Everyone has secrets, and some will kill to keep them buried...
It started with a break-in. And though normally wedding dress designer Cassidy Tate could have handled it, having Tucker Buchanan's strong arms, quick wits and great dog as backup was reassuring The former army engineer turned architect was the perfect guy in an emergency--and the fact that he was willing to pick up the pieces was even more appealing.
Because it turned out it wasn't a simple robbery. Someone was after something in the shop Cassidy and her fellow bridal boutique owners shared. Now Tucker didn't want to let Cassidy out of his sight. But was that to protect her--or claim her for his own?
Cassidy owns a wedding business with her two best friends,Violet and Lilah. When Cassidy arrives at work one morning she discovers that the shop has been broken into and wrecked. Tucker and his dog Bailey are out running, and come to Cassidy's aid when she screams. As Cassidy's partners arrive, and Tucker calls on his partner, they try to figure out why her business was targeted. When their landlady and friend is attacked the same day, they discover that someone thinks there is something valuable hidden in the shop. Tucker's protective instincts kick in and he doesn't want to let Cassidy out of his sight.
There are sparks between Tucker and Cassidy that continue to grow as they spend more time together. Tucker is a man with some tragedy in his past that makes him more sensitive to the things that have affected Cassidy. I loved his support of her as the mystery brings unhappy memories to haunt her. I also loved seeing what a big part of his life Bailey is. Any man that is so good with his dog has definitely got a good heart. Cassidy is an independent woman because she's had to be. Her family wasn't supportive of her dreams, so she's had to depend on herself before she joined up with her friends. Her sister's suicide has left her feeling guilty because they had never really gotten along and didn't reconcile before Leah's death. And the end of her engagement has her questioning her judgement of her relationships. It's something of a relief to her to be able to lean on Tucker. I loved seeing that immediate connection between them, and how it makes it easier for them to open up with each other. Though each is reluctant to believe that they could fall in love so quickly, they really can't deny the strength of their feelings.
The secondary characters of Lilah, Violet, Max, Jo and Max Senior, are all terrific. Each one is as deeply involved in this book as the main characters are. Jo and Max Senior, as the keepers of the secret, believe that they are keeping the others safe by not telling. Getting them to spill the beans isn't easy, especially as they've kept it for so long. There are some interesting vibes between these two that make me think they're more than just friends. I loved Cassidy's partners Lilah and Violet, both of whom have strong personalities of their own. Lilah seems to have some trouble in her past that have made Cassidy and Violet very protective of her, but she hasn't let it stop her from doing anything she wants. Violet is a force of her own, and that force often seems to clash with Tucker's friend Max. I suspect that the sparks that fly between them aren't all of the antagonistic variety. I'm looking forward to seeing more of them.
I loved the suspense portion of the book. The premise of the story is believable, and the author does a terrific job of setting it up. There are several secrets, and as each new piece of information is uncovered, it became even more intriguing. There are several instances where we get the point of view of the bad guys, one of whom is pulling the strings of the others. With each attack the danger increases, and our characters become more determined to find out who is behind it. The confrontation at the end solved part of the problem, but there are still questions unanswered.