Trusting a Stranger, Kimberley Brown
Summary from NetGalley
“A new romantic suspense novel set in Italy, where not even the Tuscan sun can fully expose the dark and shadowy underbelly…
Hayley Wolfe will do anything to keep her father healthy and comfortable for as long as possible. When she is offered a hefty contract in return for some international travel, she jumps at the chance, and the security the paycheque provides. Though the beautiful Tuscan villa doesn’t look like a hotbed of crime, nor its owner a deviant and evil man, looks can be deceiving…
Investigator Ethan MacDonald will do anything to keep his young daughter Katy safe from his ex-wife’s family, even from beautiful young women who infiltrate his home. Hayley claims to have arrived under false pretenses, but Ethan well knows the lengths his in-laws will go to to get what they want.
With Katy’s life on the line, there’s no time for misplaced confidence. Will Ethan and Hayley risk everything for their families by learning to trust a stranger?”
Romance. Suspense. The Mob. Violence and intrigue follow the lives of these two strangers intertwined to save the life of Ethan’s daughter Katy! The lengths a parent will go to in order to keep their children safe are limitless, it’s that instinctual Mama/Papa Bear mode a lot of parents go into if they think even for an instance that their child is either in danger or simply not being treated fairly. This time however, it is a matter of life, death and the pursuit of custody! When Ethan’s wife dies mysteriously her family begins vowing for custody of the couple’s only child, Katy. However, being the Mob, they have not chosen to go about legally, instead of the head of the family is choosing the kidnapping/ransom/hold her until I get my way route. Vito Tomasi has taken over the lead of the infamous Tomasi Mob family and is slightly “obsessed: with gaining control over young Katy in an effort to hinge the family’s future on her being brought up in “the family.”
I have not read many Mob stories, nor have I watched The Godfather *gasp* movies, but of the Mob stories I have read this route for control is on the lesser scale. And the underlying issues that Hayley and Ethan possess themselves is enough the turn the story on its head. Hayley has vowed off all relationships, while Ethan is still mourning the wife he lost, neither want to admit to themselves or each other their instinctual attraction to the other. Sort of like soul-mates meeting and being drawn to one another. This story is not a simple boy-meets-girl, boy and girl fall in love during an intense situation kind of romance novel. There is many lines being crossed that keeps the reader guessing where the author will go next, what steps she’ll take next to help Ethan and Hayley meet their ending. Be it a happy one or not, she takes us on a long winding path to the end.
Personally, this seemed a tad convoluted for my taste and like the author was trying too hard to put some angst into an otherwise good story, the relationship between Hayley and Ethan was strained and seemed to lack chemistry, I didn’t feel like the two meshed well together and that their budding relationship was almost forced.
Four out of Five Stars for Trusting a Stranger only due to the lack of chemistry between the two lead characters.
**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
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