Series: Sweetwater Ranch (Book 8)
The tip that sends FBI Special Agent Seth Calder to an abandoned warehouse in search of exonerating evidence brings him face-to-face with a familiar adversary. Thorn-in-his-side journalist Shelby Braddock is on her own search for the truth about a decades-old crime. Until they stumble on a crime scene...and end up fighting for their lives. Now, their only hope of survival is to work together. But something even more dangerous is drawing Seth closer to the gorgeous brunette. As he gives in to a passion so strong it can erase the sins of the past, he must evade a relentless killer...and confront a shocking revelation no one could have predicted.
Excellent conclusion to the series. FBI Agent Seth Calder and investigative reporter Shelby Braddock both received phone calls telling them that there was evidence on a case each of them was working on in an abandoned warehouse. What they find is a crime scene, one that has been set up specifically to lure them in. Tazered and kidnapped, they have to work together to escape, and that isn't the end of the trouble.
Seth has been searching for evidence that will clear his stepmother of charges of murder. He's certain she's innocent, and thinks the evidence is out there that will prove it. His stance isn't popular with a lot of people, including Shelby, daughter of the man Jewell is accused of killing. She has been just as vehement in her assertions of Jewell's guilt, until recently. A post on her blog brought up a question that casts some doubt on Jewell's guilt. Suddenly she's the focus of multiple attempts to kill her.
Though turning her protection over to someone else makes the most sense, Seth finds himself unwilling to do so. The sparks of antagonism that have previously been flying between them have turned into sparks of a different kind. I loved seeing Seth get protective of Shelby, even though he was fighting the attraction he felt for her. He kept trying to tell himself it was just part of his job, but it kept getting harder to convince himself. Shelby felt the same heat of attraction, and fought it just as hard, but couldn't help admitting that he was the only one she felt safe with. Shelby's strength of will comes through often, as there are so many times that it seems she can't take any more, but rallies to pursue the next lead. She also has a few lighter moments, such as when she teases him about running out of "clean FBI clothes" after their latest run in with their attackers. I loved seeing the changing family dynamics as Seth and Shelby got closer, continuing the blurring of the old animosities that have occurred in previous books. I loved the scene at the hospital between Seth and Shelby. Seth was pretty funny with his fumbling around, but sweet too. I loved Shelby's reaction.
The suspense and action in this story was non-stop. Whoever was after Shelby was not going to give up easily. As in the previous books, there were multiple suspects, each of whom had ample motive and opportunity. About two-thirds of the way through the book there was a twist that threw everything into confusion. It was interesting to see the effect that had on everyone's suspicions. The final showdown was intense and had me wondering just who all was going to survive to the end of the book. I liked how everything got wrapped up.