Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spotlight Review: HARD RAIN by B.J. Daniels

HARD RAIN – B.J. Daniels
The Montana Hamiltons, Book 4
ISBN: 978-0-373-78913-9
April 2016
Contemporary Romance

Hamilton Ranch, Montana – Present Day

Growing up, Harper Hamilton had a crush on Brody McTavish, and her years away at school in Europe has not diminished those feelings. One day shortly after she returns home, she’s out for an invigorating ride on her horse when she runs into him. He is brusque as always, and when he thinks he’s rescued her from her runaway horse, she lashes out at him. But that anger at him is brushed aside when they discover a mummified body that was unearthed due to a recent rainstorm. Turns out the body is that of Brody’s cousin, Maggie, and the main suspect in her death is Harper’s grandfather, JD Hamilton. Maggie disappeared thirty five years ago, and JD died in a car accident shortly thereafter. Is there a connection?

Harper can’t believe her late grandfather killed anyone and embarks on an investigation of her own to prove his innocence. Brody soon joins her, not only to find his cousin’s killer, but to protect Harper, as it appears someone is upset she’s digging into the past after she’s nearly run off the road. Working together on the case brings them together, and soon Brody and Harper can’t deny the real truth: they’re attracted to each other.

Sheriff Frank Curry knows it’s a longshot in finding Maggie’s killer, but he’s determined to find out the truth. Rumors from all those years ago were that JD and Maggie were romantically involved despite their age differences and JD being a married man. With JD’s son, Buck, running for president of the United States, he has to tread lightly and succinctly so that the campaign isn’t marred by innuendo.  Frank soon learns Maggie was pregnant. Was JD the father and is that why she was killed? He’s also annoyed that Harper and Brody are conducting their own investigation. Will the real killer be found? Will the dead finally have their peace?

It’s a hard rain that finally unearths the past in HARD RAIN by B.J. Daniels. Beartooth County has already been rocked the past few months by the return of Senator Buckmaster Hamilton’s presumed dead wife, Sarah, and the eventual death of his current wife in a car accident that may or may not be accidental. Sarah disappeared over twenty years ago, leaving Buck to raise their six daughters. Her reappearance was shocking and mysterious with rumors swirling that she was once part of a terrorist group. Her return has been featured throughout The Montana Hamiltons series and continues to some extent in HARD RAIN, but this tale is mostly about the murder of Maggie McTavish and finding her killer. Readers even get a glimpse into her relationship with JD Hamilton. Did he kill her?

It’s nonstop suspense as the plot twists and turns for Harper and Brody in their quest for justice in HARD RAIN. When they start digging, it stirs up old memories for some people, most of it not good, and invokes others to take action to make sure the truth stays buried. When the eventual killer is revealed, even I didn’t expect this twist. Harper is seen by many as the spoiled and rich youngest daughter of Buck and Sarah, but deep down is a woman ready to claim the man she’s always loved: Brody. He has to balance a fine line between loving Harper and keeping his father and uncle happy, as they are convinced JD killed Maggie. HARD RAIN is heavy on the suspense and little on the romance, but it doesn’t matter, as you’ll be glued to the tale just as I was.

Intrigue, suspense and continued mysteries highlight HARD RAIN and will have you wondering who killed Maggie and if Harper and Brody will finally get to have their happily-ever-after.

Patti Fischer

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