This is the first book I’ve read from VK Powell and I am impressed. Emma, a freelance journalist, goes to a small town in Virginia to write a story on the history of the town. When she arrives it seems she has been misled on this and the old lady employing her has an ulterior motive. Fannie really wants her to investigate the disappearance of her brother over 30 years ago. As Emma delves into the mystery she finds out more than she bargained for and it could affect the lives of people she has grown to care for. While staying at the nearby national park she meets older lesbian Ann and her hot ranger niece, Carter. She falls hard for Carter and the attraction between them is intense and highly emotional. The love scenes VK Powell has imagined are sizzling and the connection between the characters is so believable and tender. Carter is secretive at first and used to emotionless hook-ups with women. Meeting Emma changes all that. She is a complex character and tries to help young kids overcome their unfortunate backgrounds, maybe because her start in life wasn’t ideal. I really liked Carter and wanted her to be open to Emma. Her Aunt, Ann, was fun and her backstory was fascinating. She enriched every scene she was in. Emma got to know her really well and was moved by the story of her relationship with her partner Cass, who died a few years ago. I felt Emma benefited from her time with both of the women as she was dealing with a relationship break-up and lacked confidence. I thought the mystery Emma was investigating was perfectly teased out and paced just right. The other characters involved in the story were well written and really added to the whole. A great read.
I was given this ARC free by Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books in return for an honest review.