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As a child, watching her mother always pick the wrong man left Danielle Carson wary of opening her heart to anyone—except Patrick Kingsley. But circumstances came between them and left Danielle with a broken heart. Now she buries the pain of what might have been by channeling all her energy into her career. When a family crisis brings her back to her hometown, she is forced to face the past—and the disturbing fact that her sister’s car accident was staged to mask a brutal beating.
A police officer and widower, Patrick guards his heart as fiercely as he guards his beloved daughter. Seeing Danielle again unexpectedly reignites their old flame, but no way will he introduce a woman into his daughter’s life. Certainly not one whose values on faith and family are so different from his own.
Despite their best intentions, they are drawn together—until Danielle learns Patrick had a hand in putting her sister in harm’s way. Her fragile trust is crushed, but Patrick is the only man who can help her stop the villain before everything they both love is destroyed. Faith, family…and their second chance at forever.
This title contains a shadowy criminal, dark family secrets, meddling family, and a heroine who’s determined to show her old crush that she’s moved on. Or has she?
Random Acts by Alison Stone is a sweet romance suspense story that had me from the start. I love it when a story grabs me in the first paragraph and puts me right there IN the story. I knew that I wanted to then try and figure out who was the Protector and why he was there hurting this woman. When an author can write a story and get their hook into me I want to believe it is going to be good. I would have to say that Ms Stone delivered. She developed her characters, saw plenty of trouble and had a mystery to solve, and a tug of war of feelings for both hero and heroine to decide if falling in love is worth the risk.
Danielle Carson returns to her childhood home to take care of her critically injured sister Jenny, who was hurt in a car accident. She finds out that she her injuries were worse than what she was told by Patrick Kingsley, police officer and Danielle’s childhood love. She left Mayport 15 years earlier to start her life as a lawyer in Atlanta putting her career first and supporting herself. Her only family is her sister Jenny and Grandmother, so she is feeling a bit of guilt for not being around and what she could have done for Jenny. Now she is back and has to deal with feelings and emotions she pushed aside. Also coming face to face with Patrick is going to be more difficult than she thought.
Danielle is a tough woman who thinks she is dealing with the present family situation but finds out it is easier said than done. She is dealing with trying to figure out who would want to harm her sister and how to protect her at the same time. When she finds out that there is more to Jenny’s accident, and that Patrick might have put her into harm’s way, she is torn between what she felt for him in the past and the new stirring of attraction she is feeling for him again. Patrick is there at every turn making it hard for her not to resist turning to him again in this time of need. Patrick still has feelings for her too. He also has a 10 year old daughter he has to protect himself since he is a single parent after his wife died. Patrick took Danielle and her sister under his wing all those years ago since they were neighbors which might have been the beginning of Danielle falling for Patrick. Patrick then broke her heart so putting her heart on the line is hard for her to do.
There is a surprising element of faith flowing throughout the story because Danielle doesn’t believe in God after what she grew up with and knows that it is a point of contention between her and Patrick. I don’t know how you feel about religion and prayer being in your romance story but you don’t have to worry about it being too preachy. It has a small part of the book but a definite point for both main characters to deal with in their growing relationship. Danielle slowly comes around and wants to believe again and takes baby steps to bring it back into her life. It wasn’t an abrupt about face but a subtle change that comes with time and growth when Danielle matures to understanding she can put her past behind her and live in the present.
There are many layers to this story and secondary characters that give depth to Danielle and Patrick’s love story. Patrick’s mother, Danielle’s grandmother and Jenny add just enough to flourish and advance the story. The mystery of how these random acts of violence keep happening to Jenny and her family make take up the majority of the book, but the growing romance between Danielle and Patrick tie the story together.
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