Monday, September 30, 2013

SUNNY: BOOK REVIEW "Midnight Lies" by Ella Grace


The winds of fate have blown cruelly on a family that once had it all: money, power, prestige. The lives of three beautiful daughters were forever changed when, on a sultry night in Midnight, Alabama, a murder-suicide shattered the Wilde family. The girls grew up to live separate lives but now have returned home, each to face a danger no one can see coming.

Former homecoming queen Samantha surprised everyone by going into law enforcement, but beneath her tough façade lies a wary heart. The tragedy that struck her family is an ever-present reminder that nothing is ever as it seems. When the man she loves, Quinn Braddock, a doctor and Iraq war veteran, is accused of murder, Samantha assumes the worst. Brokenhearted, her confidence shattered, she returns to Midnight. Though exonerated, Quinn still feels the sting of Samantha’s doubt, but he can’t forget his feelings for her and follows her. Soon after his arrival, a shocking murder terrifies the town, and once again, Quinn is under suspicion. This time, Samantha will not turn her back on the man she loves—even if it means walking into a killer’s trap

Midnight Lies is book 2 in the Wildefire series by Ella Grace (aka Christy Reece).  The first story, Midnight Secrets, was a good read, this one is not-to-be-missed.  

Things I liked about this story:

1. There is dynamic chemistry between the two characters.  Quinn Braddock is a veteran doctor, and a stoic, alpha male.  He has tightened down his emotions stronger than a surgical clamp.  Samantha is a new homicide detective.  She is romantic.  And although she escaped Midnight to live in the big city, she considers herself a small-town girl with traditional values.  She is happily in love with Quinn but unfortunately for her, he is a "no commitment" kind of guy.  

When Quinn gets accused of murdering his ex-wife, both their worlds turn upside down. I liked how this relationship developed.  There is instant attraction but that happens before the book starts.  The first obstacle facing the couple is trust.  How well does Sam know Quinn?  He is so emotionally closed, he's told her virtually nothing about himself.  Without that foundation, doubts can and do sink in.  On top of that, Sam carries with her family history in which her father committed a murder-suicide of her mother.  The lack of trust fractures their relationship and circumstances are such that they break up but both end up in Midnight.  The relationship is back and forth, up and down.  It doesn't take a straight path and that keeps me involved. 

When the two finally resolve their relationship issue, it is so sweet (*sigh*):

Do you want me to say that staying away from you for more than a minute is painful for me? That the thought of not having you in my life tears at my soul?  That just seeing your face creates a peace inside me I've never felt before?  That having you in my arms is like coming home?

2. There is a tense murder mystery.  The story is layered and complex.  I enjoyed very much how it unraveled. The author keeps the suspense tight and the story moving. 

3.  I really enjoy the relationship between the Wilde sisters - Samantha, Savannah, and Sabrina.  They are protective of each other, but have no qualms about calling bullsh*t on one another.  With each new book, we see another level of their relationship.

4.  I love that it takes place in the small Southern town of Midnight.  In some ways, Midnight is a character itself.  The townsfolk are busybodies.  But they stick their noses into things because they care.  It is both comforting and suffocating - like a hot summer day.   

I would highly recommend this book for the sweet and satisfying relationships and the intense, keeping-you-guessing, mystery.  Yup, this one is great balance of both - guaranteed to keep you up late and leave a satisfying sigh at the end. 

Thank you to the author, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

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