River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz

ROAD
River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz
Publisher: Putnam
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (336 pgs)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

It’s been thirteen years since Lucy Sheridan was in Summer River. The last time she visited her aunt Sara there, as a teenager, she’d been sent home suddenly after being dragged out of a wild party—by the guy she had a crush on, just to make it more embarrassing. Obviously Mason Fletcher—only a few years older but somehow a lot more of a grown-up—was the overprotective type who thought he had to come to her rescue.

Now, returning after her aunt’s fatal car accident, Lucy is learning there was more to the story than she realized at the time. Mason had saved her from a very nasty crime that night—and soon afterward, Tristan, the cold-blooded rich kid who’d targeted her, disappeared mysteriously, his body never found.

A lot has changed in thirteen years. Lucy now works for a private investigation firm as a forensic genealogist, while Mason has quit the police force to run a successful security firm with his brother—though he still knows his way around a wrench when he fills in at his uncle’s local hardware store. Even Summer River has changed, from a sleepy farm town into a trendy upscale spot in California’s wine country. But Mason is still a protector at heart, a serious (and seriously attractive) man. And when he and Lucy make a shocking discovery inside Sara’s house, and some of Tristan’s old friends start acting suspicious, Mason’s quietly fierce instincts kick into gear. He saved Lucy once, and he’ll save her again. But this time, she insists on playing a role in her own rescue . . .

Wow, talk about plot twists that turn on a dime! This latest romantic suspense from Ms. Krentz is a real page flipper. It has a body count, surprise villains, suspicious activities and through it all, an attraction rekindles and passion explodes into love. It’s the progression of the plot, the dance of the romance and the dynamics between Mason and Lucy that sealed the deal for me. This is a must read.

I liked how Ms. Krentz set the stage for what would eventually take place later in the book. I enjoyed the sleuthing, the methods used and the wrong turns the hero and heroine took in the book. The dialogue was key in getting to know the main protagonists and internal dialogue provided clues as to one of the possible antagonists. I truly was surprised at the revelation and even then, the author had a surprise for me and Lucy. I never saw it coming. When Lucy did figure it out, it was a rather unique way of doing it, which impressed me. I wonder where the author found out about that profession and what inspired her to use it in this book? However it came about, it worked; it was gripping and effective.

Another aspect that is sure to please readers is the spark. When Mason and Lucy finally reach the combustion point it was very steamy. The sexiest scene in the whole book stems from an impromptu Kegel. I’m not sure why that part had me so flustered but it was powerful and very, very hot. Mason made me melt.

Dialogue between Deke and Mason, Lucy and others really contributed to the feel of the story. They talked and chatted like anyone else would, although not too many would be chatting and making jokes of a dead body. You have to read it to understand why that was effective.

I liked how the suspense and drama kept getting tighter and tighter to the point when I knew something had to give. I enjoyed seeing how Mason and Lucy navigated the pitfalls by drawing upon the life experiences that they had as they became the people they were in the story. That showing of growth was very appealing.

The happily ever after made me laugh. As romantic as it eventually became, the dialogue and interaction between Mason and Lucy is chuckle-worthy up until the end when I sighed with satisfaction. I love a good romantic ending.

River Road is great. With a tale written as well as this one, it’s a fast easy read because every chapter provided more clues, more questions and more of everything that makes a book gripping – so much so I had a hard time putting it down. I highly recommend this latest adventure from the clever mind of Ms. Krentz. It’s a winner.

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