Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Run to You by Sarah Ballance

Very few of us are what we seem. ~ Agatha Christie

Mattie James can't pinpoint exactly when she lost control of her life, but the moment she decided to take it back made the front page of the local paper. Desperate to dodge the fallout— and the tabloids—she jumps at the chance to spend an off-season week in a tiny resort community by the sea. Making the trip with her ex-lover is a complication she can live with; coming face to face with a dead woman is not.

The last thing Sheriff Wyatt Reed expected to find on the storm-ravaged beach was a beautiful blonde with a jealous sidekick, but one look at Mattie left him wanting more. Their first date takes an ominous turn when he gets the call that a woman was found murdered. With a killer on the loose and a troubling lack of suspects or motive, Wyatt has to put his feelings aside to focus on the case. But his vow not to become personally involved is shattered when he discovers Mattie's life is on the line, and this time the truth leaves her with a deadly choice . . . and nowhere to run.

Agatha Christie was right. Very few of us are what we seem. And in Run to You, the new romantic suspense novel by Sarah Ballance, somebody in the quiet little beach resort where Mattie James goes for a getaway is not what they seem. Somebody in the little community is a cold-blooded murderer.

I love gorgeous hunks and was immediately gulping down the story when Mattie, a rebel with a cause, agrees to go on a vacation to the beach with her long-time buddy, ex-lover and would-be boyfriend, the good-looking lothario Daniel “Hutch” Hutchins.

Hutch has an agenda, as any good card-carrying Romeo would, and—even in spite of Mattie’s spurning of his affection—he intends to go all-out romantico on the trip.

Mattie decides the little getaway might not be so bad when she encounters the hunky sherriff of the community, Wyatt Reed. The lawman is struck like lighting by Mattie—from the top of her blonde head to her pink-painted toenails.

This development, of course, puts a kink in ol’ Hutch’s plans.

But you know how things sometimes go wrong on dates? Well, Mattie and Wyatt are no exceptions. The intrusion into their evening, though, is a murder—a young woman whose mutilated body is found on the beach…very close to Mattie and Hutch’s condo. The date is shot to hell in a handbasket by this horrific incident, and Wyatt is forced to put his quickly growing attraction on the back burner to investigate the death. And before this crime—a very rare occurrence for this community—can be solved, a second young woman’s body is found in the same vicinity.

That’s all of the plot I’ll tell you.

But I will tell you that Run to You will have you guessing until the last pages. You will think you know who the killer is from one moment to the next. As you live the adventure, you will think you have reason to suspect every character in the quiet town of the crime. This reader was so sure who the culprit was. But Ballance cleverly rode my mind like a wild Six Flags ride, and, in spite of all the clues I’d gathered along the way, I was not sure until the end.

The book has all my favorite elements. Gorgeous hunks, cool ocean-front homes that turn ominous when the dark clouds roll in and the winds howl, mystery and sensuous romance. All in one compelling over-before-you-know it read. My kind of book.


Sarah Ballance said...

WOW, Zampa! You ROCKED that review, and I am beyond thrilled my book compelled you to pen such wordage. Shoot, you've almost got ME lined up to grab a copy and, well, I've read it a time or two, LOL. Seriously, I will treasure this. ((Thank you))!

C. Zampa said...

My pleasure, Sarah! It's a good book and I'm proud of it AND you!

Melissa Pickering said...

Wow, what a great review! I'm so ready to dig my teeth into this one, and I usually don't read murder mysteries!

Sarah Ballance said...

@ Melissa - I'm glad you're looking forward to it! No pressure on the whole genre thing, right? *Grin*