National Parks ranger Erin Taylor loves her job, is falling for her colleague, Simon, and is finally leaving her past behind . . .
Until a woman is murdered. But the victim is not just any woman – she’s Simon’s wife, Hayley. The wife he’s never mentioned. The wife he’s not seen in fourteen years. On the edge of the national park the alternative lifestyle ‘Community of Bliss’ denies knowledge of Hayley, but Simon and Erin suspect otherwise. Erin will have to draw on all her old skills – deception, lying, cheating – to gain the trust of its members and discover their secrets.
As Simon uncovers shocking details about the reclusive group, Erin is drawn further into their midst and finds a web of lies, decades old – and comes face-to-face with the charismatic, manipulative, dangerous leader who will let nothing and no-one stand in his way. On the wrong side of a river in flood that has become a lethal torrent, Erin and Simon must race to expose the truth and prevent a tragedy . . .
Romantic Suspense and I do not get on so my viewpoint is probably somewhat skewed. I also cheerfully admit to a particularly strong allergy to anything at all that gets all "she's nothing without a man" or "women donning high heels to run through the bush to escape the bad guy". Which I'm happy to report is not the case in STORM CLOUDS. Erin Taylor's actually quite a likeable woman - even with the unrequited longing thing over Simon / love interest / suspect / estranged husband.
What I'm struck by with this book is, if you are a fan of this sort of combination Romance / Suspense storyline with the romance having as high a billing as the suspense bit, then why oh why do these local writers not get a bigger readership / fan base?
STORM CLOUDS is as good an example of Romantic Suspense as you'd come across surely. The characters are comfortably Australian (without a cork hat or a cliché in sight), and the plotting is solid. The storyline would work equally as well for those of who live in the bush (aware of the unsurprising shortage of sinister types lurking around every corner), as it would for city dwellers who either find the bush an exotic foreign place, or somewhere to be avoided at all costs. The characters fit within their setting very well in STORM CLOUDS and the plot is actually quite believable.
If romantic suspense is your thing - then STORM CLOUDS should be on the reading list.