“Dark Secrets: A Western Escape” by Desiree Holt is an entertaining and spicy romantic suspense novella set in a small Wyoming town which features an enticing new sheriff and a woman on the run. Hawk Blackwater has left his Arizona job as a policeman to become the new sheriff of Freewill, Wyoming after the prior sheriff is found dead under suspicious circumstances. His Yavapai heritage gives him links to the nearby reservation but he is frustrated by the lack of progress in his murder investigation and the ongoing complaints about mysterious lights in the mountains that are seemingly untraceable. An inability to verify which of his deputies are honest and dependable complicates Hawk’s life but he is intrigued by another newcomer, a jittery woman named Riley Scott. Riley is on the run for her life and unsure who to entrust with her knowledge of the crimes that her former fiance is perpetrating. She is reluctantly drawn to the attractive sheriff but unsure about allowing him close enough to be a protector as well as a lover. Hawk has his own priorities and the determination and skills to achieve his objectives, now if only he can get Kaitlyn to cooperate.
An enjoyable tale that slowly ratchets up the suspense even as it raises the heat. The carnal attraction that the two main characters develop for one another is nicely contrasted with the unfolding mystery. The format of the story naturally forces the action to be somewhat predictable and rushed but Ms Holt does her usual excellent job of telling an engaging and erotic tale.
Hawk Blackwater thought Freewill, Wyoming was the place to get his life back together. Riley Scott thought it the best place to hide, half a country away from those hunting her. For Hawk his focus was on finding the killer of the previous sheriff and discovering the cause of the mysterious lights in the Laramie Mountains. Neither realized they were on a collision course, or that the explosive chemistry between them would change both of their lives.