Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Texas Family - Linda Warren (HS #1879 - Oct 2013)

Series: Willow Creek Texas (Book 2)

A Texas-size secret…

Nine years ago, Jena Brooks fled Willow Creek, Texas, as a frightened teenager. Now she's finally found the courage to come home, and this time she's not leaving without her baby. Memories of Asa Corbett stealing her newborn child still haunt Jena to this day. Unfortunately, her best chance at finding her baby is Asa's eldest son, local cop Carson Corbett.

Trusting a Corbett again isn't easy, but they'll need to rely on each other completely to face their pasts and discover the truth. Together, Jena and Carson have a chance to heal old wounds and unite their families for good…if the truth doesn't first tear them apart.

Wow, so much pain in this book, but with so much love to give at the end.  Jena had finally gotten the courage to return to her hometown and try to find out what had happened to the baby stolen from her so long ago.  The best person to help her is also the son on the man who had done the stealing and the brother of her baby's father.  He doesn't believe her at first, but the details she has are too good to be made up.  In order to get at the truth they are going to have to work together.

Jena had been terrified by Asa's threats against her and her family when she fled Willow Creek nine years ago.  She's older and stronger now, and when she hears that Asa has been ill she knows she has to get the truth from him before he dies.  I loved the guts that she showed facing down Carson and securing his assistance.  Thanks to the trauma of what Asa had done to her, she tends to be quick to take offense at almost anything Carson has to say to her.  Eventually they come to an agreement to leave the attitudes behind in order to get the answers they need.  Jena is also fighting an attraction to Carson, knowing that nothing can come of a relationship with Asa's son.  I really liked seeing the way that they worked together.  When they could leave their issues behind they liked each other and made a very good team.  Jena also got to know Carson's kids and enjoyed spending time with them.  There were a couple of fun scenes with her and the kids, dealing with hair braids and fishing.  There were also some really heartbreaking scenes as Jena confronted Asa face to face and saw just how evil he was.  Jena also had to confront gossip in their small town dealing with her disappearance.  She couldn't say the things she wanted to say because she was trying to protect the feelings of her sister and her mother.  I liked her relationship with her sister and her patience with her mother was very moving.  There were some revelations at the end dealing with her mother that I never saw coming.  When all the information came out about her boyfriend's murder, the murder of her father and the whereabouts of her child she had a lot to deal with, including whether there was any chance of a future for her and Carson.

Carson is the constable for their town.  It's a fairly easy job until Jena comes to town and confronts him about his father's part in the disappearance of her baby.  When he takes the information she gives him and confronts his father he is stunned and horrified to find out that it's all true.  What's worse is the fact that his father flat out refuses to tell what he did with the baby.  He feels terrible that he had believed all the lies that his father told about Jena and tells her that he will do everything he can to discover the truth.  I enjoyed seeing his protectiveness come out around her, and also the way she refused to be babied by him.  He was also trying to fight his attraction to her and was losing the battle.  Once Carson had agreed t help Jena he discovered that there were many irregularities from the investigation done into the two murders.  When dealing with his father was a dead end, he and Jena started looking into trying to get at the truth about them.  The more information they found the worse it looked for his father.  Carson was having to deal with the idea that his father was going to be arrested and trying to figure out how to pursue justice and still protect his family.  Carson is especially worried about how it will affect his children, who love their grandfather.  The solving of the mystery creates a rift between Carson and Jena that ends up being mended by the actions of a child.  I loved the ending but I was exhausted by the time I was done reading.

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