Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Review: Wild Hearts

Wild Hearts (Secrets and Lies - Book 1) by Sharon Sala

Publication Date: 03/31/2015
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Harlequin MIRA
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 384

(Received for an honest review from Harlequin MIRA)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Sharon Sala on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Excerpt from Wild Hearts, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature


Past Sins Cast a Long Shadow 

Dallas Phillips refuses to believe her father committed suicide, even though things were tough on his farm and he was deeply in debt. When she hears he'd told a neighbor about an upcoming windfall, she grows suspicious, and her suspicion only deepens when she realizes someone is lurking in the nearby mountains after dark. 

For help, she turns to Trey Jakes, local police chief—and her former lover. As they begin to investigate, another mystery comes to light. Trey's mother is beginning to remember events from thirty years ago, something shadowy that happened in the mountains, and Dallas's father was there, too. Is what happened that night connected to his "suicide"? As they search for the truth, Trey and Dallas struggle to fight their attraction, but they may not be able to fend off another force—a killer who's more than willing to kill again to make sure old secrets stay buried.


Sharon Sala starts off her new Secrets and Lies trilogy with the first book, Wild Hearts. Readers who are looking for an edgy writer, who develops complex mysteries will love Sharon Sala. She has a unique writing style that will appeal to many different kinds of readers. Sala brings readers a story of a would be suicide that ends up being murder. A murder that brings a lot long buried secrets to the surface in a small town, without a lot of places for a killer to hide... except in plain sight. Well written romantic suspense. 

Sharon Sala is one of those writers that really makes you think. She gets deep into the mystery side of her romantic suspense novels and she drags the reader right in with her. Before you know it you are knee deep in clues and finding more motives than you can shake a stick at. In Wild Hearts, readers are treated to a mystery arc that will continue throughout all three of the projected books in the series. So if you were looking for something that would wrap up in a neat little package, this isn't the book. It is however, a very well written mystery that has a bit of a cliffhanger.

The romantic side of things could have been a little better, but the mystery really made up for it. Heroine, Dallas is looking into the suicide of her father. When it becomes clear that this was murder, not suicide, she enlists the help of an old flame, the local police chief, Trey. I liked these two together, but as with any good Sala book, it was more about the mystery than the romantic connection between the hero and heroine. I wanted more interaction and more emotional or even sexual tension. I wanted to like these two together, but they fell just a little flat for me. 

I liked the whole past and present colliding atmosphere that Sala created with this book. She gives the reader a current murder to solve, but she makes that murder contingent on a secret from thirty years ago. I liked how Sala connected the different time lines by clues and memories. It was an ingenious idea and she really pulled it off. I want to know what in the world happened back then and how it relates to the events going on in Dallas' life now. 

Bottom Line:

Amazing mystery. Eh... on the romance. I thought Sala did a masterful job of setting up this story and drawing the reader in. She gives the reader a strong heroine who knows how to run an investigation. A hero that has all the right connections and a mystery that will keep readers guessing. The killer is hiding in plain sight and the motive is anything but typical. I wanted more from the romantic side of things, but then again this is a Sharon Sala book... heavy on the mystery, light on the romance. You'll definitely want to read it and you'll be chomping at the bit waiting for the next one.

Wild Hearts is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Sharon Sala is a native of Oklahoma and a member of Romance Writers of America.  She is a NYT, USA Today, Publisher's Weekly, WaldenBooks mass market, Bestselling author of 85 plus books written as Sharon Sala and Dinah McCall.  She's a 7 time RITA finalist, Janet Dailey Award winner, 5 time National Reader's Choice Award winner, 4 time Career Achievement Award from RT Magazine, 4 time winner of Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence.