly so. There was a perfect balance in this relationship with him being commitment shy and she being burned in the past but neither too damaged by their pasts. I liked both of them individually and loved them as a couple. It’s a really well-designed romance.
The mystery and suspense
It was inevitable that Clay would be drawn into some work-related issue while on vacation but what was unpredictable was Tate being a part of the situations. While they were out on a date, they inadvertently witnessed the man who was suspected of abducting a 14-year old girl at the base of a Ferris wheel. Things take a dramatic turn when it appears they’ve stumbled upon a much larger set of circumstances. The points of view of the victims and villains, along with that of law enforcement, helped create a web of intrigue, tension and suspense as all eventually converge to a chilling climax. It was expertly conceived and executed.
One more thing…
Tate’s son Max was one of the many highlights of the story, creating opportunities for comic relief and sweet, tender moments. And, Tate comes from a big Irish extended family who were important here and hopefully in books to come. They enriched the story in substantive ways. Bring on the Murphys!
The bottom line
I LOVED this book. Period. Finished it in one day. Everything worked…the romance, character development, mystery, suspense, emotional connection. The villains were frightening and cold blooded, creating excitement and wrecking my nerves.
The Murphys provide a fertile foundation for some very interesting stories to come. I was already happy with the Wellington brothers from the first book and am now thrilled at the prospect of future stories about Rogan, Declan and Kathleen. This series is now on my top ten list to finish or get up to date.
I also love to talk about books. There’s nothing more exciting than to finish a great story and cover it A to Z with other people, exploring different perspectives and points of view. So, if you see something on my shelf you’d like to talk about, send me a message and we’ll talk!
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