AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT, THE HEAT BEGINS
On a hot southern night, with a storm on the horizon, a family is shattered. Three beautiful daughters—Savannah, Samantha, and Sabrina Wilde—go on with their lives, each significantly changed, as they bear the memory of the murder-suicide that killed their parents. For years, they have stayed away from Midnight, Alabama. Until Midnight calls them home.
Savannah is the first one back, when a grueling case in Nashville leads the young prosecutor to seek shelter in the quiet of the once grand Wilde mansion. But when she finds letters casting doubt on her family’s dark, shameful past, she realizes that peace in Midnight is a shallow façade and sinister secrets lurk beneath the surface. Zach Tanner, once the town’s bad boy, is now the new police chief and still has a wild hold over her. Zach can feel it, too, but he hurt Savannah once. As teenagers, they broke every rule together. Now it’s his job to keep her safe, even though he isn’t sure who her enemies are—or which ones might be his own.
So, I liked this one! It had childhood sweethearts reunited, it had angsty secrets, a murder mystery and many many more of my secret favourites plot lines (I won’t mention them; but they all fall into spoiler territory). I laughed, I swooned, I swore at it when it tested my numeracy skills with its scary timeline jumping antics….
Within the first few chapters of this book, I was ready to put this whole thing down. There had been scenes from three different times in the characters lives and, although they were sequential, it was rather confusing as to what was going on. I’m glad I persevered; although there were some flashback scenes littered throughout the story, they made more sense within the plot than the beginning chapters did. I really loved the scenes that showed a teenaged Savannah falling in love with the slightly older and world-weary Zach. It was such a sweet love set amongst the truly horrible situation that Zach had found himself in through no fault of his own. It had that heart-warming quality that a good rom-com has; of course it all went to hell quite quickly.
I was truly confused as to what went on and when when we got back to present day. I knew that it was all Zach’s fault that loves young dream disintegrated, but that was about it; I had no idea as to when and the details. It was a bit maddening, as I felt I was progressing the tale with only half the pages of the story. I wanted all the facts at hand and it was distracting that I was drip fed them throughout the tale; I have never been a patient reader and it is a complete possibility that this is only my issue! What I did love was the way the main characters had developed into adults who were still the teenagers we met at the start. Zach still had the protective qualities that had made me swoon in the opening chapters, Savannah still had the beliefs that everyone deserved a chance and they still had ridiculous chemistry between them. From the paragraph that they met again I knew I was going to love their story.
Of course, the problem remained that a lot of water had passed under the bridge and the secrets that were between them had festered and become deep, emotional wounds. They were secrets that would keep them apart if they let them or they could accept that they both made these mistakes and move on. I was a little taken aback about how quickly they both forgave each other. These were resentments that had been held close for years; it took sentences for them to be gotten over. I was glad that they did get over them though, so I let it go…..
The chemistry between them led to some unbelievable sex scenes and a developing relationship that had both highs and lows. The angst created a depth that kept me hooked and made me immediately mark the next in the series on my wish-list. This, ladies and gents, is a hero who refuses to let anything come between him and the woman of his dreams again and I loved him!
This book did have some flaws for me but there is also no denying how much I enjoyed it. All of the characters were fantastically well written and the romance took just enough work that its progression was incredibly satisfying to read about. The sex scenes were fabulous, the chemistry combustible and the sub-plot was meaty enough to keep the pages on my kindle flicking. Overall, I’m hooked into this series from just the first book.