The Last Goodnight
Kensington Publishing Corp.
October 26, 2021
Review of The Last Goodnight
Kade Logan stood on the bank watching the sheriff and his deputies haul the mud-covered vehicle out of the lake. The crane groaned as the automobile tilted upward, the rear end lifting into the air, the front wheels dragging across the spongy earth. Brackish lake water poured out through the open windows.
For eight long years Kade had been haunted by the mystery of what had happened to the dark green Subaru that belonged to his dead wife. Her body had been found in a shallow depression in the hills at the base of the mountains outside Denver, but until now, eight years later, her car had never been found.
And her killer had never been caught.
“You okay?” Sam Bridger, Kade’s best friend, stood beside him, a tall blond man Kade had known for years.
“She’s been dead eight years, Sam. So yeah, I’m okay.” But the rage he felt had never lessened. It should have. At the time of her death, their marriage was already on the rocks. The second time Kade had caught Heather cheating, he had filed for divorce.
“Maybe they’ll find something in the car that’ll give them a reason to reopen the case,” Sam said.
“Maybe.” Kade hoped so. He wanted Heather’s killer found and punished. No matter how things had turned out between them, he owed her that much.
He glanced back at the car. The last time he had seen the dark green SUV was the night Heather had left him. That night, she had packed her things, taken the car, and driven away without a backward glance. Kade had never seen her again.
Since then, he had been tormented by guilt, had lived each day with a terrible sense of failure that he had never found the man responsible for her death.
Never made the bastard pay.
“I’ve seen enough,” Kade said. “I’m heading back to the ranch.”
“That’s it?” Sam asked, a blond eyebrow edging up.
Kade thought of Heather and felt the old rage burn through him. “Not by a long shot,” he said.
Eleanor Bowman sat at her oak desk near the front door of the office, a two-story brick structure on Acoma Street in Denver.
Photos of local wildlife hung on the walls, elk, deer, a big black bear, along with autographed photos of celebrities the company had done business with over the years. The faces of Tom Selleck, Clint Eastwood, Denzel Washington, and Kevin Costner looked down from sturdy oak frames.
Though most of the guys who worked at Nighthawk Security held P.I. licenses, Ellie and a woman named Skye Delaney were the only two female private investigators. Since Ellie had just finished a case, she was looking for something to do, hopefully something interesting, but work was work. She didn’t want her savings account to dwindle.
She looked up as the glass door at the front of the office swung open and a tall, broad-shouldered man wearing a dark brown Stetson walked in. People thought of Denver as a western town, but it had been years since Ellie had seen a guy in a cowboy hat who looked like it belonged on him.
In crisp dark blue jeans that fit snuggly over a pair of narrow hips, brown lizard-skin boots, and a white shirt with pearl snaps on the front, the man removed his Stetson, revealing neatly trimmed, golden brown hair, and strode toward the desk closest to the door, which happened to be hers.
“My name’s Kade Logan.” He had a lean, muscular build, and the long, powerful legs of a bulldogger. His deep, masculine voice fit him as perfectly as his hat, and his hard, handsome face could rival any of the celebrities hanging on the office walls. “I have an appointment with Conner Delaney.”
“Yes, Conn mentioned he was expecting you.” Her boss, the dark-haired, handsome man who owned and ran the company. Ellie wondered if Kade Logan could possibly be the client Conn had in mind for her.
She smiled up at Logan. “His office is down the hall. Go ahead and go on in.” A little under five-foot-four, she was at least ten inches shorter.
Logan gave her a cursory nod, then strode off and disappeared inside Conn’s office. She wondered what kind of help he needed.
Ten minutes later, she found out.
“Kade meet Eleanor Bowman.”
His eyes narrowed, tiny sun lines forming in the corners. “You’re Eleanor Bowman?”
“I’m Ellie.” She smiled and stuck out a hand. “Pleasure meeting you.”
His jaw tightened an instant before he reached out and accepted her handshake.
He turned back to Conn. “Eleanor. With a name like that, I thought she’d be an older woman, someone with more experience. Either way, this is a bad idea.”
“What idea is that?” Ellie asked.
“Eight years ago, Kade’s wife was murdered,” Conn explained. “Her body was discovered in the mountains outside Denver, but the killer was never found. Two weeks ago, the car Heather was driving the night she disappeared was discovered in a lake near Coffee Springs. It’s possible the killer abducted her, dumped the car in the lake, then drove her somewhere else and murdered her.”
“And that’s the reason you want to hire me? To find out who murdered your wife?”
Logan’s gaze swung to hers. “First off, I don’t want to hire you. Conn thought it would be a good idea. He said your specialty is working undercover, but the last thing I need on my ranch is a female playing detective.”
Irritation bubbled up and her spine went straighter. “Did Conn tell you I was born in Wyoming? I was raised on the Grass Valley Ranch near Jackson Hole. Did he tell you I can ride just about anything you have in your remuda? And the weather doesn’t bother me. I know ranching, Mr. Logan. I can fit seamlessly into your operation. I can do whatever it takes to make people accept me and gather the information you need.”
Conn Delaney’s lips twitched. “I think you can see why I thought Ellie was the right person for the job.”
A muscle worked in Logan’s square jaw. He raked a hand through his hair, mussed a little from the hat.
“I need some time to think about it.”
“Are you sure?” Ellie asked. “Because you’ve already had eight years to think about it.”
Kade’s golden eyes narrowed, seemed to burn into her green ones. “You really think you can do it?”
“If you want me to succeed, I’ll need straight answers to any questions I ask. If you’re willing to do that and if the information is out there, I’ll find out who it was.”
For the first time she caught a glimmer of respect in Logan’s eyes. “When can you start?”
“I can be there tomorrow, if we can figure out the best place for me to fit in. That way I’ll know what I need to bring.”
Logan’s hard mouth edged up. “You mean besides your pistol?”
“You better make that plural.” Ellie flashed him a phony smile. “Remember, Mr. Logan, I’m from Wyoming.”
New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, currently resides in Missoula, Montana with Western-author husband, L. J. Martin. More than seventeen million copies of Kat’s books are in print, and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Fifteen of her recent novels have taken top-ten spots on the New York Times Bestseller List, and her novel, BEYOND REASON, was recently optioned for a feature film. Kat’s new novel, THE LAST GOODNIGHT, a Romantic Thriller, will be released in hardcover on October 26th and is the start of her new Blood Ties series.
You can read a review of The Last Goodnight here.
The Last Goodnight
Kensington Publishing Corp.
October 26, 2021
The weather’s getting cooler. Falling leaves and changing colors begin the transition into a new season. Nature can be blustery, wild, destructive, regenerative, and unexpected. Like life, and the lives of the characters in Kat Martin’s new romantic thriller, The Last Goodnight.
Kade Logan never saw his wife, Heather, again after their divorce. Her disappearance always puzzled him. Until the day her murdered body had been found in the hills of Denver. Shoving aside his hurt feelings of betrayal from Heather’s unfaithfulness, he hires a private investigator to find her killer. But he never expected the P.I. would be Ellie Bowman; petite and gorgeous.
Ellie moves in to Kade’s Diamond Bar ranch in Coffee Springs, Colorado and works undercover as a cook, trying to narrow down the list of possible killers. At this point every friend, ranch hand, and town shopkeeper are suspects; including the sheriff, Glen Carver!
Kade and Ellie work the case while also trying to tame the growing attraction between them. Both divorced and victims of unfaithful spouses, they find trust and love elusive and frightening. But when Heather’s killer resurfaces and hones in on Ellie, they both realize the choice they must each make. Hopefully, before it’s too late.
So, grab a hot cup of brew and a throw and nestle into your cozy chair. The Last Goodnight will have you loving and rooting for handsome, powerful Kade and beautiful feisty Ellie where you’ll find that it’s not just murder and caffeine pounding through the town of Coffee Springs, Colorado.
Oh, and just so y’all know, I got dibs on Kade Logan.
See you next time on November 22nd!
(Hover over the covers for buy links. Click on the cover for more information.)
She yawned as she closed the door, more exhausted than she had expected. She fell asleep quickly and slept far better than she had the night before, then rose at the first gray light of dawn. She went in to shower and get ready for the day, dressed in a conservative dark brown skirt suit and heeled pumps, then quietly cracked open the door to the living room.
Bran was already up, standing with his back to her, one hand on his hip, the other pressing his cell phone against his ear. A pair of white cotton briefs that hugged his round behind was all he had on.
Jessie’s mouth went dry. His suntanned back was smooth, except for a jagged scar on one side, and ridged with solid muscle. Bands of muscle defined his shoulders and arms, and long sinewy legs tapered down to narrow feet.
She told herself to close the door before Bran caught her staring at him like a juicy piece of meat, but instead she just stood there, her heart pounding, her breathing a little ragged.
She was just pulling herself under control when he turned, the phone still pressed to his ear. Jessie froze. Her gaze shot to the heavy bulge at the front of his briefs and she felt a rush of heat so hot it made her dizzy. Muscular pecs and six-pack abs. A lean, hard-muscled chest and amazing biceps. Desire hit her so hard she swayed on her feet.
She didn’t move till Bran jerked the blanket off his make-shift bed and wrapped it around his waist, knocking her out of her self-imposed trance and flushing her face with embarrassment.
“Sorry,” she managed to breathlessly whisper, stepped back and slammed the door. Ohmygod, ohmygod. She hadn’t felt the least attraction to a man for so long she’d forgotten what it was like. Correction, she had never felt the jolt of desire she had felt looking at Brandon Garrett. Ohmygod.
She told herself he was probably used to that kind of reaction from a woman, or at least the women who had seen him nearly naked. Jessie sank down on the bed. What could she possibly say to him? How could she explain?
But no words of explanation popped into her head.
Since she couldn’t hide in the bedroom all day, and because Bran undoubtedly wanted to take a shower, she inhaled a deep breath, opened the door, and walked out into the living room.
“Sorry about that,” she said.
He had pulled on his jeans but the rest of him was still gloriously bare. “No problem. I should have grabbed one of those terrycloth robes in the bathroom.”
She just nodded. “Yeah.” Her fingers curled into the palms of her hands as she walked past him toward the counter where he had brewed a pot of coffee.
“Mind if I use the shower?” he asked.
“Of course not. You’re paying for the room.” When he opened his mouth, she held up a hand. “Sorry, no more talk about money.”
She took a mug down from the cabinet above the sink and filled it with coffee, her hands still a bit unsteady.
“Why don’t you order us something to eat?” Bran suggested as he crossed the room toward the bedroom. “I won’t be too long.”
“Bacon and eggs?” she asked.
“Sounds great.” As he disappeared through the door and closed it behind him, Jessie sank down on one of the chairs at the dining table, coffee mug gripped tightly in her hands. At least now she knew the abduction hadn’t completely destroyed her desire for the opposite sex.
Or at least one member of the opposite sex. She grimaced. She just wished the man who had rekindled her long-dead fire wasn’t Brandon Garrett.
Bran turned on the shower, set the nozzle to cold, and climbed in beneath the icy spray. He clenched his jaw, fighting to block a memory of the look on Jessie’s pretty face when he had spotted her in the bedroom doorway. Trying to block the erection he got every time the image reappeared in his head.
Bran knew women. He knew when a woman wanted him. He swore softly, cursing the fate that had brought the two of them together, putting them both in a situation that could only get worse.
So far he had managed to suppress the desire he’d felt from the moment Jessie had walked into his office. With her fire-touched blond hair and fine features, she was beautiful. He liked her body and admired her brain. In a softly feminine way, she was sexy as hell, and he wanted her–no doubt about it.
But aside from the erotic dream he’d had about her last night, he’d been doing an admirable job of controlling his lust.
Until this morning. When the flush in her cheeks and the heat in her eyes had made it clear that the desire he felt was returned. She wanted him. Which meant he had to be the strong one because no way could he have her and just walk away.
Jessie wasn’t the type he usually slept with, women who didn’t require exclusivity and didn’t expect to give it in return.
He was fairly sure Jessie hadn’t been with a man since she was abducted. He sure as hell didn’t want to be the first, didn’t want to deal with whatever trauma she had experienced, maybe make it worse.
Bestselling author Kat Martin, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, currently resides in Missoula, Montana with Western-author husband, L. J. Martin. More than seventeen million copies of Kat’s books are in print, and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Fifteen of her recent novels have taken top-ten spots on the New York Times Bestseller List, and her novel, BEYOND REASON, was recently optioned for a feature film. Kat’s latest novel, THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL, a Romantic Thriller, was released in paperback December 29th.
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