Dark Secrets by Desiree Holt
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (116 pages)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Aster
Hawk Blackwater thought Freewill, Wyoming was the place to get his life back together. Riley Scott thought it the best place to hide, half a country away from those hunting her. For Hawk his focus was on finding the killer of the previous sheriff and discovering the cause of the mysterious lights in the Laramie Mountains. Neither realized they were on a collision course, or that the explosive chemistry between them would change both of their lives.
A handsome, rugged sheriff and an intelligent, beautiful woman trying to escape a dangerous past; Dark Secrets has all the makings of a real page turner. While I did enjoy many aspects of the book, as a whole, the story left me wanting more.
Desiree Holt is a very good writer. I have read some of her other titles and always enjoy the way she turns a phrase, and describes the events as they unfold. She creates characters we can root for, and her hero, Hawk Blackwater, and heroine, Riley Scott, were no exceptions. Hawk was intelligent and forthright, and is taken immediately by the nervous Riley. He knows she's hiding something, but is far too terrified to confide in him. When she finally does, the two make a connection which, while fast, is undeniable.
The environment of the small town was beautifully set, and I could imagine walking down the streets from one location to another. The mountains were also described wonderfully and added much to the quaint setting of the story.
In addition to the positives of the book, there were negatives. The pacing of the story as a whole felt rushed. The beginning gave a recap of backstory, as well as a rundown of the minor characters, including numerous deputies, and it felt a bit 'too much too soon.' It was hard to keep track of who was who, and in a suspense story, I like to keep track of characters in an attempt to figure out whodunit. I did realize shortly thereafter that this was unlike many other mysteries, in that this seemed to be intended as a shorter story, but that meant much of the tale was told by way of telling instead of showing. There were several conversations that were skipped over or told by way of recap, and I felt something was missing because of it.
Most of the loose ends were tied up by the end of the book, and despite the rapidness of it, I wasn't left with many questions. The relationship of Hawk and Riley was centerpoint, and they got their happily ever after the way most would want them to.
As a short tale, this one was fun to read. If you're looking for a quick paced tale, Dark Secrets may be a good choice.