Midnight Rider (Harlequin IntrigueBig "D" Dads: The Daltons) - Joanna Wayne

Series: Big D Dads: The Daltons (Book 4)

THIS COWBOY WON'T BACK DOWN

 

Houston homicide detective Brittany Garner just got hit with a one-two punch. The twin sister she never knew existed has been found dead, leaving behind a three-month-old daughter. Brittany's vow to find her sister's murderer, as well as the father of the orphaned infant, leads straight to Cannon Dalton. A bull rider who spends his life roaming from rodeo to rodeo, Cannon has only one mission now: protect the beautiful cop and the child who could be his. Caught in the crosshairs of escalating danger -- and his powerful desire for Brittany -- Cannon races to stop a desperate killer…and a revenge that's been a long time coming.

 

Good book with a strong start that just keeps getting better. Brit is a Houston homicide detective who is dedicated to her job. Just as she's getting ready to take the first vacation she's had in years, she's called to the morgue to view a body - one that looks just like her. She discovers that the woman is the twin sister she never knew she had, and that she left behind a three month old daughter. First order of business is to find the little girl's father, then find out who murdered her sister and why.

 

Cannon Dalton is a rodeo bull rider who doesn't believe Brit when she tracks him down. She informs Cannon that she left the little girl with his father at the Dry Gulch Ranch while she looked for him. He accompanies her back to Houston to take a paternity test, all the time certain that there's no way he could be a father. When Brit is attacked while he's in Houston, his protective instincts kick in and he's determined to protect her, even if that means taking her to his father's ranch.

 

Cannon's father, RJ, was a terrible father when his kids were young. When he found out he was dying of a brain tumor, he was determined to try to reconnect with them. He's made peace with three of his sons, and now he's hoping to do the same with Cannon. Cannon isn't interested, having too much resentment over his dad's abandonment to want anything to do with him. But in order to keep Brit and Kimmie safe, he'll put up with RJ for a little while. Being on the ranch and around his brothers gives him a different perspective and things begin to change a little for him. I also liked seeing how Cannon went from denying he could be a father, to falling for little Kimmie and wanting to be a better father than his own had been.

 

Brit's been told to stay away from the investigation until she has recovered from her injuries, but she can't and won't do that. Cannon won't step back and let her investigate without him there to keep her safe. There's more than just protectiveness going on, as Cannon feels a powerful attraction to Brit, even though their lives are very different. I liked seeing the trust that developed between them first and how that trust turned to love.

 

The mystery is very good. Brit starts out by trying to figure out what the connection is between her sister's murder and the attack on her. There also may be a connection with her father, who was murdered three years earlier, and whose killer hasn't yet been caught. Brit's instincts tell her that her attack is related to a murderer she helped catch and convict right after she became a detective, but she can't figure out what the connection would be to her sister and father. In trying to find out more about her sister, she also learns something disturbing about her father. Just when Brit thinks everything is safe, a twist in the investigation puts her life in danger, and Cannon is the only one who can save her.