Book Review: Minutes to Kill by Melinda Leigh

I received this book from NetGalley.

Minutes to Kill is the second book in a romantic suspense series. The first book is entirely unnecessary to reading and enjoying this one, however. The story revolves around Hannah Barrette. After a corporate gathering in Las Vegas, she finds herself in the middle of a kidnapping. She tries to help the girl escape, but fails. With a concussion, she returns to her home in Scarlett Falls, NY, where she plans to recuperate and keep and eye on her brother’s dog while he and his family are traveling. Unfortunately, the kidnapper snatched her purse and knows where to find her. He and his brother decide it’s too hot for them in Las Vegas, and they want revenge on the woman who got away.

That sets up the story. Previously, one of Hannah’s brothers was murdered and she became acquainted with Brody McNamara, a local cop in Scarlett Falls. Pretty quick, they find themselves spending a little bit of time together. All too soon, murders start happening in town, neither of them aware that in fact the murderers are the same men who Hannah fought in Vegas.

I’ll admit, as much as I enjoyed the characters and the development of all the relationships, and the story, I had a hard time reading this book. The bad guys are bad. Really bad. I just knew that they were going to do awful things to Hannah and I didn’t want to get there, so I kept putting this book. As a first-time reader of Leigh’s, I didn’t know if I could trust her to make this story work for me.

I was mistaken. The second half of the book is powerful and yes, it’s got violence, but the story plays out in an exciting way that didn’t go where I expected. Don’t get me wrong–the bad guys were bad and Hannah and Brody ended up in serious trouble with them–but it was thrilling and didn’t go where I feared. I  loved the way that Hannah’s and Brody’s relationship developed and the way their pasts and their stories entertwined and influenced the way the story evolved.

The romance was realistic and powerful, and the characters were well drawn. The story was complex and felt real. I totally recommend this book.

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