Claire Winslow's husband, Spencer, a ten-year veteran of the San Antonio PD, hasn't been himself these last six months. Not since he'd watched his partner gunned down by a shoplifter, and then had to turn his own gun on the twelve-year-old to stop the kid from killing again. Claire knows it haunts him, that the therapy hasn't really helped, but she's damned sure not going to believe Spence has gone crazy.
Crazy enough to hire a hit man to do murder. Even when she's shown irrefutable proof the person her husband wants killed - is her.
But Spencer Winslow is arrested, not only for conspiracy to murder his wife, but also as a suspect in the disappearance of another man, someone who dared to take a second look at Claire. And while her husband paces his cell like a caged animal, screaming her name, Claire has no choice but to face reality. Her over-protective father, Will Meador, and an old friend, the sheriff of her hometown county, Joel Shepherd, make sure that she does so.
Spence is guilty all right. He knows it. In the past six months, he's tried to escape the pain eating at his heart. And in that escape, he's buried himself in a layer of sludge too thick to clean up. He knows there's no way out for him except to drown in the pit of despair he's dug for himself.
Claire is no stranger to the pain of loss. She lost her mother to a hunter's stray bullet when she was only two and her only sister to cancer when Claire was sixteen. But this one, this betrayal of her heart, threatens to destroy her. So she latches onto her new project, with its daily responsibilities to help her face her waking nightmare, one hour, one minute at a time. She returns to her Texas Hill Country home in Buck County, to the Monarch Ranch, a horse therapy rehabilitation center for sick and damaged children, an undertaking she's planned, organized and raised funds for over the past two years. The ranch is the realization of her lifelong dream, and now its reality will save her.
Or kill her. The beautiful terrain and cliffs above the creek of her property can bring either healing peace or isolated fear. When Spence skips out on his bail and someone begins to vandalize the ranch, Claire's heartbreak turns to terror. Could the man to whom she is married, her lover - her very best friend - come home only to destroy her dream? Could Spence, her one soulmate in this life, the one who fathered the child she just found out she carries, be hiding in the darkness waiting to kill her?
Claire is a stubborn woman. And even when her husband confesses his sins to her, she will not let him destroy himself. She will not let him sacrifice what they have to try to cleanse his soul. Will her willingness to continue to believe in him end up being her deadliest denial?
Author Colleen Thompson leads us once again down a trail of events and plot twists that will have you following her page after page to the end of this suspenseful story of family secrets, love, trust and unconditional loyalty. Her characters are multi-layered and complex, with issues and emotions tied to life events that cannot be avoided, and that, in the end, must be dealt with.
I suggest you read this book when you have time to finish it, because Ms. Thompson draws you so completely into the story, you won't want to put it down until you find out how it ends. Enjoy the read!