Dawson pens a complex, intricately plotted novel and creates a community full of offbeat characters and circumstances. The most standout feature is the refreshingly original backstory the author gives her protagonists, which keeps readers guessing as to which secret from their past lives will be revealed next.

Small-town business owner and senior caregiver Maddie Kincaid figures she's finally found the quiet, simple life she's always dreamed of having. Unfortunately, she accidentally stumbles into big trouble, which involves not only a drug scene and the Southern mob, but a sexy ex-DEA agent nicknamed "Sin."

Luke "Sin" Callahan thought he'd finally left the small town of Brazos Bend behind him forever. Walking away from "Mayberry with a Texas drawl," Luke escaped painful memories and challenging relationships. Then Maddie waltzed into his boathouse. Reluctantly, he finds himself drawn back to his hometown to help her, but will anything -- even a long-legged redhead -- entice him to stay? (SIGNET ECLIPSE, Oct., 336 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Marilyn Weigel