*****(5) out of 5 stars!
Geri McKenna hasn’t seen her brother’s best friend, Sean Eastman, since he graduated high school. Sean left their little town of Pembroke just hours after she nailed him with a kiss behind the shed, never to be seen or heard from again. No calls, no texts, no social media to stalk online.
Eight years later, Sean shows up in their hometown unannounced. Blinded by his looming height, crystal blue eyes and the guns he’s grown since high school, Geri thinks it’s just a happy coincidence that he’s back at the same time she’s taken leave from her dead-end job to come home for her brother’s wedding. It doesn’t even enter her mind that Sean’s return coincides with the mysterious disappearance of a woman in the vicinity of Shag Lake in nearby Algonquin Park.
Until she bumps into him at the crime scene.
Determined to revive her flagging career in journalism, Geri’s investigation into the missing woman leads her into the clandestine world of an alien cover-up, with Sean Eastman at the center of it all. So when he comes to take her into hiding from a corrupt shadow government that wants to permanentlyshut her down, Geri must decide if Sean is a trustworthy friend or one of the people who wants her dead.
I have been lucky to read a number of really good books lately, and this one is by far my new favorite! This may very well be my all-time favorite book! I don't know that I can even do it justice in a review. I’ve already reread it about six times since when I first completed it. That’s how much I love this book!
It has got everything you could possibly want in a story! Or at least everything I want: There’s intrigue, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi, action, suspense, romance, cover-ups, etc; everything for which a dedicated nerd could wish. Even Bigfoot and Bigfoot hunters!
The characters from the prequel novella “The Kiss” return in this delightful tale. Only Geri is no longer just the awkward almost 16-year-old sister of Sean’s best friend; instead she’s a frustrated journalist, looking for a big story; but she’s still carrying a torch for her first kiss. Sean is a successful researcher, who suddenly gains a much deeper appreciation for Geri than what he experiences at the end of the prequel novella. He’s definitely torn between what he wants and what he thinks he needs to do.
Susan McEachern does a masterful job of making all the disparate, unique characters appear believable, even in the face of some generally not-too-believable situations. Each character definitely has their own incomparable personality as well; not just the main players, but also many of the periphery individuals. The story is full of their distinctive personalities and interactions.
I'm generally not a fan of dual-perspective novels, but again the author really made it work. Geri and Sean each had their own distinctive voice, so there was never any question as to who was speaking. It was nice to see the different attitudes and perceptions that each of them had about the same events.
The writing in this tome was just spoke on in every way really. The dialogue and interactions seemed genuine, the premise basically created its own validity, and the words just flowed from one point to the next. I found myself rereading multiple passages throughout the book that just spoke to me because of how lovely the words were or how vividly the scene was presented. I honestly just lost myself in the story and didn’t want to find my way out.
I so hope that the author creates more tales in this series! I’d love to learn more about the world that Geri and Sean are a part of, and with any luck, see more of them and their associates, and learn what the future holds for them, either as the main players in future stories or even just as background characters.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Read my 4-Star review of "The Kiss (the Shag Lake prequel)"
HERE on the So Few Books blog!
This prequel FREE short story is available on most ebook retailers,
Words of wisdom from Geri's Dad:
“The key to happiness is very simple. Get your head and your heart in sync.”