Friday, April 10, 2009

Facing It ~ Hearts of the South ~ Linda Winfree

“Facing It” by Linda Winfree

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Genre: ,

ISBN: 978-1-60504-488-0

Length: Novel

Price: 5.50

Publication Date: April 7, 2009

Cover art by Anne Cain

There are worse things than facing your greatest fear.

A Hearts of the South story.

Mired in a brutal marriage for far too long, Ruthie Chason takes her courage and her children in hand to flee the trap that has become her life. Yet she’s no fool. She knows he’ll come after her once he discovers she possesses criminal evidence that will put him away for good—and seal her deadly fate if he ever catches up with her.

Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Parker offers emotional refuge, a safe place to begin to reclaim her life…if she can let herself trust the strong, quiet cop that far.

Chris surprises himself when he agrees to act as guardian for Ruthie and her children. He does it as a favor, then finds something about her calm strength soothes his battered soul. Now if only he can silence the demons from his past that make him cautious of falling too fast for any woman.

Their need explodes into a heart-stopping night of passion that exposes their deepest vulnerabilities. But just as they begin to explore how healing love can be, violence tracks them down. And backs them into a desperate corner…

Warning: Contains a to-die-for deputy with secrets in his past, a woman ripe for the love of a good man, and a controlling husband bent on revenge. Deep emotion, passionate lovemaking and violent mayhem to ensue.

The book opens with a supercharged and emotionally disturbing scene that sets the tone and gives the reader a very real and shocking view of Ruth Ann Chason's life. Right from the beginning you can't help but want her and her children to escape, the fact she stayed as long as she did really demonstrates that even the strongest of people can be controlled by someone they love. I didn't think for one moment that Ruthie wasn't strong. Far from it actually, she is stronger than most people, the proof is easily seen as she flees her husband and takes with her the one thing he wants more than her and her children.

As for Chris Parker he has always been a mystery to Linda's fans, he is an enigma, just when you think you have him figured out he throws you a curve ball you never expected. He's strong and silent yet when the truth is revealed about Chris and his past you can't help but want to embrace him and love him. Chris and Ruthie truly are kindred spirits and they both need the support of another survivor to move beyond the pain of the past.

When I think of Chris I automatically think of Troy Lee, I'm not sure why but I think of them as partners so when Chris turned to that friendship as he battled with uncertainty I was ready to stand up and cheer. If anyone would be able to encourage Chris to open up I knew it would be Troy Lee, he that kind of guy one part reliable cop and one part understanding friend. He would do anything for anyone. (Can you tell I'm a Troy Lee fan?)

The action builds quickly and the danger mounts as Ruthie's estranged husband begins to search for her, I was on the edge of seat for a large part of FACING IT. I have so many things I want to talk about, but doing so would give away too much.

Another substory is present in FACING IT that is just as interesting as the main plot. Jennifer and Harrell, they are reminiscent of Cait and Tick but with the roles reversed. Jen knows she wants him and he try to find a laundry list of reasons why they shouldn't. Their love percerveres and I hope to see them both back in Chandler in the future.

Of course we see some of my favs in this book, Cait and Tick, Cookie and Tori, and my new fave Troy Lee (sorry Cookie). It's always good to check in with the gang, and I wish we could have seen more of them, but if Linda covered all of them everytime FACING IT would have been 1000 pages. Not that would bother me, but I'm sure Linda would still be writing it.

FACING IT can be read as a stand alone title, but I definitely recommend reading THE HEARTS OF THE SOUTH series in order, there are so many fabulous stories in this series and IMO none of them should be missed.

A big BRAVO to Linda Winfree for another emotional and turbulent read, it had me from the first page till the very last one.

9.5 out of 10

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