Hold on to Me
Hearts of the South/Book 3
Samhain/December 11, 2007
She keeps a secret buried in the past. He wants the truth—now. But an unknown killer could destroy their future.
For FBI profiler Caitlin Falconetti, immersing herself in her job is the only way to quell the memories of a vicious, near-fatal attack and all it cost her, including the only man she ever loved. Better to let him think she simply rejected him, rather than reveal a painful secret that she’s certain would have destroyed his feelings for her.
Investigator Lamar “Tick” Calvert is determined to clean out the corruption-riddled sheriff’s department in his hometown. While he understands Caitlin’s drive to excel at her job, it doesn’t mean he’s happy about the prospect of working with his former lover, the one woman he tried and failed to hold onto.
A rash of unsolved murders brings them together to find the murderer before another woman dies. Daily contact re-ignites the lingering attraction between them, but Caitlin won’t risk opening herself and revealing her secret. She plans to complete the killer’s profile, make an arrest and get out of town for good.
Tick plans to solve this case, too, but now that Caitlin’s back in his life, he also plans to finally dig up the truth about why she left him.
But there’s an added complication—the killer isn’t done, and Caitlin could be the next target.
Tick left his job as an FBI agent and came home to become an investigator for the Sheriff's department. He and his friend and former agent, Stanton Reed, are determined to clean up the police corruption in this small Georgia town. It's not long before they have a string of murders on their hands to solve. One of the victims is the daughter of a Senator, so FBI profiler Caitlin Falconetti is sent to assist with the investigation.
Tick has an intimate past with Caitlin and seeing her again brings all the unanswered questions of what happened to them rushing back. Tick still cares for Caitlin but doesn't know what to make of her break-up with him. Tick's reaction to seeing Caitlin again goes from surprise to anger. I liked Tick right off. Actually, I liked what I saw of him in the previous book, His Ordinary Life, Tick's brother's story. Tick's a down to earth type of guy who loves his family and loves to go fishing. He's uncomplicated and we see that in his straightforwardness when dealing with family, friends and coworkers. I liked how he told Caitlin what he thought about their relationship and he actually asked questions about what happened to them. Imagine, a guy that's willing to talk!
Caitlin is hiding some pretty serious things from Tick. When I found out what caused her to break off with Tick, I kind of understood why she did it but I still felt she made some bad choices. This was a man she cared very much for and to lie to him like she did, just didn't make sense. She tries to keep their relationship professional when she shows up in Tick's turf but that's hard to do when Caitlin and Tick are together so much. The sparks fly but even after they are intimate, Caitlin still won't open up to Tick. Her reasons are made clear but I think, had she really known him, she would have been able to trust him with her secrets.
The police procedural scenes are well done, Winfree does well building the atmosphere of the workings of a small police force in rural Georgia. It's a place where many knew the victims, including some of the law enforcement working the case. Winfree does try to misdirect suspicions but in the end, the murderer doesn't come as a surprise.
I think one thing that keeps bringing me back to this series is it has the small town feel but not everything is perfect. I know these characters, their backgrounds, their families. The characters I don't know well, Winfree makes me want to know more about them.
I did like Hold on to Me. While it didn't blow me away, it proved to be a good addition to the series. It also made me want to read the next book, Anything But Mine. Which I did immediately after.
Hearts of the South
Truth and Consequences
His Ordinary Life
Hold On to Me
Anything But Mine
Memories of Us
Fall Into Me