Friday, September 4, 2015

Out of the Ashes - Cynthia Reese

Out of the Ashes
Cynthia Reese
Harlequin Heartwarming, Sep 1 2015, $6.50
ISBN: 9780373367399

In Levi County, Georgia, Kari Hendrix arrives at her bakery only to see the fire department putting out the blaze that devastates her shop and others on the downtown street.  Investigating the arson, Fire Marshal Rob Monroe questions a shocked Kari who learns the cause was a propane tank left by the outside door.  Kari insists she never placed the tank there but admits she spent four years as a teen in Juvie for her arson confession.

Having taken the blame for Jake’s blaze as a teen after her mom begged her to keep her older brother out of jail since she would only get probation; Kari suspects he caused the fire that destroyed her business and that of others.  Attracted to the baker, Rob believes Kari is innocent as is her sleazy landlord; but also thinks she is hiding something significant by protecting someone either her mom or more likely her obnoxious sibling.  He never expected his inquiry to lead back to his father’s unsolved death in a fire set by an arsonist over a decade ago.

The key to this engaging romantic suspense is the investigation rightfully supersedes while also negatively impacts the romance even as the Fire Marshall and readers know the culprit early on.  Although the behavior of Kari’s mom and brother are over the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains, readers will enjoy this engrossing tale.

Harriet Klausner

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