Thursday, February 16, 2017

Everywhere She Goes - Janice Kay Johnson (HS #1896 - Jan 2014)

Series: Mysteries of Angel Butte (Book 2)

Standing between her…and danger

Returning to her hometown is Cait McAllister's chance to stand on her own. That means taking a break from men and relationships. Then she meets her new boss, the intriguing Noah Chandler. As the mayor, he's got bold plans for Angel Butte. As a man, he's so tempting that Cait's vow of independence is in jeopardy.

The most persuasive part of him, however, could be the way he looks out for her. Because when a threat from her past puts her in danger, Noah is there to protect her. And there's no way she can resist a man who has so much invested in keeping her safe.

Very good book. Cait has returned to Angel Butte, escaping from an abusive relationship. It also gives her a chance to reconnect with her estranged brother, who is a police officer with the town. She plans to stay away from men and relationships until she is more confident in her judgment. She takes a job as the city planner, working for Mayor Noah Chandler.

Noah moved to Angel Butte looking for his father, whose last known address was there. He stayed as he built his restaurant business, then ran for mayor. He's a solitary man who has avoided all relationships.

I loved both Noah and Cait. Cait moves to Angel Butte to escape the attentions of an ex-boyfriend who is stalking her. Having grown up in an abusive family, she's embarrassed that she got caught up in the same situation. She's determined to put it behind her and start a new life. Part of that entails getting the job as the city planner. I loved her confidence in her abilities as she stood up to every question Noah threw at her during her interview. Underlying it all is an unexpected attraction to him, one that she isn't comfortable with at the beginning. Cait is still dealing with issues caused by her father's and boyfriend's abuses, and worries that she can't trust her judgment about him. Her relationship with her brother is also still rocky, aggravated by tension between the two men.

One of the things I liked best about Noah is that he's not a drop dead gorgeous man. He's even a bit on the homely side by most people's reckoning. He's also pretty forceful, and has made a name for himself as a mayor who can't be pushed around. He's dismayed by his attraction to Cait, as getting involved with an employee has never been an option for him. But he finds that he can't stay away from her. He has issues that hold him back from committing to anyone, stemming from his own childhood in a dysfunctional family.

I enjoyed the development of their relationship. They can't fight their attraction as it simmers under every time they are together. When Cait is targeted by someone from her past, Noah's protectiveness really comes out. It was fun to see him and Colin on the same side in this, when they are adversaries in so many other ways. As they spend time together and find so many things in common, their feelings begin to grow. Cait realizes what is happening and is afraid that she's going to end up getting hurt. Noah is pretty clueless about what is happening to him. He gets flashes of what it would be like to have Cait with him always, but fights them off. When he finally clues in to what is really going on, he doesn't handle it very well.  It takes a life threatening crisis to bring them back together and show them both what they could have together. I loved the ending, especially the visit from the three council members.

The mystery of what was happening kept me hooked throughout the book. Cait left Seattle for Angel Butte, hoping to leave her problems with her ex behind. A series of attacks after she arrives in town make it clear that she is still in trouble. Besides the corruption and other problems that came to light in the previous book, there has also been another murder. As both Noah and Colin work to protect Cait, it becomes apparent that there is more going on than a simple stalking case. There are several unexpected twists and turns to the case that show an unexpected connection between Noah and Cait. The final confrontation with an unexpected foe was very intense, with both Cait and Noah fighting for their lives. While the main mystery of this book was resolved, there are still ongoing issues in Angel Butte. I've read some of them, and each book is just as riveting as this one.

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