Monday, May 26, 2014

ARC Review: 4 stars for Backwoods by Jill Sorenson

The more you trust, the more you risk…

When plans for a wilderness retreat with her teenage daughter Brooke go awry, Abby Hammond reluctantly pairs up with Brooke's stepbrother and his dad, Nathan Strom, for the weeklong trek. The only thing Abby has in common with the bad-boy former pro athlete is that their exes cheated with each other. That…and a visceral attraction that's growing more complicated with every step through the picturesque woods.

Nathan's wild-card reputation lost him his career and his family. After years of regret, he's ready to fight for what truly matters—and that includes Abby's hard-won trust. When Brooke goes missing, Nathan knows he's her best and only hope of rescue. But the deeper into the rugged mountains they go, the more dangerous the territory will prove—for their safety and for their hearts.

What I thought about Backwoods

Abby is fairly certain her ex-husband is going to back out on a family vacation with their daughter Brooke, so when she ends up taking his place on a hiking trip with Brooke's stepbrother and his father, Nathan Strom, she decides to make the best of it.  There's a unique sort-of family thing going on here, not of blood but of bonds of marriage and ex-spouses.
I thought it was a different and interesting family dynamic.  That's what makes this book a bit different than others in the series-- the inner-workings of these family relationships take center stage and it's all good.

There's sparks from the start between Abby and Nathan and it isn't long before Brooke is playing matchmaker. There's some pretty serious sexual tension between them, and most of the time they can't act upon it because they aren't alone. But I loved the dialogue between these two and especially how Abby tried to help Nathan understand Leo.  And I liked that Abby wanted Nathan physically just as much as he wanted her.

Leo and Brooke are fighting some feelings between them.  She's young, trusting and crushing hard on Leo, and he's trying to do the right thing. He's struggling with keeping their relationship more brother-sister rather than giving into his  feelings and potentially destroying their relationship. But they are young and hormonal and things don't always go as planned. And then there's Leo's anger. He's got some unresolved issues with his dad, Nathan that generate a lot of tension. 

But all of the family drama has to go on the back burner when their hiking trip takes a dangerous turn and they become involved with two potential serial killers stalking them in the backwoods.  There's lots of action here as they elude and then have to escape their captors.  

I love Jill Sorenson's characters. Her heroes are not just hot, they have a maturity to them that I adore. They are sexy and flawed, and most of the time they are still struggling with whatever is holding them back.  But they also have a sense of honor that shines through, too. I felt like we got a double-dose of that with Leo and Nathan, and personally, I'd love to know what might happen in the future between Leo and Brooke.  I liked the relationship between Abby and Brooke, too. The entire family dynamic between these characters really held my interest.  And there's plenty of suspense too.   Jill Sorenson knows how to write great action sequences and Backwoods had me on the edge of my seat.  

Another great addition to the Aftershock series. Recommended. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin HQN to the opportunity to read and review. 

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About Jill Sorenson

Jill Sorenson writes sexy romantic suspense for Harlequin and Bantam Dell. Two of her novels, Crash Into Me and Set the Dark on Fire, have been excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine. 

After earning a degree in literature and a bilingual teaching credential from California State University, Jill decided teaching wasn’t her cup of tea. She started writing one day while her firstborn was taking a nap and hasn’t stopped since. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two young daughters.




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