Ellie Price receives a weird phone-call from her father, "Uncle" Baxter, in which dear old, slightly crazy dad goes off on a rail about someone being after him, having already killed Gray Goose. Ellie, despite not believing a thing coming out of her paranoid father's mouth, still goes off in search for him, determined to bring him back into civilization and on his meds again. The problem is, her father is apparently headed into a cabin in the middle of the Colorado wilderness that will be reachable by car only in summer. So Ellie needs a guide and gets one in the guise of a mountain.
Enormous, taciturn, bearded and scowl-y, George Holloway's preferably mode of conversing is shrugging and an occasional grunt, but Ellie is more than willing to put up with anything, since the mountain of a man makes her feel safe, and obviously knows what he's doing.
Little does she know there's more truth in her father's words than she thinks...And there's someone in the sleepy little town of Simpson that's willing to kill to keep secrets.
After the debacle that was the previous book, this one brought the A-game back. Suspenseful, gripping, intense, with a larger-than-life hero that was the amazing George Holloway (major, major crush, here), and a whopper of an ending, I couldn't have wished for more.
Sure, it had its issues—mainly the loss of momentum once the plot moved from the wilderness to the city, and the fact I couldn't really connect with the heroine (everybody and their uncle wanted me to believe she was cute and lovable and great, but I simply couldn't warm up to her), but the rest of the story more than compensated for it.
George was the lovable one in all his taciturn, grunting glory hiding a vulnerable, innocent core that made me all mushy inside from reading about it. His innocence was the best part of the characterization in this book, providing a great counterpoint to his outward appearance and quiet, intense nature, while also setting this story apart from other stories in the romance category.
The depictions of the hike and the wilderness surrounding George and Ellie were vivid and engrossing, the suspense intense and gripping, rising and abating at just the right moments...And that final paragraph...Oh boy, it made me think of the worse and I sure hope it's just a red herring to keep us guessing and fretting. Because it sure was a doozy. A perfect cliffhanger to make me want to immediately read the next (and final) book in the series.