Before the Storm by Leslie Tentler

Before the Storm by Leslie TentlerBefore the Storm by Leslie Tentler
Published by Left Field Press on October 16th 2015
Pages: 334
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Six years earlier, Trina Grissom disappeared, on the run for her life. Now living under an assumed identity-as Samantha Marsh-she still struggles with the dark secret she harbors and the fear she might one day be found. When she moves to the coastal town of Rarity Cove, South Carolina, to open a cafe, a handsome widower begins to chip away at the walls she's built to protect herself. Mark St. Clair lost his wife two years ago in a tragic accident. Head of the grand St. Clair resort, he distracts himself from his lingering grief by running the family business and caring for his troubled young daughter...until a beautiful restaurateur sets up shop in town. Before meeting Samantha, Mark was convinced he could never be drawn to another woman. But as his attraction to Samantha grows, the mystery surrounding her deepens. As the two begin a hesitant courtship, double perils emerge. Someone from Samantha's lurid past comes calling, threatening to expose her. And a powerful hurricane is forming in the Atlantic with the small beach town in its path. Trapped in the storm by the brutal man who wants vengeance on Samantha, she and Mark must fight for their lives."

The new life that Samantha Marsh has built for herself in an attempt to erase her violent past is threatened when she draws the attention of Mark St. Clair, a widower with a young daughter. Unaccepting of Samantha’s initial rejection of their growing connection, Mark pushes for more, until he realises that the truth is more than he can handle, just as Samantha’s past catches up with her.

Before the Storm is classic Leslie Tentler: written with a measured tone and believable characters who ache and feel without going to extremes, topped off with a good dose of suspense especially towards the end, yet teeters into the trap of a heroine who keeps secrets when it was made clear the hero could be trusted – long enough to wander into TSTL territory – because of her shame of her checkered past. The ending is a bittersweet but realistic one, with some revelations that still managed to surprise me when I thought I had it pegged.