NO TURNING BACK by HelenKay Dimon-a review
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 19, 2013
After ten years in the Army and four overseas deployments, Declan Hanover is ready for life away from a military base. Sweetwater, Oregon, a sleepy coastal town, seems like the perfect place to start over. His plan is to work out a deal with his brothers and the bank to let him keep the estate they’ve inherited, Shadow Hill. But he wasn’t prepared for Leah Baron, whose family lost everything to his father’s cons—including the house Declan intends to make his own…
Leah thinks Declan is just like his conman father. He possesses a bad boy charm that makes her heart pound, but that doesn’t mean she can trust him. All she wants is to get close to him so she can get her house back. But Declan has other ideas. He doesn’t mind being in close proximity to Leah—as long as it’s in the bedroom…
Review: The infamous ‘they’ say you can never forget the past or go home again, but in the small town of Sweetwater one man-Marc Baron-refuses to let go.
Charlie Hanover was a con artist who all but destroyed the small town of Sweetwater and in his wake left three sons who must now deal with the aftermath of their father’s con. Fast forward twenty years, and the now three adult men, have returned to claim their grandmother’s estate-only the house once belonged to Marc Baron. And Marc is determined to seek retribution and revenge for the sins of the father.
Leah Baron has grown up with the knowledge that Charlie Hanover destroyed her parent’s marriage and left most of the town bankrupt and destitute. Now it is her job to rebuild the town of Sweetwater. But Leah’s plans go awry when the Hanover men return and want to start their lives over in the house once owned by her father.
Leah and Declan were children when Charlie conned an entire town but Leah’s perception of Declan and his brothers has been tainted by her father’s need for vengeance. When Declan returns, Leah makes it her mission to run the brothers out of town, hoping to reclaim some of her father’s dignity in the process. But as Declan and Leah begin to research the documents and files, they will discover that the truth about the past has been tainted by revenge, betrayal, greed, lies and lust and, not everyone who claims to be-is a victim.
I am not sure how to explain my feelings about this particular storyline. I had a very difficult time accepting the heroine’s anger and attitude especially when she acknowledges that the Hanover sons are not responsible for their father’s betrayal, yet Leah Baron persists for a good portion of the storyline that Declan and his brothers are in the wrong and should return the family home. Another difficulty I had was that one man-Marc Baron-had the ability to sway several generations in the town of Sweetwater and sway law enforcement that the sons of Charlie Hanover were guilty by association and therefore should be held accountable for their father’s con. The Hanover sons are taunted, threatened and ignored yet most of the town does not blame the sons. There is a bit of a conundrum –no one is held accountable for the threats and we do not know who is responsible.
There are several secondary storylines building that ensure each Hanover brother has a story to tell. But it is the relationship between Leah and Declan that amped up my anxiety. The write up about the book states ‘fun, new contemporary romance’ but I did not find the fun in any of the book. The premise surrounds revenge, betrayal, lies and manipulation yet, once the truth is finally revealed, I still could not find the humor at any stage of the story. There is sex and some romance, mystery and revelation: the storyline is not dark or horrific but I must have missed something because I did not find anything funny or humorous.
The storyline felt choppy whenever Declan and Leah were together but flowed smoothly when the Hanover brothers had their stories to tell. If you are looking for a contemporary story with a little bit of sex, a little bit of romance and a little bit of mystery- NO LOOKING BACK- is the story for you.
Copy supplied by publisher through Netgalley
Reviewed by Sandy
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Website
HelenKay Dimon is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas. Her first single title, Your Mouth Drives Me Crazy, was excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine in August ’07 and spotlighted at E! Online. She made Cosmopolitan a second time in December 2009 with her novella “It’s Hotter At Christmas” from the Kissing Santa Claus anthology. Her books also have been published by Doubleday Book Club and Rhapsody Book Club and translated into several languages.
HelenKay’s road to publication took a few turns. She’s not one of those authors who burst out of the womb with a notepad in one hand and a pen in the other. She didn’t know she wanted to write until much later in life. She tried international travel and journalism and enjoyed careers in politics and law first. After graduating from Syracuse University with a double major in newspaper journalism and political science, she landed in Washington, D.C. A few years as a legislative assistant to a member of the House of Representatives convinced her law school might be a good idea. Three years at Wake Forest University and one bar exam later and HelenKay moved back to the D.C. metro area as a lawyer. General civil litigation gave way to a specialty in family law and an eventual partnership in a highly respected boutique firm.
After twelve years as a divorce lawyer specializing in unhappy endings, HelenKay now writes romance for a living. The sudden career change resulted from her husband getting one of those “can’t turn it down” job offers. With only a few months’ notice, his work took the family from Maryland to their current home in California. So, instead of days filled with court, clients and a great deal of whining and complaining, HelenKay now writes for a living. She thinks of herself as a “recovering lawyer” and is grateful every day for the ability to write full time.