Title: Finding Claire
Series: Hill Country Secrets #1
Author: Pamela Humphrey
Publisher: Phrey Press
Publication Date: December 5th, 2016
Shelves: Mystery; Contemporary; Romance
Format: eARC (211 pages)
Rating: ★★★★☆ 4/4.5 stars
She wakes up in the back of a van, and her whole world changes.
Injured and afraid—with no recollection of who she is—she stumbles through the Texas Hill Country with a photo labelled Claire. Seeking safety, she knocks at Alex’s cabin door. He protects her, even though she stirs up memories that haunt him.
She wants her life back. He wants to ease his guilt and will protect her even if it means risking his own life. Together they search, hoping questions will be answered by Finding Claire.
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
“Here’s an important truth I can never forget. Sometimes people make bad choices, but good things happen anyway. The most amazing things can grow from the worst possible circumstances.”
A woman wakes up in the back of a van with no recollection of how she got there, or even who she is. After two days of being tied up and locked in a closet, she manages to escape from her captors, and finds refuge in Alex, a man living in a small cabin in the woods. Alex names his new acquaintance Rainy, and vows to protect her while the local police aim to find her captors. As Rainy’s memories slowly return, she reveals that she was kidnapped because of her resemblance to a girl named Claire. Rainy, who has an avid interest in genealogy, goes in search of Claire to try and work out who is looking for her, and how their lives are tied together.
This novel was SO fun to read! I devoured it – I couldn’t put it down! I’ve been reading NA fiction for months, so this novel was a nice (slight) change of genre for me, and I have very positive things to say!
Something that stood out for me about our two main characters, Rainy and Alex, was that they are both incredibly relatable and sympathetic. Rainy’s POV initially is full of holes as she struggles to piece together her identity and her life in the aftermath of her kidnapping, but it’s evident from the outset that she’s a total sweetheart, – kind and caring and super cute! And she’s pretty bad-ass. You root for her instantly and that’s a quality I always love to feel toward fictional characters.
Alex’s POV is bittersweet, as by taking in a scared and confused Rainy, he is forced to face the loss of his wife he has spent the past three years trying to avoid. I always find it so heart-warming to see a character with their walls built up slowly learn to dismantle them when they meet someone they care about. Also, it was actually nice to see a tough male character actually cry for once! His relationship with Rainy was also well-handled. I loved seeing their relationship slowly evolve.
I also liked the secondary characters. Alex’s friends DJ and Becca were a great addition – I read on another book review that there is a short story about these two characters which I must get my hands on!! They were just super sweet and friendly and supportive people both to Alex, who they’ve known for many years, and Rainy, who they barely knew. I need to get me some friends like these! Also, DJ’s grandmother is hilarious and adorable. I liked the touch of humour she brought to the novel amidst all the high tension.
The characters I think I was most interested in however was that of Claire and her mother Emma. Letters Emma has written to Claire every year on her birthday are scattered throughout the novel, and the letters were so heart-breaking to read. We later read Emma’s story about her life through her letters, and I loved these parts – I was so invested! Emma’s letters were definitely the stand-out thing for me in this novel.
The plot is pretty jam-packed – there are several storylines surrounding Rainy, Alex, and Claire which I found enthralling. I also thought that all these plot points not only fit very well together, but were also equally and deeply explored.
This novel is captivating and emotional! I had a great time reading it. I feel like I can’t really say much to avoid spoiling the novel but if you’re looking for a mystery/romance then I definitely recommend you try this novel.
Also, click here for a free short story featuring Becca and DJ!
Would you read this novel again? Absolutely! I’m also looking forward to the next novel in the series
Who would I recommend this novel to? Fans of crime/mystery fiction