Sean McCloud must protect the woman he has never stopped loving: Liv Endicott. Years ago, Sean had to send Liv Endicott away to save her life. Now he has tokeepher close, very close—for the same reason...
On the very day an arsonist burns down Liv's bookstore in a smalltown in theWashingtonmountains,she finds fate has anothershock in store for her. Amid the smoke, rubble, and tears, Sean McCloud appears, calling her name. He's every inch the man he always was—the man she kept on wanting. But wantingis not the same as trusting, and she doesn't dare let himget tooclose. Yet a ruthless killer is gunning for Liv, and she'll die unless they join forces to unearth a chilling truth—and come together in a blaze ofsearingpassion.
Page 287. What is that you ask? That is the page that I finally figured out that Kevin McCloud (Sean's twin brother) is still alive. Knock me over with an effing feather. Why? Well, I've been reading Shannon McKenna since her first book came out. Behind Closed Doors introduced the McCloud brothers. In all the subsequent McCloud books, it's always been a FACT that Kev McCloud was dead. D-E-A-D. Is the sky blue? Yup. Does the sun rise in the east? Yup. Is Kev McCloud dead? Yup. So while I was slow on the uptake here (as usual), I don't feel bad about it b/c it was so unexpected. For me anyway.
So we already know that McCloud brothers' dad, Eamon McCloud, was one paranoid mother-f-er. We find out a few more nice little tidbits, too. Such as the time that he tattooed Sean and Kevin's name on their thighs b/c they kept playing jokes on him. Or how he wouldn't take his kids to the dentist b/c he was afraid someone would put bugs (tracking device bugs) in their teeth. Yes, he was definitely a stellar father. Of course all of his kids now have some sort of fear that they will end up like the old man.
Sean gave up the love of his life fifteen years earlier so she would be safe. When Liv Endicott delivered a coded note from Kev, he couldn't take the chance that what Kev wrote could be true. Even though just about everyone thought Kev was looney like their father, Sean always had faith in his twin. He ran Liv off the only way he knew how. By being a total rat bastard and saying really mean things. Isn't that how they always run the women off?
Fast forward fifteen years. Liv has returned to Endicott Falls from Boston. Opening her own bookstore/cafe, Liv is finally on her own and loving it. When her bookstore is burned my an arsonist/stalker, she's shocked to find Sean McCloud arrive. Though her family and would-be fiancee try to convince her Sean is responsible, Liv knows better. In no time flat, Liv finds herself in bed with Sean. While it was a little fast to the sack for my taste, it was believeable b/c of the past these two had. Sean doesn't believe Liv is safe and he always follows his instincts. So he sneaks into her room at her parents' house to plant tracking devices all over her stuff. He didn't plan on having s-e-x with her. They never do, do they?
Secondary characters Miles and Cindy return. Miles is now a smokin' hot genius. Though I can't remember if Cindy was TSTL before, she is SOOOOOO TSTL in this book. O-M-G. This goes beyond what I can stomach.
Let me rewind for a minute so you can better understand the TSTL issue I have...
Sean and Liv go on the run after Liv is kidnapped by "T-Rex", who is her arsonist/stalker. Though intially clueless, T-Rex aka Gordon, spills his guts to Liv when he thinks he's about to kill her. Of course he didn't consider that Sean planted a tracking device on her and would arrive at any minute. Liv finds out that this is about Kev and how he was murdered. Everyone thought that Kev committed suicide b/c he was mentally ill. See, there was some sick frak doctor who loved experimenting on people's brains. Not just any brain would do, however. He needed extra smart brains. Which he found in Kev. Sean and Kev were both off the chart geniuses, though people rarely knew that about Sean b/c he never really "acted" like a genius (however geniuses act). So they start trying to decode Kev's sketch book which is supposed to probably lead them to some video tapes. Maybe.
Miles is working on something for Connor (Sean's brother). Seems there's some sicko that is luring really smart people away and then they disappear. He meets them on the internet, so Miles is pretending to be a smart girl. At this point they have no idea that this case and Kev's "death" are related. Enter TSTL Cindy. After overhearing Miles talking to Sean on the phone about one of Kev's old professors, she asks Miles what it's about. Miles tells her is none of her business, stay out of it, it's dangerous, blah di blah. After they almost get it on, Cindy decides she's going to show Miles she's more than a slutty piece of fluff [insert foot stomping here]. She goes to the professor's house and pretends to be a dumb ex co-ed (when she's really a TSTL ex co-ed). She realizes that she messed up soon enough. That night she stays at her sister's house (who is married to Connor) and someone breaks into her parents house. She finally fesses up to Connor and Miles about what she did. Does it end there? No, of course not. She decides that she's going to "disappear off the radar" by continuing Miles' case of the internet predator. She's going to show them she's not as stupid as she seems. Ha. That part really effing annoyed me. She went beyond TSTL.
Eventually they beat the bad guy and Sean leaves Liv again. He's afraid that he will kill her after what the sick frak doctor did to his brain. She just knows that this is the second time he's abandoned her, seemingly for her own good. He makes nice with her and they have make-up sex on the couch in her new shop.
3.5 out of 5 stars.