A killer is hiding in plain sight…
The last thing Homicide Detective Josiah Troyer wants is to return to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and his Amish roots. But a madman is killing young girls and Josiah’s expertise with the tight-knit community is very much needed by the FBI. Unfortunately, going home means dealing with his past and the woman he left behind.
Hannah is desperately trying to rebuild her life after the death of her Amish husband, and now, the murder of her sister. Protecting her young son from the violence is her only goal––and then she runs into the last man she expected to see, her ex Josiah. He left her eight years ago to work with the Englishers and forgiving him hasn’t been easy.
But the killer has Hannah in his crosshairs, and she and Josiah will have to work together if she’s going to survive.
“Ya left me…”
Joe froze, barely hearing her accusation over the pounding of his heart, every muscle in his body going ripcord tight. She had no idea. And he resented her implication that any of this was his fault. He’d sacrificed everything for her—given up who he was so she could have the life she’d always wanted. Joe was careful not to look at her, but it was impossible to keep the anger from his voice when he replied, “Has the thought not crossed your mind even once in the last eight years, that I did it for you?”
“For me?! If ye’re expectin’ me to thank ya for breakin’ my heart, Josiah Troyer, then you’ll be waitin’ till hell freezes over!”
Joe tossed the hammer aside and shot to his feet. His temper too short, and his emotions were running too high for him to soften his words. “Would ya rather I stayed and made an adulteress out of ya?” With his anger, the lilt of his Pennsylvania Dutch accent returned. It tasted foul on his tongue, further fueling his anger. As he advanced on her, Hannah’s vibrant blue eyes widened with surprise. She stumbled back, countering his advance until she couldn’t retreat anymore.
Joe planted his hands against the chipped siding, caging her in his arms and growled, “I would’ve gotten us both shunned because make no mistake, if I’d stayed, ya would’ve been mine, husband or no’.”
She gasped sharply at his confession, staring at him with scandalous shock. Hell, he should really scandalize her and kiss the woman senseless. But he’d only be torturing himself, because Hannah Beiler-Adams was not his to have.
“Ya musn’t say such things, Josiah.”
“Why not?” he challenged. “Can’t handle the truth? I suppose it’s easier to keep on hating me.” He spun around, needing to put some distance between himself and the only woman that had ever owned his heart.
Her voice was a soft whisper behind him. “I was angry… I still am… But I never hated ya, Josiah. I hated myself.”
She sounded so sad, so…defeated. He turned back to face her, and his heart clenched. The crushing ache made it difficult to breathe. “Why would you say that?”
“I wasn’t a good wife,” she confessed. Her eyes filled with tears, turning them into luminous pools of regret that reached into his chest and ripped his heart out.
“I seriously doubt that—”
“It’s true. I never loved Jacob the way he deserved. He was a good man, Josiah.”
Of course, he was. Joe never would’ve found the strength to leave if he hadn’t been.
“He deserved the love of a good woman, not the leftovers of a heartbroken mess who couldn’t let go of the past. He knew I was in love with ya and he married me anyway.”
It was easy to see she had many regrets. If he could, he’d take her pain away, but he wasn’t sure that the truth wouldn’t hurt her more.
Vow of Silence is a riveting mystery and satisfying romance. A serial killer is hunting young girls in Amish country, and finding a connection between the girls is proving a challenge. Shunned Amish and current police detective/cadaver dog handler Joe (formerly Joshiah) takes a case in the last place where he wants to return–his hometown, where his ex-girlfriend and the only woman he ever loved lives.
Can Joe catch the killer? (There’s red herrings galore to keep you and Joe guessing) Can he keep Hannah safe until he does? Is there a future for Joe and Hannah once it’s over, and if so, where will that future take them? Between the suspense and the romance, it’s nearly impossible to stop reading this one once you start…
(Content warning, though–if you’re used to reading Amish-themed “Christian” romances, this is not one of those. Joe has been out of the Amish life for eight years, and the serial killer is very, very serial-killer-y. There is swearing, sex, violence, and sexual violence.)
My first book from Ms. Price, but it won’t be my last!
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About the author:
Melynda Price is a bestselling and award-winning author of contemporary romance. Her Against the Cage series has finaled in many awards such as the RONE, USA Today BBA, Golden Quill, National Readers’ Choice, and New England Readers’ Choice.
What Price enjoys most about writing is the chance to make her readers fall in love, over and over again. She cites the greatest challenge of writing is making the unbelievable believable, while taking her characters to the limit with stories full of passion and unique twists and turns. Salting stories with undertones of history whenever possible, Price adds immeasurable depth to her well-crafted books. She currently lives in Northern Minnesota with her husband and two children where she has plenty of snow-filled days to curl up in front of the fireplace with her Chihuahua and a hot cup of coffee to write.