Wonderful Linda Howard story! A bit slow to start but she really built all the characters with all the background info. and made an almost unworkable plot premise acceptable due to explaining the protagonists mind-set. Her attention to detail made the book flow more and made the hero and heroine mean more to me and the secondary characters from the town (Especially Creed & Neenah)! A-/B+
Cate is still mourning the loss of her husband who died three years earlier of an infection, leaving her with infant twin boys. Realizing that she could not make ends meet in Seattle, she moves to a small town in Idaho and buys a B&B. When her latest guest leaves via the window rather than the front door and does not come back the next day, she notifies the police. Meanwhile, the town is trying desperately to get Cate and the local handyman, Cal together - even going so far as to sabotage her plumbing, but she does not seem to notice him.
The guest is Jeffrey Layton, an accountant who is blackmailing a Chicago gangster. He has info on a flash drive that would ruin the gangster, and he has left a trail straight to Cate's door. When the gangster hires thugs to bring Jeffrey and the flash drive in, they rough up Cate and her friend and have a run-in Cal, who would do anything to protect Cate. The thugs leave with bruised egos and Layton's suitcase. Sensing danger, Cate has her mother take the twins to Seattle for a visit, which turns out to be smart. The two thugs come up with a ridiculous plan to take the town hostage to obtain the flash drive when they determine that she did not give them all Layton's luggage.
When the hired thugs (their numbers swollen to six) strike, all hell breaks loose in Trail Stop, Idaho. Little do they know Cal is a former Special Forces soldier - a one man army if you will. With the aid of his former mentor Joshua Creed, Cal organizes the townspeople who are cut off from the outside world. Cate and Cal are forced to climb their way out of the valley via a sheer cliff to obtain help.
Another terrific book from Linda Howard. This book is not as sexually charged as previous titles, but the book is powerful and captivates. A small town is cut off from the outside world and taken hostage as enemies fight to recover damaging computer documents that can topple illegal activities. The hero and heroine save the day.
Linda Howard is one of my favorite writers of romantic suspence. She pulls the reader into both sides of the story. I like that the "romance" is almost secondary to the real plot of the story.
Book Club Edition. Cate Nightingale runs a bed-and-breakfast in small Idaho town. One morning a guest disappears and starts a train of events that will leave the town and its residents at the mercy of a gang of murderous men.