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Friday, July 3, 2009

Rainbow's End by Joan Beth Erickson

Rainbow's End by Joan Beth Erickson
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (319 Pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Review by: Poinsettia

Diana Mason witnessed her biological mother's brutal murder when she was five years old. Adopted soon after, she possesses no memory of the crime or her early childhood. Terrifying nightmares, triggered after finding a photo of her birth mother, lead Diana to Hawaii in search of a woman she doesn't know is already dead. She soon becomes the target of the killer who wants to silence her before she remembers the night of the murder.

Jim Hastings, ex-cop turned private investigator, avoids birth parent search cases, but he can't shy away from Diana Mason's need for a bodyguard. Diana balks at Jim's by-the-book approach to protecting her. However, they must work together to unlock her past while fending off the killer--and a growing attraction for each other. Their blossoming romance is nearly destroyed when the murderer's identity is revealed.

When Diana’s repressed memories of her mother’s murder begin to surface, the killer will stop at nothing to silence her.

Adopted as a child, Diana never really felt like she fit in with her adopted family. When she finds a picture of her biological mother, Diana travels to Hawaii in hopes of making that connection she’s been missing all her life. Unfortunately, once she reaches Hawaii all Diana finds is heartache. Not only does she learn that her mother is dead, but that she was murdered. Even worse, the picture of Diana’s mother has triggered nightmares of the night she was killed. It seems that Diana witnessed the murder as a child and had repressed the memories, until now.

Jim Hastings works as a private investigator. He knew that Diana’s search for her biological mother would end in tragedy, which is why he’d originally refused to take the case. However, there is something about Diana that draws him in. After digging into the murder of Diana’s mother, Jim believes the wrong man was sent to jail for the crime. A few attempts on Diana’s life confirm his suspicions, and he finds himself in the position of being her bodyguard. Even though Jim and Diana clash on more then one level, they can’t deny their burgeoning attraction, but their new found romance is put to the test once Diana’s memories reveal the identity of the killer.

Diana is intriguing as a heroine. She is a beautiful and talented artist, but her adopted parent’s inability to love her completely as well as her experience with a stalker has left her vulnerable mentally and emotionally. Despite these scars, she’s a strong woman determined to bring her mother’s murderer to justice, even though it means unearthing painful memories.

Jim is a man with issues. His family is beyond dysfunctional, and a mistake he made on the job nearly got his best friend killed. He doesn’t trust anyone, least of all himself. His immediate attraction to Diana makes him nervous. Jim had gotten to close to a client before and the tragedy that followed has left him scarred and more determined then ever to keep things strictly professional. However, Jim can’t bring himself to stay away from Diana. When Jim and Diana finally get together, the fireworks that follow are explosive.

Rainbow’s End literally kept me guessing until the end. Just when I thought I’d figured the mystery out, Ms. Erickson threw in a twist that I never saw coming leaving me genuinely surprised. Rainbow’s End is a must read for anyone who enjoys a romance packed with spine-tingling suspense.