When Lee and Kate Barrett head out for a night to celebrate their 10th anniversary, they are each thinking of some of the obstacles in their lives. Even a year ago, they weren’t sure the marriage would continue. So the night is bittersweet.

At home, their two children, Carson, 6, and Faith, 4 months, are with the teenage babysitter, Julia, who lives next door.

Before the night is over, the two of them will be dead, shot by an unknown assailant.

In Afghanistan, Major Grant Barrett, Lee’s brother, receives the call that sends him back home to Scarlet Falls, NY, to help pick up the pieces. He finds that handling the traumatized children is a huge challenge…but he also discovers help from Ellie Ross, Julia’s mother, and eventually from his siblings Hannah and Mac.

But none of them are really equipped to handle the long term care of the children. What will happen to them? And how does a case Lee was working on figure into the murders? Why is someone stalking and threatening Ellie, an administrative assistant at the law firm?

Hour of Need (Scarlet Falls) is told from multiple perspectives, including one narrative from a man named Donny, presumably the killer/stalker. But who is he working for? And what mysteries in Lee’s life will lead them all to the answers?

A case of bullying amongst a group of ice skaters, a girl’s presumed suicide, and some parents willing to do anything for their guilty daughters add intriguing layers to the story. As each potential killer is exposed, I thoroughly enjoyed trying to guess who was behind it all. The surprising reveal was satisfying, and so were the romantic developments between Grant and Ellie. I found the interludes between them fun to watch, even as they thought that any future between them was impossible due to Grant’s eminent return to Afghanistan.

As with every book I have read by this author, I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of mystery and romance. 5 stars.


    • I am hooked by this author’s books, which are suspenseful with a taste of romance. There are several series to follow…and I hope to get the next one in this trilogy soon. Thanks for stopping by, Kay.


  1. Reblogged this on Ms M's Bookshelf and commented:
    I’ve been following Lorraine Frost Sandone (Rain) on Curl Up and Read for some time now. She’s a former social worker from California and for her, “reading is . . . oxygen”. Her review of Hour of Need by Melinda Leigh has made me add this novel to my TBR list. I hope you enjoy my Sunday reblog!


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