Author: Elisabeth Naughton
Series: Deadly Secrets #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Thriller
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Pub Date: July 26, 2016
My Copy: Courtesy of NetGalley and Montlake Romance
Hidden Falls is exactly as Samantha Parker left it—small, insular, and prone to gossip. Eighteen years have passed since she witnessed her brother’s murder, but she’s still the talk of the town. Until a handsome child psychologist with haunting memories of his own arrives.
Dr. Ethan McClane isn’t exactly a newcomer. If it weren’t for his latest case, he’d never set foot back in Hidden Falls. Thankfully, no one seems to recognize him as the troubled teen from years past. Not even Sam, the delightfully sharp and sexy high school chemistry teacher he can’t stop thinking about.
When Sam and Ethan work together to help one of her students, sparks ignite. But Sam’s hazy memories of a long-ago night concern Ethan, and unlocking the repressed images reveals a dark connection between them. As the horrors of the past finally come to light, their relationship isn’t the only thing in danger. A killer will strike again to keep an ugly secret hidden. This time no one will be safe.
A totally interesting and complex book of what happens when the past and present collide in a really very interesting and complex story of relationships. Samantha and Ethan are totally two people who’s past are at the very heart of this story and how they had to change their lives because of a tragedy. These two have to overcome a lot of their issues and learn the truth of what really happened one night.
What I like about this book is that we start with something tragic happening to a young boy’s death. The way it was presented was a good introduction to this story and we fast forward to the presented where our heroine Samantha Parker is always having the same nightmare, not realizing that they are repressed memories. We move to the present where someone is playing pranks on her or giving her warnings. Samantha gets the feeling that the latest warnings near her mothers house, is not a prank but a warning. She feels like someone is targeting her. According to Samantha, their has been other weird stuff.
We get to meet a bunch of characters who are very important to this story as well. They all are part of the community of Hidden Falls. These people are all connected as we learn that the past is very much part of these people lives. There is a secret that everybody shares even if one of them has repressed it. I thought that Will, Margarget, Kenny, Jeff all made a very interesting combination of characters. Also Ethan shares a past with them, but he hasn’t been back here for quite a while. He comes back to this town because he is trying to help a young kid named Thomas Adler out.
Things happen through out the book. We learn that Ethan and Thomas have a lot of things in common because of their circumstances of what happened when they were young. We learn that someone is trying to give warnings and scare Samantha. Samantha knows something and the group is divided, meaning Will and the others are about what to do with her. Margaret seems like she is the ring leader of course. Margaret tells Kenny not to bother Samantha. She will take care of Samantha. He is making things worse. Samantha knows what happened that night even if she doesn’t remember. Margaret is a very mean and devious woman, she thinks she can control things.
Ethan and Samantha really do have a great chemistry. I like how the relationship goes through its ups and downs. They do talk about things but not really about their pasts. They don’t realize as they are both pursuing this relationship that their pasts are really linked in a way they can’t expect. They talk about their parents and his adopted parents and his adopted siblings. They have a lot of chemistry and it sparkles in a way that you can’t expect. Both Ethan and Samantha changed their names, so neither of them know their connection to one another.
Thomas Adler is also interesting as his storyline comes in direct contact with things that have happened in the past. Margaret knows who Thomas Adler biological mother. There is a skull that is found on Samantha’s property and Samantha remembers a teacher that went missing a few years ago. We learn so many things about this woman Sandra Hollis. Sandra Hollis was quite a piece of work. She did some really questionable moral things. We also learn that Thomas Adler is her son. So we learn this woman was murdered in that cabin and Samantha saw it, but only told her brother about it. Kenny, Jeff, Will were the ones that did it along with Jenkins, the neighborhood Newspaper reporter. We learn that Margaret is the one who blackmailed Jeff into marrying her. Things quickly escalate in a way that you never expect. I like the crazy twists and turns this book takes. Plus people try to save Samantha and don’t always end up doing so. We learn that some people are murdering one another in the group to take care of what they perceive to be a problem.
I really enjoyed the way this book took on some surprises and twists that I didn’t see coming. Yet they were enjoyable nail-biting and shocking at times. Yet the past can never be forgotten. It has to be faced and nothing can be repressed forever. I was hoping for a happy ending and as the book concluded, everybody gets what they deserve and Samantha and Ethan both get their happy ending.