Title: Black Hills
Author: Nora Roberts
Paperback; 544 pages
Lil Chance fell in love with Cooper Sullivan pretty much the first time she saw him, an awkward teenager staying with his grandparents on their cattle ranch in South Dakota while his parents went through a messy divorce. Each year, with Coop’s annual summer visit, their friendship deepens – but then abruptly ends. Twelve years later and Cooper has returned to run the ranch after his grandfather is injured in a fall. Though his touch still haunts her, Lil has let nothing stop her dream of opening the Chance Wildlife Refuge, but something – or someone – has been keeping a close watch. When small pranks escalate into heartless killing, the memory of an unsolved murder in these very hills has Cooper springing to action to keep Lil safe. They both know the dangers that lurk in the wild landscape of the Black Hills. And now they must work together to unearth a killer of twisted and unnatural instincts who has singled them out as prey .
The story is set in a wildlife refuge in the Black Hills of South Dakota, hence the title. Lil Chance met brooding city boy named Cooper Sullivan, who clearly had family issues but won’t admit it. Soon they became close with each other and remain friends until their adolescent years.
But in their case, absence didn’t make the heart grow fonder. Because during the times that they didn’t see each other, their feelings had grown apart and the long distance had deviated their attention… well, mostly in Cooper’s case actually.
One day, when Cooper decided to go back to the ranch after something terrible happened while he was on duty as a cop. His feelings towards Lil changed. But a psychopathic killer was on the loose and had been stalking Lil. She and Cooper teamed up to discover the truth behind the mystery surrounding Black Hills.
To tell you the truth, I’ve been reading a number of YA/Fantasies/Paranormals lately and most of them are about shapeshifters. Thankfully, this book, Black Hills isn’t one of them, even if there are cougars and wolves present in the story. Black Hills is actually a suspense mystery that is very much a staple on Nora Roberts’ books.
As expected, Nora Roberts writes with passion and her characters really pull you into the story. Cooper and Lilian found themselves embroiled in a romance that needed to be nurtured. The mystery part of the story is awesome, although the main characters were a little complicated, in my opinion. I would have given this a 5star rating, but something held me back – maybe because I see some Montana Sky anecdotes in the story, specifically on the animal protection part. Nevertheless, Nora Roberts still is one of my favorite authors ever!