Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Smoky Ridge Curse - Paula Graves (HI #1438 - Aug 2013)

Series: Bitterwood P.D. (Book 3)

Two former partners find their feelings rekindled when they're forced to uncover the truth in Paula Graves's Bitterwood P.D. trilogy 

Assistant FBI director Adam Brand is out of time. His attempt to expose a domestic terrorist hiding in plain sight has left him with more questions than answers. Still, asking his former FBI subordinate Delilah Hammond for help is even more dangerous. 

Once before, the unexpected heat between them drove her back to her mountain hometown-and Adam to the heights of the Bureau. And now, as a new sheriff, Delilah has much more to lose...even as her skills and determination leave Adam breathless all over again. Staying two steps ahead of their ruthless quarry reignites a desire neither can resist. But as Delilah puts herself on the line to set a lethal trap, will they survive to explore the future neither has given up on?

Very good book - kept me turning the pages to see what was going to happen next.  Adam is on the run after being framed during his attempt to uncover a domestic terrorist.  When he shows up wounded at Delilah's house she knows she's going to help him.  Eight years earlier she had been on a task force with him when their attraction got the better of them.  Knowing that nothing could come of it she left the FBI to work for Cooper Security before returning to her hometown to be a police detective.  Now they're together again and the chemistry is still off the charts.  Neither one wants to give in to it as they work to clear Adam's name.

I really liked both Delilah and Adam.  Delilah had been a brand new agent when she was assigned to Adam's team.  She had a great talent for figuring out puzzles which meshed well with his.  She managed to hide her attraction to him until after one mission when they gave in to it.  Knowing there was no future in it, plus being frustrated with the agency bureaucracy, she left for the private sector.  She had a very successful career with Cooper Security and learned a lot.  After returning to Bitterwood to help find a serial killer she found that she wanted to stay.  A week before starting her new job, Adam showed up wounded and on the run.  Knowing him as well as she had, she knew he was innocent and there was no way she was going to let him continue on his own.  I loved the way that she had the strength to stand up to him when he tried to convince her to stay out of it.  Even though they had been apart for eight years she was still able to slide right into a good working relationship with him.  She was also a lot better at reading him and knowing how to make sure she was able to do her part.  Even as their attraction heated up she was still sure that there would be no future for them but now she was willing to take what she could get.  I also really enjoyed seeing the way she worked and how good her instincts were.  There were times I felt like she had a better idea of what was going on than Adam did.

Adam had been attracted to Delilah from the moment he met her.  As her supervisor he also knew that he couldn't do anything about it.  I really liked the way that he appreciated and respected her abilities even as a new agent.  When he could resist her any more he then tried to step back afterward to protect her reputation.  He didn't expect her to leave the agency afterward.  While he tried to tell himself it was for the best, he still kept track of her as best he could, even using her brother to do so.  When he didn't know who else he could trust, he went to Delilah for help.  All he wanted was for her to clean up his wound and he wasn't real happy when she insisted she was going to help him.  Even though he was well aware of her capabilities he still had his protector hat on and hated the idea of putting her in danger.  I really enjoyed seeing him struggle with admitting she was right when she took the lead in some of their activities.  I also liked seeing him struggle with the knowledge that she meant even more to him now and that he wasn't going to be able to let her go.

The suspense part of the story really kept me turning the pages.  I loved watching the two of them work together to piece together the motivations and activities of the bad guy.  It was also interesting to see them merge the information that the two of them had to make a more complete picture.  One of the bad guys came as no surprise at all.  I also loved seeing some of the Coopers make an appearance and also the hacker from an earlier Cooper book.  I'm looking forward to more Bitterwood stories -- I'd love to see a story for Antoine!


  1. This one sounds really good, Susan. Thanks.

    1. It was :-) It's the third in a series. It can be read by itself, but it's even better if the other two are read first.

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