After her former life goes up in flames, Raven Sutter needs a new start. After all, there's nothing left for her in Nashville but the shadow of her musician ex-husband's reputation and her traitorous friends who have declared their alliance with him. So Raven packs up and sets out for a rural town in northern Tennessee, where no one knows her name and no one knows her past.
The small town of Heronwood, however, refuses to let anyone enter unnoticed. When Raven catches the attention of Dane Cross, the center of nearly every rumor and small-town suspicion, she finds herself unwittingly enraptured by the one man she, and apparently the whole town, knows it's better to stay away from. It's only a matter of time before she learns that a charming facade can conceal the most twisted of pasts.
There's much more to Dane Cross than meets the eye, and Raven soon discovers that playing with Dane is not just a game of love and heartbreak. It's life and death.
Love in Smoke by Holly Hall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
After reading Holly's debut novel, Forever Grace, she instantly became one of my favorite new authors. I was absolutely blown away by her incredible talent for not just telling a story, but making me feel like a part of it. Needless to say, Love in Smoke gripped me the same way and didn't let go until the very end.
Holly delivers all the feels in this novel, and tackles a variety of life situations at the same time. Personally, I'm a fan of "starting over" stories, because who wouldn't love the chance to start fresh? Granted, Raven's need for a new beginning was sparked by a rather unfortunate and heartbreaking set of circumstances, as opposed to just being a need to embark on a new adventure.
Much like Dane, Raven desperately wants to leave her past behind her. They're from two different worlds, but that doesn't make their journeys any different. Coming from a small town where everybody knows each other ...and their business... Dane has been trying to outrun a past that nobody will let him forget. These two make quite the pair, and their chemistry is undeniable from the start.
This novel encompassed everything that I look for and enjoy in my book escapes.... suspense, angst, intriguing characters, a touch of small town mystery, intense emotions, beautiful writing, and of course love. I don't know how she does is but Holly just continues to amaze me. I highly recommend this one!