When 16-year-old Skye Warren fled her abusive home in Colebury, Vermont she vowed never to return. Twelve years later, a clandestine invite from her ex-stepsister brings her reluctantly back to town.
She quickly finds herself entangled in the local fentanyl investigation led by Detective Benito Rossi—her grown-up high school sweetheart.
At the center of this book is the heartfelt, poignant romance between two people who never stopped loving each other. I really like the way Bowen is using the second chance romance trope. In Skye’s imagination, the town of Colebury and Benito exist the same way they did when she left at 16-years-old; but as she spends more time in the town she starts to see how people have evolved and finds a place for herself in the town again.
I am deep in the Truth North series and I love that I never know what tone I’m going to get. This book is mostly a contemporary adult romance but it also has strong YA-like coming-of-age story vibes as well as romantic suspense elements.
Much like the Rossi brother in Speakeasy, Benito doesn’t have much of an emotional journey. He’s pretty stable and his focus is on solving his current case and winning Skye back. Now, cop romances can be a bit of a hard sell but I do think the book toes the line of not becoming copganda. EXCEPT….
The flashback sections build-up to Benito being a victim of police brutality by the same cop that was also abusing Skye at home. His attack is never really unpacked in the present-day narrative. I’m not even sure Skye ever finds out about it and the book doesn’t make it totally clear why he becomes a police officer after such a traumatic experience?
Audiobook narrators Susannah Jones and Zachary Webber were absolutely stellar together. I’ve been sleeping on Susannah Jones and am excited to dig into her back catalog. Each book in the True North series has introduced me to an amazing female narrator.
Zachary Webber is new to me but he sounds almost identical to narrator Jacob Morgan. They both have the same deep, gravelly hero voice and even the same heroine voice.
There seems to be some misinformation online about Jacob Morgan being a pseudonym of Zachary Webber. But they’ve done podcast interviews separately and Jacob Morgan sounds Irish so I don’t think they are the same person? Unless this is some kind of elaborate ruse!
Skye is a broadcast journalist and as someone with a degree in journalism, I will say the portrayal of journalism is so shaky. Some of the stuff about markets and careers rings true –but for someone with a degree from Columbia, Skye doesn’t seem to know how to actually report a story. Don’t even get me started on the bad journalism ethics.