WILD HEARTS - Sharon Sala
Secrets and Lies , Book 1
Mira
ISBN: 978-0-7783-18163
April 2015
Romantic Suspense

Mystic, West Virginia - Present Day

Dallas Phillips is heartbroken over her father's death but refuses to believe that he committed suicide.  She knows that eventually the autopsy will reveal some clues to back her up, but until then, Dallas has no intention of going back to her job in Charleston.  In the meantime, she'll take care of her father's farm as she deals with the arrangements that need to be made and face her past.  Her desire for a career away from the mountains meant living without the man she loves, but being back in town means seeing Trey Jakes again.

Police chief Trey Jakes fell in love with Dallas Phillips at six years old, and though he's missed her every day since she left, he never wanted her to return under these circumstances.  Because his mother found Dickie Phillips's body, Trey was one of the first on scene, and even though he saw what looked like a suicide, he doesn't believe it.  When strange things start happening at the Phillips farm, Trey thinks this may be what they need to prove Dickie was murdered, but will whatever it is put Dallas at risk?

Betsy Jakes knew finding her old friend's body would probably lead to nightmares, but instead of reliving the discovery of Dickie's body, Betsy's nightmares are full of blood and screams.  The night of their high school graduation, Betsy and her boyfriend, Paul, along with Dickie and his girlfriend, Connie, were in a car accident, which resulted in Connie's death.  Between the alcohol they'd consumed and their head injuries, none of the survivors have any memory beyond the graduation ceremony.  Is it possible that the recent nightmares have something to do with that long ago accident and, if so, does that have anything to do with Dickie's death?

First up in the Secrets and Lies series, WILD HEARTS reunites two people who love one another under devastating circumstances.  Dallas left Mystic for college and then pursued a career in investigative journalism, while Trey stayed in their hometown and became chief of police.  It's not until Dallas comes home that she realizes what she's been missing in her life namely Trey.  Even though he knows she'll be heading back to Charleston once they've laid her father to rest, Trey is happy to have Dallas back, and wishes there was a way for them to be together permanently.  Before that can happen, though, they'll need to figure out who killed Dickie, and if it's the same person/people that are threatening her now.

The prologue to the novel is set in the past and details the accident that Betsy, Dickie, and their friends were in after graduation.  Readers are aware that the foursome were witnesses to a murder, and the accident happened because they were being chased by the murderer.  None of them remembered what happened after the graduation ceremony itself, but now Betsy is beginning to remember flashes of that night, and she can't help but wonder if those memories hold the key to Dickie's murder.

Intriguing suspense blends with an enjoyable reunion romance in WILD HEARTS.

Jennifer Bishop