This review was originally posted on Fic Central in April 2015:
After sharing a dance at Tess and Ben’s wedding, Dane can’t seem to get his mind off Aimee. Then again, she keeps popping up every time he turns around. But despite his attraction to her, he can’t focus on romance right now… or so he keeps telling himself. But when Aimee unwitting witnesses a murder, Dane will do everything he can to keep her safe, even at the expense of falling in love.
Judging Covers: I can’t really put my finger on what it is about this cover, but I just love it! The colors, the composition, the teasing glimpse we get of what’s surely Dane. Even if I hadn’t been so fortunate as to get a copy from the author, I’ve no doubt it would have caught my eye and warranted a closer look during one of my many Amazon browsing sessions.
The Verdict: Blown away again! This one has all the romance and danger and suspense I could hope for to keep me entertained — and of course the Christian aspect of it made it just perfect.
Far from his country roots, Dane is a detective in San Diego, where he’s avoiding his past and staying well away from any romantic notions. He tries so hard to be all business, but since meeting Aimee, his thoughts keep straying to her, and their attraction to each other is palpable. Photographer and artist Aimee is a free spirit who is just responsible enough to keep out of trouble but adventurous enough to have fun. But when happenstance puts her in harm’s way, Dane’s protective side comes out, allowing Aimee to work her way even further into his heart.
Dane and Aimee both have some issues when it comes to love, trust, and the possibility of a future together, but once they’re secluded away at Dane’s family ranch, they have no choice but to work through their conflicted feelings. Slowly but surely their friendship grows more solid, and as it does, she begins to chip away at the wall behind which Dane has enclosed his heart. Their relationship is a series of stops and starts as they finally begin to come to a place where they can both move forward with their whole hearts, and it’s an enthralling journey.
I would imagine that some readers used to squeaky-clean fiction may take issue with the tiny bit of very mild swearing that shows up in the story, but that’s actually one of the things I like most about Van Hulzen’s writing. Her characters are passionate and altogether human, never behaving inappropriately, but at the same time, they don’t live in a Bible-lined bubble. They’re good people that we can all relate to and understand, prone to mistakes and living in a world that is far from perfect while trying to maintain their faith and always do the right thing. The romance, people, and events in these stories feel real, and I can’t wait to see what Van Hulzen comes up with next!