James Wellington is a private investigator from Charleston who is pursuing a lead related to one of his cases, a woman who’s been missing for 15 months. It’s brought him to Lakemont, Georgia in Rabun County and though he’s not optimistic, James feels obligated to see it through for his friend. One of the first persons he meets is Willow McCloud, a fascinating woman who owns and operates an outdoor destination company, and there’s an immediate connection. Trouble is that she’s the younger sister of the sheriff and James seems to have brought an unusual spate of criminal activity with him.
the heart of the story…
The prologue actually details the moment Cassandra Collins went missing so it was a pretty chilling start. James is from the Wellington family who was introduced in the Southern Comfort series but it isn’t necessary to have read those books. He’s the youngest and the one we knew very little about, though I was happy about the crossover. Willow is a free spirit, extremely athletic and was no one’s stereotypical “baby sister.” She has serious skills and can handle herself. I loved their banter and interplay, which paved the way for the ramp up to something more passionate. It made sense and didn’t feel like instalove as a consequence. Things got really dangerous, however, as the mystery surrounding James’ case seemed to find its center in Lakemont.
the bottom line…
The story didn’t lack for suspects, including some red herrings, but it was difficult to eliminate anyone because it wasn’t clear what happened to Cassandra, the why and if she was even still alive. I enjoyed assembling and dissecting the clues but was just as drawn to James and Willow. Their romance and relationship is fresh and unconventional. And! There’s an adorable dog named Lump in the middle of it all that brought cuteness and smiles. The resolution of the mystery was interesting, some I’d figured out but most a revelation. I’m a fan of the McCloud siblings and adding a Wellington just made this a great reading experience.
- Release Date: May 18, 2021
- Series: Rabun County #2
- Page Numbers: 498
- Publisher: Independent