Author: Nora Roberts
Publisher: G.P. Putnam (Penguin)
Released: July 2009
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Coop and Lil have been best friends since Coop first visited his grandparents in South Dakota's Black Hills for a summer. And when Lil acted on the love that was growing between them when they were teenagers, everything seemed perfect. But Coop broke Lil's heart when he calmly told her a few years later that he thought it bets they not see each other again. Now Coop has come back to Black Hills to live there and take care of his grandfather and Lil has to learn to deal with that. Complicating things for her is how Coop treats her - as if he wants to take her to bed. Lil still loves Coop, but can she forgive him for breaking her heart and trust him again? Even worse, a killer is hiding in the hills around Lil's beloved refuge and is targeting Lil. Coop will do anything to save her - but will that be enough to win back her trust?
I love when stories go deeper and farther than two adults who met. When childhood is a factor, when there is already a relationship, tangled and mangled as it is, it adds so much more to the story of their love. Nora manages to get inside the heads of every single one of her characters. In all her books, it's obvious that she can get inside the heads of both men and women, and in her romantic suspense novels, including the In Death series, she gets inside the killers' heads. But in stories like this, you can see her skill in getting inside the heads of little kids and teenagers and presenting them realistically, down to the tone of voice and turn of phrase they would use.
I loved both Lil and Coop. Coop is so exasperating, but he's a great guy, and he can't be blamed for wanting the best for Lil, even if he does go about achieving that in a heartbreaking way. And Lil is so dedicated, so fierce, but so vulnerable. I love that mix because it makes her so much realer. As always, the minor characters are also real, likable characters - and I love the subplot of Tansy and Farley's romance - it's so sweet!