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Friday, August 27, 2010

Long Time Gone by Meg Benjamin

Long Time Gone (Konigsburg, Book 4) by Meg Benjamin
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (229 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewer: Holly

A future with the woman of his dreams is within his grasp…if the past will stay that way.

Konigsburg, Book 4

Erik Toleffson wasn’t looking to become Chief of Police. He’s got enough trouble trying to rebuild his relationship with his three brothers who, until just recently, ran the other way when he approached. He’s not the bully they grew up with, but bad memories are tough to overcome.

Morgan Barrett is as worn out as a vat full of crushed grape skins. She never planned to run Cedar Creek Winery, but there’s no one else to shoulder the load as her father recovers from an injury. All she needs is a little sleep. Just a five-minute nap in the booth at the Dew Drop Inn…if that guy across the bar would stop staring at her as if putting her head down on the table is a crime.

After Morgan yawns in Erik’s face, there’s nowhere to go but up. With time, though, their relationship warms like a perfectly blended Bordeaux. Until the shady mayor digs into Erik’s past and dredges up information that could drive a permanent wedge between him and his brothers—and sour any chance of a future with Morgan.

Erik Toleffson is working hard to leave the past behind. The oldest of four brothers, Erik was the big bully who tormented his brothers without mercy, and now he needs to leave that reputation behind.

Morgan Barrett never wanted to run her father’s winery, but steps in when her dad is injured. Now if only he and his partner would only listen to her opinions and ideas instead of brushing her off, she would be much happier.

Something nasty, in the form of illegal dumping, is happening in Konigsburg, Texas, and it is affecting many around the town. When Erik is named temporary sheriff, it becomes his problem, along with several others. When he and Morgan meet, sparks fly, but they take things slow at first. Can Erik solve the riddle of who is dumping toxic waste in his town? When Morgan gets attacked, will he be distracted away from his main goal? Can these two find a life together, solve the crimes, and get what they really want?

I liked this book a lot. I wish I had read the first three in Meg Benjamin’s Konigsburg series, but this can be read as a stand-alone. It just would have given me more insight into the characters' personalities had I read them. Ms Benjamin creates wonderfully believable characters, in a very interesting world.

I loved the suspense of this story, and couldn’t quite guess who was behind the dumping. The lead characters were such a lot of fun. Morgan is determined to prove her worth to her father, but she also tries to convince him that the winery needs more PR. She is tired of being seen as Daddy’s little girl, and she wants to be seen as an adult. I admired Morgan’s never give up attitude, and kept rooting for her to succeed.

Erik is the tall, handsome and sexy sheriff, who never really wanted the job, but is determined to do his best to keep it once he’s appointed. I liked that he had regrets about how he treated his brothers in the past, and was working toward mending fences with them. Erik is an honest man, and butts heads with the shifty mayor of the town over inconsequential issues. I love that Erik takes being a lawman seriously, and I’m delighted that he and I share one quirky addiction of sorts, our love of Dr. Pepper.

Ms. Benjamin did a fabulous job in letting the romance grow, and once our hero and heroine finally got together, the heat was definitely on.

Do these two manage to solve the mystery and find a happy ever after? With hot sex with mango sherbet, crooked politicians, yuppie bikers, Bored Ducks, and a Maine Coon Cat with attitude, they manage.

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