ARC Review: Hour of Need by Melinda Leigh

While fighting in Afghanistan, Major Grant Barrett receives devastating news: his brother and sister-in-law have been murdered in Scarlet Falls, the sleepy suburb of Grant’s youth. Emotionally scarred from war, the career soldier returns home on emergency leave to temporarily care for his orphaned nephew and niece. But when someone tries to kidnap the kids and their teenage babysitter, Grant knows it’s not a random act…and neither were the murders. Already devastated by her neighbors’ violent deaths, Ellie Ross is shattered by the attempted abduction of her teenage daughter so she desperately turns to Grant for help. As they navigate a deadly search for the truth, they struggle with growing feelings for each other and Grant’s impending return to deployment. But time is running out. The killer is growing bolder by the hour, and Ellie and Grant must find him before the children become his next victims.

While fighting in Afghanistan, Major Grant Barrett receives devastating news: his brother and sister-in-law have been murdered in Scarlet Falls, the sleepy suburb of Grant’s youth. Emotionally scarred from war, the career soldier returns home on emergency leave to temporarily care for his orphaned nephew and niece. But when someone tries to kidnap the kids and their teenage babysitter, Grant knows it’s not a random act…and neither were the murders.
Already devastated by her neighbors’ violent deaths, Ellie Ross is shattered by the attempted abduction of her teenage daughter so she desperately turns to Grant for help. As they navigate a deadly search for the truth, they struggle with growing feelings for each other and Grant’s impending return to deployment.
But time is running out. The killer is growing bolder by the hour, and Ellie and Grant must find him before the children become his next victims.

Hour of Need by Melinda Leigh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some of the best writing I’ve seen from Melinda Leigh. I’ve been a fan since her first book and not only is Hour of Need the first in a new series but the writing was outstanding and the story griping with a great cast characters.

The murder of a husband and wife start off the story which brings home the three other siblings of the man murdered who all left the small town of Scarlet Falls as fast as they could when they got out of school. This series will feature each of the Barrett siblings. Major Grant Barrett is the first make it back to town even though he was in Afghanistan at the time. His brother and wife had two small children that will now need guardians to care for them.

Ellie Ross lives next door to the Barrett’s and her daughter was babysitting the children at the time of their deaths. Ellie also happens to work at the same lawyer firm where the murdered brother worked. Ellie is a strong willed single mother whose grandmother also lives with them.

From the opening scene of the murders you’re taken on a journey of suspense with plenty of twist and turns to finding out what really happened. There was a large cast of characters but you never felt overwhelmed. The author did a flawless job of introducing us to each one and making you come to care for them all even with all their flaws. As the story of the reasons for the murders unfolds your surprised at every turn right up until the end at the final reveal.

The balance of suspense, mystery and romance was perfect. I didn’t feel one overpowered the other and equal amount of time was given to each. I am looking forward to reading Hannah and Mac’s stories – who are the other siblings – in the future books.

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