I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.No One But You by Brenda Novak
Published by Harlequin MIRA on June 1, 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak welcomes you to Silver Springs, a picturesque small town in Southern California where even the hardest hearts can learn to love again
Struggling to make ends meet after a messy divorce, Sadie Harris is at the end of her tether. Her waitressing gig isn't enough to pay the bills let alone secure primary custody of her son, Jayden, a battle she refuses to lose. Desperate, she accepts a position assisting Dawson Reed the same Dawson Reed who recently stood trial for the murder of his adoptive parents. Joining him at his isolated farm seems risky, but Sadie is out of options.
Dawson has given small town Silver Springs plenty of reasons to be wary, but he's innocent of the charges against him. He wants to leave his painful past behind and fix up the family farm so he can finally bring his dependent sister home where she belongs.
As Sadie and Dawson's professional relationship grows into something undeniably personal, Sadie realizes there's more to Dawson than the bad boy everyone else see she has a good heart, one that might even be worth fighting for.
Dawson Reed was accused of murdering his parents and after a year of imprisonment, was acquitted and released. His mentally handicapped adult sister was cared for during that time by a state institute and he wants to bring her home. Sadie Harris answers his ad to be a caregiver and housekeeper, even though she’s fearful of him as the whole town believes he’s guilty of the murders. But Sadie’s desperate as she needs the extra money to finalize her divorce from her abusive husband who happens to be a Silver Springs police officer.
This was a chilling story with some very strong themes. Dawson and Sadie are both tragic, he because he’s not been able to mourn his brutally murdered parents who he loved and suffers the scorn and judgment of a town who passed a sentence that a jury didn’t. She is the mother of a sensitive 5-year old son and both are being stalked and menaced by her estranged husband, Sly (aptly named). While these two came together under tough circumstances, they really were well suited for each other. Her support came at a time when it was sorely needed and he gave her the protection, enough that it gave her much needed confidence to stand up to her husband and force his hand.
I loved this story and both characters. It was interesting how the police angle tied into current events, showing how one unsuitable officer could taint an entire department and how their failure to address his issues complicate the matter. It was deftly handled without indicting law enforcement. While Dawson and Sadie’s relationship developed very quickly, I liked how it’s still open ended with both recognizing they have a lot to learn about each other. This definitely has a strong suspense angle, which suited me perfectly. I’m enjoying this rather unconventional series.