Darcy Harris has a great job, an adorable countryside cabin, and part ownership of a sailboat. Life is good, almost perfect except for two issues. One, this beautiful hopeless romantic is looking for that perfect someone to fill her heart with love, laughter, and companionship. The second is a bit more pressing. Darcy has a stalker, who is hell-bent on running off every potential suitor and whose anger and erratic behavior is escalating quickly.
Eilidh Grey is on the road to recovery. Eilidh was attacked as she attempted to help a homeless man escape a brutal beating by a gang of thugs. They killed the man and nearly killed Eilidh as well. After months of recovering both physically and emotionally, Eilidh has finally she has broken up with her unloving girlfriend, returned to work and has her sights set on really living her life to the fullest.
The story is set in Inverness, Scotland and begins with a chance meeting between Eilidh and Darcy. These two immediately hit it off and a date is made. As smitten as these two are with each other, Eilidh needs to get her affairs in order after her breakup and Darcy is dealing with a demanding best friend whose marriage has just dissolved and the stalker issue. There is a romance and it is so sweet and cute but this book is all about the thriller.
What is really cool about this book is that it has multiple points of view. You read through Darcy, through Eilidh, as well as the demented stalker. You see what they see, feel that they feel and really get into their headspace. This book takes you on a roller coaster of emotions that keep you tangled up till the very end. Wendy Hudson did a bang up job with this one and every character is so well.
4.25 out of 5 stars
I like the idea of a romantic thriller, and when done right you have two amazing genres converging for those final moments to keep you riveted to your seat. Will the heroines survive the vicious maniac and live happily ever after? Gripping, right? In my very humble opinion, you need those two plots points to be really tightly woven. The romance needs to pull in the reader. That couple has to ring true, their love must conquer all. The thriller part needs to increase your anxiety level, get the blood pumping. I think for me in Mine to Keep both parts fell short of really capturing the reader’s attention on both fronts.
Erin is this stoic, enigmatic character that you want to love because she has had so little of it in her life. Abigail, the local chef, feels a bit unsettled in being the chef at her parent’s castle turned hotel. Could she have been a renowned chef like her ex if she had left this sleepy little town? So you have two interesting characters and the beginning starts off so well, then just meh. Meh, because once they admit their attraction out loud, there was no more push/pull until you introduce the ex, who just happened to show back up after being gone years. Come on! How much more contrived can you get. The romance between Erin Carter and Abigail Miller felt bit flat and uninspired.
The thriller, you could see coming from a mile away. No twists and turns, you knew what was going to happen and the book just stayed the course. I wanted so much more, anything, just a tiny swerve would have made a huge difference. Not to mention the character decisions that just didn’t totally add up. The thriller was flatter than the romance and the ending was way too glossed over.
I thought Wendy Hudson had an amazing first book. This one is a good one, it just needed more thriller or more romance. Neither was done to full potential. I left me wanting more.
3 out of 5 stars
The prologue of this book grabs you and will send a shock of terror through you. All I could think was on my goodness that was absolutely, one-hundred percent, terrifying. The first chapter is a glimpse of everyone’s worst nightmare coming true. Grabbed your attention, right? Well, that is how this book goes, it grabs you and then tells you the story of Alex Ryan and Lori Hunter.
Lori Hunter is an interpreter for parliament in Westminster. Her day job of constantly and repetitively conversing with people makes her crave solitude in her downtime. This is what drives her to drive hours outside of the London to climb mountains like Scotland’s Maoile Lunndaidh. Lori loves her career but finds life lacking in most other areas. Her family is scattered and barely speaks, and her relationship of eight years with Andrew is crumbling at an alarming rate. She finds herself making decisions to change her course and on that very day she runs smack dab into Alex Ryan.
Alex Ryan came to Maoile Lunndaidh to climb that mountain but to also remind herself that her relationship’s end did not ruin her passion for this place. Rachel may have introduced her to the place, but Alex would make her own memories here too. Alex spends most of her days alone, working from home on her family’s farm as a computer analyst for a variety of police organizations. Alex is charismatic and fun but also guarded, and for good reason. Her past is tragic.
These two have instant chemistry, which they both acknowledge and decide to become friends. They build their relationship between phone calls and texts, touching base daily because this person, who they met on the side of a mountain, has become important. All of that is happening, but you know there is a sinister plot happening as well. EEK! I wish I could tell you more but you need to read the book. These two crush on each other and when things just begin to go their way, a mad man’s vengeance turns everyone’s life upside down.
A romance with a side of a thriller is what Four Steps is. Overall, I enjoyed this book so much. There were a few chapters I thought were bogged down with too many new character introductions, but that won’t change the overall awesomeness of the book. A really good book by Wendy Hudson!
4 out of 5 stars
I was given this book by the publisher in return for an honest review.
- Publisher: Ylva Publishing
by Wendy Hudson