Palmer has done a lovely job creating a small-town Southern community with distinct characters. Unfortunately, the plot veers toward the predictable, the backstory weighs down early chapters and the hero and heroine's actions and conversations do not always ring true. The combination of behavior that is unnecessarily cruel on the hero's part and unfocused dialogue in some scenes make parts of this novel difficult to get through.
Grace, a shy and lonely young lady, has a dark secret. When Garon's latest investigation leads him to hunt down an evasive child predator, he finds Grace's help invaluable. He also discovers how much he wants and needs to protect her. (HQN, Jun., 288 pp., $24.95)