ARC Review: Hour of Need by Melinda Leigh

Format: E-bookhourofneed
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Scarlet Falls, #1
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Hero: Grant Barrett
Heroine: Ellie Ross
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: December 9, 2014
Started On: December 7, 2014
Finished On: December 9, 2014

Hour of Need by Melinda Leigh is her debut book in the Scarlet Falls series. Featuring a military hero and a heroine who finds herself in the midst of a mess because she’d just been in the opportune place, Hour of Need is a story that captivated me from start to end. Though I have a bit more time to spare than before these days, I seldom have the urge to stay up late up till dawn, just because I HAD to know how a story ended. Hour of Need did that to me. And that itself tells a story.

Major Grant Barrett is the oldest of the four Garrett siblings. Having spent more than half his life training to become a soldier and dedicating his life to moving up the ranks, Grant is in Afghanistan when he gets the news of the murders of his brother Lee and his wife Kate. Reeling from the impact, Grant makes it home to sort out Lee’s affairs, to determine what to do with their two kids and perhaps find out why Lee and Kate had been killed.

Set in the small town of Scarlet Falls, Melinda weaves a tale that is highly readable, that compels you to turn the pages. Ellie Ross lives next door to Kate and Lee with her daughter Julia and her grandmother. While Ellie and Grant’s paths had crossed before when he’d been on leave the last time, Ellie and Grant both ignore the flare of attraction that is between them, Ellie because she has been burnt before by living in the moment and has no intention of doing it ever again and Grant because he has nothing to offer towards a family life when he is all about the army and making General.

The various characters that you meet in the story just makes it more intriguing. The web of mystery in the story is finely wrought and it has been a while since the villain turned out to be a surprise for me and Hour of Need managed to do just that. There are multiple threads in the story that takes the story to its ultimate conclusion. There is the Barrett family reunion, the siblings having drifted apart as each had sought to live lives of their choosing. Then there is the aspect of the story that deals with looking after Lee’s children, not an easy job given that no one in the Barrett family has much experience in dealing with kids and babies. It was heartwarming to see how it all came together and I felt this warm glow inside of me because Hour of Need, though it deals with a disturbing subject, somehow managed to make me feel good too.

Like I said above, Hour of Need is a story that deals with a disturbing subject. Bullying and its effect on the young ones, how it can go so wrong that there is absolutely no going back. I liked the fact that Ms. Leigh portrayed the aspects related to bullying in a way that it drove home a message and also delivered that edge to the story which made the heart pound. It’s like you know that the only way down is by jumping and by jumping the only inevitability is a terrifying death that awaits you.

Now lets talk about Major Grant Barrett *rubs hands together in glee*. From the moment you meet Grant, he holds every cell of yours attentive to him and him alone. There are heroes who are sexy without making an effort; Grant is one of those. He walks in, the room feels charged and that is because Ms. Leigh does a fantastic job out of creating and keeping the sexual tension between Ellie and Grant in pace with the rest of the story. Ellie’s tendency to mistrust Grant at first was definitely in line with her character, and realistic if you ask me. All in all, I would have to say, both Ellie and Grant are characters that you’d love.

With a beautiful ending of the heartwarming variety, Hour of Need leaves me with just one question. Are Hannah and Detective McNamara going to get their own happily ever after? The evil person that I am, I would love to explore the tension that is between them.

Final Verdict: Disturbing, spine tingling & heartwarming! Definitely recommended.

Favorite Quotes

A small shudder passed through him, followed by a wave of need he couldn’t explain or deny, except that his soul was an empty shell. He pressed his lips to hers and let the taste of her fill the void inside him. Instead of resisting, she clutched his shirt and let him in. What started out tender and innocent shifted. desire warmed him and pooled low in his groin. A hungry groan eased out of her throat.

“We shouldn’t do this.” With an answering groan, he slid his hands under her shirt. his rough palms scraped up her rib cage.
But it wasn’t enough.
“Definitely not.” She pushed him away and ripped her shirt over her head, flinging it over her shoulder. her bra followed. Cool air rushed across hot skin. Her nipples budded as if he’d touched them. She’d been holding back on her impulses her entire life. Baring her body to him was liberating.

“You know I’m not staying in town. I have to go back. This isn’t a good idea.”
“I know.” But Ellie cupped her own breast and raised a playful eyebrow at him. She brushed a thumb across her nipple and reveled as grant’s mouth dropped open. She’d never been a bad girl, not even in high school. She’d simply made one mistake. But now she felt positively wicked.
It felt wonderful. Freeing. exhilarating.

Hands clutching the backs of her thighs, he lifted her and entered her with one steady, wet slide. The fit of their bodies was perfect, combining to make one whole being.
“Yes.” This was what she needed. him. She clutched his shoulders. “Grant.”
The heat of his skin fused with hers. His mouth was on the side of her neck, his lips near her ear. he retreated and surged into her again. Her body responded with an electric wave of pleasure that started in her center and spread outward through her limbs.
“Ellie.”

He nudged inside her, intending to be gentle. But pleasure flooded him, and his body surged into her without input from his brain. She bowed backward.
“I’m sorry.”
“Why did you stop?” She arched, her heels digging into his ass, pulling him even deeper.
“I thought I’d hurt you.” he panted, his muscles shaking with the effort of holding still.
“Obviously not.” her hips moved beneath him. “Now stop thinking. That’s an order.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

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