Deeper Than Need
One of the nice things about being a reviewer is that you are forced to stick with a book, even if it has a rough beginning. While the start of this story wasn’t really rough, it was confusing and frustrated me a bit. Fortunately I stuck with the story and found myself rather pleased to have done so at the end of it all.
Trinity Ewing had felt a connection to the house from the first moment she saw it. She is now wondering if that emotion was actually the first sign of a coming insanity because nothing seems to be going right with her fixer upper. Well, nothing except the contractor she hired to deal with her home makeover. Noah “Preach” Benningfield is not just easy on the eyes, his hands work miracles on her home. Can she be blamed for wondering if they would work an equal amount of magic on her?
Noah finds Trinity an unnecessary distraction on an already difficult project. At least both she and her young son are very pleasant ones. Which is a good thing given that the man whom he hired to fix the floors has just called in to say he won’t be able to do the work after all. And while Noah is busy trying to deal with that dilemma young Micah, Trinity’s little boy, goes into a room with an iffy bottom. The rescue mission that results finds Trinity falling through the wood and into a pit. Unfortunately, that hole is already occupied by a corpse.
Noah has a history with this house. Unbeknownst to Trinity, the home she bought has been the scene of multiple tragedies. The most recent of them involved Noah’s high school girlfriend, who disappeared along with the family that lived in that home many years ago. Now Noah is wondering just what happened in that place and if the horrors of the past will somehow affect the lady with whom he hopes to have a future.
I’ll begin with the slight negative so that I can focus on the many, many positives. What I found difficult at first was that I felt like I was coming in halfway through a series. It seemed that everyone we were introduced to had some sort of secret backstory and that I should know it. To make sure I wasn’t missing anything I bought the three novellas that are prequels to this novel and read them all. They were good reads and cleared a few things up but the disjointed feeling of being out of the loop stayed with me throughout the book. Fortunately, the story was good enough that I was able to overlook that feeling and focus on the million things I loved.
I loved Trinity. She is a level headed grown up focused on raising her child and building a future for herself after her ex blew up her past. She goes into her relationship with Noah eyes wide open, feeling things out carefully and making sure they have an emotional connection before the physical one. I liked how she took Micah’s feelings into account as well as her own. Speaking of which, the author did a great job of incorporating Micah into the story. He was an actual child mix of good and naughty. While things were made fairly easy for the heroine to get a job and deal with child care there was still the sense that as a single parent she had a lot of responsibility and she was keeping that in mind as she made all her choices.
Noah is a terrific guy. He has a history which adds some depth to his character, there are a few rough edges but he also has a heart of gold. He works as a counselor on a distressed youth message board, keeps us with those in need in the community and is a great friend to the people around him. He doesn’t come across as a do-gooder though and is still a completely sexy hero.
The two of them together make a great couple and the way they incorporate Micah into the relationship shows that the whole family is headed for a wonderful HEA.
The mystery is as intriguing as it is frustrating. I can tell a lot is going on that still needs to be revealed but we got a good start with this novel. I’ve lived in a small town and I liked the depiction of this one; It had both good and bad characters, there was the sense of privilege some folks had from being connected and the awareness that small doesn’t mean saintly.
With writing that is smooth and polished, strong characterizations, good use of setting and an intriguing mystery this is a romantic suspense novel I am happy to recommend. It may not be perfect but it is definitely one of the better reads out there.