My rating: 3 of 5 stars
With her siblings out of the house, Zoe Stone is trying to settle down to a life of peace and quiet in the small town of Sunshine, Idaho, when her brother’s friend, Parker James, blows in to stay with her while he searches for a fugitive smuggler. Zoe and Parker’s instant attraction catches them by surprise, but well aware that he is simply passing through has them questioning the wisdom of a temporary fling that may just break both of their hearts.
While the book has all the right elements, a sexy hero, a quirky heroine and the cutest animals around, they simply do not come together and the story ultimately falls flat.
Zoe and Parker’s supposedly instantaneous chemistry is actually non-existent for most of the book. It is never quite clear what they see in each other and the fact that Zoe is constantly on guard to the fact that Parker is leaving puts a damper on any emotional attachment that could develop between them.
It is never a good thing when the animals characters are the best aspect of a romance. The antics of Oreo the huge Bernese and Bonnie & Clyde, the cutest kittens alive, completely overshadow Zoe and Parker’s relationship.
The minor suspense plot revolving around Parker’s investigation into a smuggler’s connection to a local militia has potential, but lacks any real tension and action.
In sum, although there are some engaging scenes, and Zoe and Parker’s romance does eventually take off, this installment is one of the weakest in the series and perhaps it is time for Shalvis to move on from Sunshine, Idaho.