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While fighting in Afghanistan, Major Grant Barrett receives devastating news: his brother and sister-in-law have been murdered in Scarlet Falls, the sleepy suburb of Grant’s youth. Emotionally scarred from war, the career soldier returns home on emergency leave to temporarily care for his orphaned nephew and niece. But when someone tries to kidnap the kids and their teenag While fighting in Afghanistan, Major Grant Barrett receives devastating news: his brother and sister-in-law have been murdered in Scarlet Falls, the sleepy suburb of Grant’s youth. Emotionally scarred from war, the career soldier returns home on emergency leave to temporarily care for his orphaned nephew and niece. But when someone tries to kidnap the kids and their teenage babysitter, Grant knows it’s not a random act…and neither were the murders. Already devastated by her neighbors’ violent deaths, Ellie Ross is shattered by the attempted abduction of her teenage daughter so she desperately turns to Grant for help. As they navigate a deadly search for the truth, they struggle with growing feelings for each other and Grant’s impending return to deployment. But time is running out. The killer is growing bolder by the hour, and Ellie and Grant must find him before the children become his next victims.


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While fighting in Afghanistan, Major Grant Barrett receives devastating news: his brother and sister-in-law have been murdered in Scarlet Falls, the sleepy suburb of Grant’s youth. Emotionally scarred from war, the career soldier returns home on emergency leave to temporarily care for his orphaned nephew and niece. But when someone tries to kidnap the kids and their teenag While fighting in Afghanistan, Major Grant Barrett receives devastating news: his brother and sister-in-law have been murdered in Scarlet Falls, the sleepy suburb of Grant’s youth. Emotionally scarred from war, the career soldier returns home on emergency leave to temporarily care for his orphaned nephew and niece. But when someone tries to kidnap the kids and their teenage babysitter, Grant knows it’s not a random act…and neither were the murders. Already devastated by her neighbors’ violent deaths, Ellie Ross is shattered by the attempted abduction of her teenage daughter so she desperately turns to Grant for help. As they navigate a deadly search for the truth, they struggle with growing feelings for each other and Grant’s impending return to deployment. But time is running out. The killer is growing bolder by the hour, and Ellie and Grant must find him before the children become his next victims.

30 review for Hour of Need

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lady Vigilante (Feifei)

    2 stars! Romantic suspense is one of my favorite genres, and I wanted to love this RS read, but I was just so...BORED! And that’s never a good sign considering books in this genre aim to be suspenseful and thrilling. I’m bored to the point where listing out every little detail that went wrong with the story for me would bore me to sleep and I’m all about efficiency so I’ll just swiftly summarize here: What worked for me: -Loved the children and the dog! -Solid writing. -The first 5 chapters thoro 2 stars! Romantic suspense is one of my favorite genres, and I wanted to love this RS read, but I was just so...BORED! And that’s never a good sign considering books in this genre aim to be suspenseful and thrilling. I’m bored to the point where listing out every little detail that went wrong with the story for me would bore me to sleep and I’m all about efficiency so I’ll just swiftly summarize here: What worked for me: -Loved the children and the dog! -Solid writing. -The first 5 chapters thoroughly had my attention. This is a BIG plus for me considering I’ve started 4 books prior to this one and none of them caught my attention. What didn’t work for me: -The suspense was terrible! I still think of myself as an amateur when it comes to guessing the villain and unraveling the mystery but here, I knew who the culprit(s) were early on. -The romance was a snoozefest! I have NEVER felt this emotionally disconnected from a book couple before. Never. There was too much going on already with the hero’s military background, the heroine’s responsibilities as a single mom, and the mystery behind who murdered the hero’s brother and sister-in-law, and to add in a barely developed romance in that big mess didn’t do anything for me or my emotions. The times they had sex I skimmed and yawned my way through because there was no chemistry, and it came out of the blue. Usually in RS reads I can almost always overlook a weak romantic connection because I like my books to have more suspense than romance, but in this case the suspense aspect was awful and combined with an unbelievable romance I wanted this book to be over with! If both the romance and suspense failed to impress me, there’s really nothing left to this romantic suspense read now that I think about it. In conclusion, reading this book made me realize two things: 1. Another book bites the dust 2. I’m in a book slump. P.S. If you are looking for romantic suspense reads, here are some great authors to check out: Pamela Clare Sandra Brown Linda Howard Julie Garwood Maya Banks

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jonetta

    Major Grant Barrett is the consummate soldier, the military being the only life he’s known. He’s deployed in Afghanistan when he’s notified that his brother and sister-in-law, Lee and Kate, were murdered in an apparent robbery while returning home from dinner out. They have a six-year old son, Carson, and a four-month old daughter, Faith, who are now orphans. Grant returns home to Scarlet Falls and enlists the help of next door neighbor Ellie Ross who not only worked with Lee but whose daughter Major Grant Barrett is the consummate soldier, the military being the only life he’s known. He’s deployed in Afghanistan when he’s notified that his brother and sister-in-law, Lee and Kate, were murdered in an apparent robbery while returning home from dinner out. They have a six-year old son, Carson, and a four-month old daughter, Faith, who are now orphans. Grant returns home to Scarlet Falls and enlists the help of next door neighbor Ellie Ross who not only worked with Lee but whose daughter Julia was babysitting for Lee & Kate the night they were killed. They have an immediate attraction to each other but also soon learn they have another connection. Grant doesn’t believe his family’s murder was a simple robbery but a deliberate one. Ellie’s being blackmailed into secretly retrieving a case file from Lee’s home office, with threats to her daughter and grandmother. The beginning of the story is from Lee’s point of view, right up through his and his wife’s death. It was chilling and expertly done, setting the foundation for what was to come next. It also set my expectations for how dangerous the threat was to not only Ellie and her family but Grant’s niece and nephew. Throughout the story, the motive for the murders was unclear even though there were allusions as to what it might be. I liked that it was foggy with lots of clues, red herrings and real ones, for me to sift through and contemplate. As much as I thought I was prepared for the big reveal, i was still stunned by the outcome. I liked this story and the promise for the rest of the series. It was great storytelling and the romantic aspect was secondary to the mystery but good, which is my preference. I listened to the book and was pleased overall but didn’t like the voice and manner used for Grant as it was too stereotypical in approach. Otherwise, I liked her pacing and depictions of the other major characters. It’s a strong start to the series and I will continue with the audio versions.

  3. 4 out of 5

    ♥Rachel♥

    Hour of Need masterfully combined the elements of romantic suspense that I love: danger, mystery, action and a solid love story. Grant and Ellie were likable, multilayered characters making this more than just an action packed mystery, but a story with heart and depth. Major Grant Barrett returns home from Afghanistan to care niece and nephew after his brother and wife are brutally murdered. He’s reeling from shock and grief over their murders, and he feels out of his element caring for two small Hour of Need masterfully combined the elements of romantic suspense that I love: danger, mystery, action and a solid love story. Grant and Ellie were likable, multilayered characters making this more than just an action packed mystery, but a story with heart and depth. Major Grant Barrett returns home from Afghanistan to care niece and nephew after his brother and wife are brutally murdered. He’s reeling from shock and grief over their murders, and he feels out of his element caring for two small children. Grant’s main objectives are bringing his brother’s killer to justice and the welfare of his brother’s orphaned children. Grant has no idea how he can care for the children long term when he’s off fighting a war, but that’s the least of his worries when break-ins and a botched kidnapping attempt show the killer is far from done with the Barrett family. Why would someone murder Lee Barrett, a mild mannered attorney, and his wife Kate, an ice skating coach? By all outward appearances they lead an ordinary life. To get to the bottom of things Grant must work with Ellie, Lee and Kate’s neighbor and friend. Ellie has a stake in finding the killer especially when she and her fifteen year old daughter are targeted and threatened as well. Grant was swoon worthy hero: strong, protective, and determined to find his brother’s killer, but with tenderness that any female would find hard to resist. My heart melted every time there were scenes with him and the kids. Six-year-old Carson immediately latched onto Grant, his only security after finding out his parents were never coming home. Grant was equally attached to Carson, the little guy brought out his protective instincts and tugged on my heart strings! Baby Faith was a colicky four-month-old that could test any parent’s limits with lungs loud enough to wake the dead, but Grant and his family took turns walking the baby through her misery. I felt Ms. Leigh realistically portrayed the trials of dealing with a colicky baby, but managed to make her completely loveable, too. I adored Ellie, too, a single mom trying to do what’s best for her family. She was scared senseless over the threat to her family, but worked through the fear to protect the ones she loved. Grant and Ellie were drawn to each other in the past, having met over family barbeques and gatherings, but each were hesitant to act on their feelings. I could totally understand this, because with Grant’s pending deployment any romance would be a temporary situation. Still, the heart wants what the heart wants and working together so intimately made it impossible to fight their desires. In between trying to figure out who the killer was and worrying over the next time he’d strike, I longed for Ellie and Grant to find a way to a permanent HEA. After all they went through and all the kids went through, they all needed to stick together for the long haul. I was very impressed with Ms. Leigh’s addictive brand of storytelling, and I intend to pick up the next in the series which hopefully will come soon. This is book one in the Scarlet Falls series I’m hoping we’ll have more stories centered on Grant’s siblings: Hannah and Mac. I’d love to catch a glimpse of Grant and Ellie, Nan and the kids, as well! I grew attached to each and every one of these characters. A copy was kindly provided by Montlake Romance in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mo

    I enjoyed this one. First time reading this author. Romantic Suspense ... it flowed very well and I never lost interest. Bit gruesome at the beginning! Grant is in Afghanistan when he receives horrific news from Scarlet Falls, his hometown. He returns straight away on a month's leave. "I'm sorry for your loss." Back home he meets up with Ellie, his brother's neighbour. There is an attraction. There always had been but his life is the military and her life is her daughter, her Nan and small-town I enjoyed this one. First time reading this author. Romantic Suspense ... it flowed very well and I never lost interest. Bit gruesome at the beginning! Grant is in Afghanistan when he receives horrific news from Scarlet Falls, his hometown. He returns straight away on a month's leave. "I'm sorry for your loss." Back home he meets up with Ellie, his brother's neighbour. There is an attraction. There always had been but his life is the military and her life is her daughter, her Nan and small-town life in Scarlet Falls. "We shouldn't indulge ourselves. Whatever happens between us can't be long-term. I'm career military, Ellie. An infantry officer. Wherever the army is fighting, that's where I'm sent." Grant was quite the strong, silent, sexy type. I loved his interactions with his niece and nephew. Nice to meet other characters who will have their own stories in future books.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cyndi

    I really enjoyed this! The mystery was good and the romance was sweet. I liked that the hero wasn’t a typical manwhore. I loved all the secondary characters too!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Duchess Nicole

    4.5 STARS!!! My first Melinda Leigh book, and she won me over instantly! She wrote a romantic suspense book full of twists and turns and scares, but also a heartwarming book about how life throws things at you that change every plan you ever thought you made for your future. Grant is the epitome of the word hero, in my eyes. Not only is he serving his country overseas, losing parts of himself every time he loses a friend and brother, but when he hears of his brother's death and niece and nephew's 4.5 STARS!!! My first Melinda Leigh book, and she won me over instantly! She wrote a romantic suspense book full of twists and turns and scares, but also a heartwarming book about how life throws things at you that change every plan you ever thought you made for your future. Grant is the epitome of the word hero, in my eyes. Not only is he serving his country overseas, losing parts of himself every time he loses a friend and brother, but when he hears of his brother's death and niece and nephew's subsequent orphan status, he continues stepping up to the plate. His struggle with his new life role and his fear of the future was palpable and beautifully handled. A newborn baby girl and a precocious, scared little boy are dumped on him in an instant. He deals with his grief over his brother and sister-in-law's deaths, his tough guy father's fading memory, and his new status as caretaker to the children with admirable bravery. But he's only human, and Ellie's assistance is sorely needed. "She'd just given him a gift. Soul-cleansing freedom from the grief that had been strangling his heart for days." I love romances that involve children. They just make everything so much more serious. No lighthearted romance here...no, this was a bit on the heavy side, and touched my heart both with sadness and a discovery of joy. The secondary characters...Grant's siblings and Ellie's teenage daughter and aging grandmother...each added their own spice to the plot and helped fill it out. The pacing was fast and never let up, and it made this book hard to put down. Advance copy provided by the publisher for review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey)

    While entertaining, the set up of the book was full of holes. A murdered couple was identified by dental records within two hours of their death. So here are the problems with that. They had no identification on them, they weren't recognized, their car was stolen so they couldn't be tied to that, and they were found in an dark alley. How could the police who didn't know them identify them from dental records in 2 hours on a Friday night close to midnight? How would they know what dentist to ask? While entertaining, the set up of the book was full of holes. A murdered couple was identified by dental records within two hours of their death. So here are the problems with that. They had no identification on them, they weren't recognized, their car was stolen so they couldn't be tied to that, and they were found in an dark alley. How could the police who didn't know them identify them from dental records in 2 hours on a Friday night close to midnight? How would they know what dentist to ask? How did they get a dentist to come to a scene, take X-rays, compare to all patients, within two hours to be able to go to the victims house for notification of death. Because yeah, the couple was two hours late getting back to babysitter when cops came. That's a major plot flaw. Outside of that, I read the authors most current book where someone was sent an animal heart with a knife in it as intimidation. Guess what happens in this book. Same darn thing. Too specific. Author shouldn't have used such a unique thing used by two different characters unrelated to each other in two of her books. It's not everyday you get a bloody heart with a knife in it. If the author would have at least made the setup of the story believable, this could have been a 4/5 star read. Still, I liked the characters, so I'll move onto the next book. Oh, I didn't total guess all the plot twists. That was a plus.

  8. 4 out of 5

    John W.

    The story opens as attorney Lee Barrett and his wife Kate go into Scarlet Falls, New York to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. The pace of “Hour of Need” action accelerates when Lee and Kate are murdered in the middle of the street in Scarlet Falls. Detective Brody McNamara, detective of the double murder, notifies the surviving siblings Major Grant Barrett, stationed in Afghanistan, Hannah Barrett, corporate attorney traveling in Europe, and attempting to contact Mac Barrett, research s The story opens as attorney Lee Barrett and his wife Kate go into Scarlet Falls, New York to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. The pace of “Hour of Need” action accelerates when Lee and Kate are murdered in the middle of the street in Scarlet Falls. Detective Brody McNamara, detective of the double murder, notifies the surviving siblings Major Grant Barrett, stationed in Afghanistan, Hannah Barrett, corporate attorney traveling in Europe, and attempting to contact Mac Barrett, research scientist. The Barrett siblings converge on Scarlet Falls, New York stunned by the murder of their brother and lack of evidence or motive for the murders. Over the last ten years, Grant, Hannah and Mac have been focusing on their goals and careers. The death of their brother Lee is a wake up call for the three siblings, realizing they know very little about each other’s lives and careers of their father’s issues dealing with dementia and not recognizing and of his children or family. In addition to the unexplained murder, they also have to come to terms with who is going to raise Lee and Kate’s two children, Carson and Faith. Major Grant Barrett is on 30 day emergency leave, Hannah is in the middle of big merger, and Mac has a research project in Texas. Leigh provides her readers a unique story of family dynamics of the successful brothers and sister. Living next door to Lee and Kate Barrett’s home are key protagonists Ellie Ross, a paralegal, Julia, Ellie’s 15 year old daughter, and Nan, Ellie’s grandmother. Leigh does a wonderful job developing the story line and keeps the pace moving ahead. Readers learn the back story of each key character and readers learn their role in “Hour of Need,” as they come into the story. When the time is appropriate, Leigh introduces us to the key antagonists and their interaction with other characters. The introduction and needed back story of support characters, both good and bad, are brought in to keep the story moving forward. As the investigations uncover new information, the story becomes more complex with sudden changes in the story’s direction. As readers turn to the first page of “Hour of Need”, they will enjoy the fast pace of Leigh’s mystery/romance/suspense and will not want to stop reading. The plot’s energy keeps readers on the edge of their seats to the last page. The “Hour of Need” story line delivers a gripping spine-tingling story in the Mystery-Romance genre. Leigh treats her readers to romance with passion and compassion on multiple levels. As she creates a plot with strong momentum, change of direction, and an unpredictable ending, keeping readers off balance. “Hour of Need,” captures readers who love a good mystery or stories that bring out the romantic in all of us. Leigh gets a 5 star ranking and a must read recommendation.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    While stationed in Afghanistan, Major Grant Barrett receives word that his brother and sister-in-law have been murdered. Taking a month leave, Grant hurries home to take care of his orphaned niece and nephew. The police believe the murders may have been random. But both Grant and neighbor Ellie Ross know better. Ellie has received threats against her family if she doesn't produce some information that Grant's brother had concerning a lawsuit. Neither Grant nor Ellie know exactly what they're loo While stationed in Afghanistan, Major Grant Barrett receives word that his brother and sister-in-law have been murdered. Taking a month leave, Grant hurries home to take care of his orphaned niece and nephew. The police believe the murders may have been random. But both Grant and neighbor Ellie Ross know better. Ellie has received threats against her family if she doesn't produce some information that Grant's brother had concerning a lawsuit. Neither Grant nor Ellie know exactly what they're looking for. But they know they must come up with the information to keep everyone safe. The first book in Melinda Leigh's Scarlet Falls series is satisfying. I liked following the clues and trying to figure out who killed these people. There were several suspects in the story. I locked in on a particular person, but I was wrong. I was lukewarm on the romance between Grant and Ellie. Actually, I wouldn't have minded not having a romance in this book at all. In my opinion, it didn't add much to the story. My rating: 4 Stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    CD {Boulder Blvd}

    Really enjoyed this one. Starting book #2 next.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    I have read several books by Melinda Leigh and have loved them all. This book is the first in the Scarlet Falls series and I love it too. Melinda Leigh is an excellent author who can skillfully blend romance and suspense and keep you invested in both. The death of a brother is a horrible thing. When Major Grant Barrett receives this news on the heels of a vicious firefight it is more than soul shattering. Grant had prepared his whole life for a career in the Army and he is a success, but now he m I have read several books by Melinda Leigh and have loved them all. This book is the first in the Scarlet Falls series and I love it too. Melinda Leigh is an excellent author who can skillfully blend romance and suspense and keep you invested in both. The death of a brother is a horrible thing. When Major Grant Barrett receives this news on the heels of a vicious firefight it is more than soul shattering. Grant had prepared his whole life for a career in the Army and he is a success, but now he must face one of the toughest battles of his life. The murder of his brother, Lee and Lee's wife, bring Grant face to face with family responsibilities he assumed Lee had been taking care of for years. Now Grant has the responsibility for Lee's children, six year old Carson and four month Faith, but also for his disabled father with dementia. His brother, Mac, and sister, Hannah, are there for support, but the future is a murky mess. Grant burns to track down the killer and exact his own revenge. Ellie Ross is Lee's next door neighbor and is devastated by the murder of her next door neighbors. When Grant shows up, he is devastating in a whole different way. Ellie made a mistake a long time ago and is determined not to repeat it, but Grant . . . he would be worth making a mistake with. When the murderer takes her and demands she produce a file Lee had or he would kill her family, she has no one to turn to but Grant.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Hour of Need by Melinda Leigh is a 2014 Montlake publication. This book is a solid romantic suspense novel that isn't afraid to address hot button issues in a thought provoking manner that challenges the reader to think about many things along the way. The plot has several twist along the way and surprises I never saw coming. Grant is burning out from too many tours of duty in Afghanistan, but nothing he has ever endured in war could prepare him for the news his brother, Lee, and sister-in-law, Hour of Need by Melinda Leigh is a 2014 Montlake publication. This book is a solid romantic suspense novel that isn't afraid to address hot button issues in a thought provoking manner that challenges the reader to think about many things along the way. The plot has several twist along the way and surprises I never saw coming. Grant is burning out from too many tours of duty in Afghanistan, but nothing he has ever endured in war could prepare him for the news his brother, Lee, and sister-in-law, Kate, have been murdered. On leave, he returns to the states to claim his niece and nephew, reunite with his siblings and try to figure out who murdered his brother and why. Along the way he is also reunited with Ellie Ross, his brother's neighbor, a woman he is attracted to but has avoided pursuing because he knows he will have to leave home again. Ellie Ross is an employee who worked in the law firm where Lee was an attorney. Her teenage daughter, Julia, was babysitting the night the couple was murdered. But, now Ellie has been dragged into the case by her boss because apparently Lee took an important file home and he wants Ellie to try and retrieve it. But, Ellie isn't the only one looking for the file and soon she finds her family's lives are at stake if she doesn't find it ASAP. This sordid murder mystery revolves around the bullying case of teenager who ultimately committed suicide. Those responsible for bullying the girl would most likely never suffer any sort of repercussions for their cruelty, until Lee takes on a civil case the girl's parents filed. Grant believes the missing file and the bullying are in someway connected to his brother's death. He also suspects Ellie knows more than she is telling. Family's are complicated and Grant realizes too late that his family has not been all that close. The death of his brother and certain revelations he uncovers opens his eyes to the fact that while he is a military hero keeping his country safe, he has neglected to nurture his own family relationships. However, Grant is not the only one in his family that is so driven by ambition they hardly see one another. It was sad that a death and two vulnerable children would be the thing that brought them all together. The other theme the book explores is the bullying epidemic and the sad consequences it brings. The thoughts many had on the subject were disturbing, yet very typical. I recently found myself having a conversation about this very thing not too long ago and was aghast at the flippant attitude some people have about bullying, believing the victim should be stronger or taught to cope with the situation. In this case that attitude may have caused a delay in getting the victim help. These themes, although they play a key role in the story, do not overshadow the mystery or romance. Ellie is the single mom of a teenager and a caretaker for her grandmother, who is a delightful character. Ellie and Grant have met before and there was an attraction , but Ellie doesn't want a long distance relationship, nor does she want something temporary, which puts Grant out of the running. He is sure to be called back up for military service, but Ellie finds it harder and harder to resist him. The mystery is puzzling because we know some of the details but not enough to draw up any pat answers. There are many suspects with good motives but I never could have guessed how it would play out in the end. The last quarter of the book was riveting as all the pieces of the puzzle begin to snap into place and huge revelations and paranoia take hold putting everyone at risk. As I said in the beginning this story is very solid with a dark, twisty mystery, hot steamy romance, and a few themes that will give you pause. Obviously I really liked this one - 5 stars

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Corley

    Let me just start by saying that I devoured this book up! From the story, to the characters, to the narrator, Hour of Need has got it going on! I found myself enamored in listening to the story, trying to figure out how it was going to end, and what was happening throughout! I think it had the perfect romantic suspense touch...not too much, but also not too little! I had only listened to a collaborative novella series between Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot, so I didn't have much experience with Let me just start by saying that I devoured this book up! From the story, to the characters, to the narrator, Hour of Need has got it going on! I found myself enamored in listening to the story, trying to figure out how it was going to end, and what was happening throughout! I think it had the perfect romantic suspense touch...not too much, but also not too little! I had only listened to a collaborative novella series between Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot, so I didn't have much experience with this author! I typically bounce around author's and series reads quite a bit, but I honestly couldn't wait to continue on with the Scarlet Falls series after reading this book. I totally got excited over this book and series and I love it! I think that Melinda Leigh is well on her way to becoming a staple in the mystery/romantic suspense genre! For a more in depth review, please visit my blog, ChorleyChronicals!!!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sunny

    3.5 stars. I wanted to like this book more. I enjoyed the mystery more than the relationship between the two main characters. it felt imbalanced to me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dawn ♥ romance

    This had all the ingredients of a good romantic suspense, lots of exciting fast paced action, intricately woven plot that kept me guessing on who the bad guy was, an alpha soldier hero, a hard-working single mom heroine and heart tugging children. Major Grant is called home from Afghanistan when his brother is murdered and neighbor Ellie is there to offer help.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christi Snow

    My Review: I've always been a fan of Melinda Leigh's writing, but I honestly think this is her best book yet. I LOVED this one!! There's so much depth to the story and writing on this one and all of it is good. Everything in the book is centered around the murder mystery of Lee and Kate...Grant's brother and sister-in-law and Ellie's neighbors. *** The mystery of who killed Grant's brother and sister-in-law and why. And I will tell you right now, I kept guessing throughout the entire book and the My Review: I've always been a fan of Melinda Leigh's writing, but I honestly think this is her best book yet. I LOVED this one!! There's so much depth to the story and writing on this one and all of it is good. Everything in the book is centered around the murder mystery of Lee and Kate...Grant's brother and sister-in-law and Ellie's neighbors. *** The mystery of who killed Grant's brother and sister-in-law and why. And I will tell you right now, I kept guessing throughout the entire book and the twists and turns at the end still took me completely by surprise. Melinda Leigh wove this one perfectly. All the hints were there, but she slipped them in so well, I didn't catch any of them. Superbly written suspense story. *** The whole back-story with Grant's PTSD mixed with the way his brother and sil were murdered was amazingly well-done. His pain was so visceral on the page. I just wanted to hug him. *** The orphaned kids. I loved what they added to the story. Carson's drawings killed me and the fact that the baby had colic and how difficult it was for all of them to handle on top of everything else. *** The devastation to Grant's whole set of siblings. All three of them are over-achievers in their careers, but not so much in their personal lives. I loved the dynamic between them as they realize how much they weren't there for Lee. I also loved how they all worked together to support the two kids. I know that this is the beginning of a new series and I'm hoping the other books focus on Grant's brother and sister because they were wonderful characters. *** The whole ice-skating rink/bullying story was incredibly interesting...while at the same time, so sad. To hear what Lindsay went through was heartbreaking especially knowing that this happens to kids all the time. I thought Melinda Leigh did an expert job of showing the issues with bullying...at all levels, not just the teenagers. This side story was inserted into the text so perfectly so that you got little glimpses into the torture Lindsay went through before her death. *** Ellie is a house-flipper and I liked the little details that added to the story and the scene where she's taking her frustrations out on her walls. *** And finally, the romantic story line between Grant and Ellie. They both know he's only there temporarily while he sorts out his family issues and are respectful of what that means to a relationship. Their dynamic felt very natural and real and I liked the way that it progressed. It was very believable. Every single thing about this story worked for me. I liked that Grant is a military guy and how that influenced the impact of the murders on his psyche. The bullying story line was incredibly well done. I also loved the suspense and mystery. I did not have a clue and love it when an author is able to do that to me. Melinda Leigh wrote an incredible story and I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who loves a bit of suspense added to their romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Eve

    This book had everything - mystery, suspense, danger, romance, many twist and turns. It also confronted difficult issues, like men who have been in the war, about children who have overachieving parent(s) and mean schoolmates who mercilessly bully them. Beginning of this story was good, then it slowed down a little, then it picked up again. I wasn't quite ready for the Chapter 35. It was heartbreaking to read. What I didn't like were the long descriptions of the sexual encounters between Grant a This book had everything - mystery, suspense, danger, romance, many twist and turns. It also confronted difficult issues, like men who have been in the war, about children who have overachieving parent(s) and mean schoolmates who mercilessly bully them. Beginning of this story was good, then it slowed down a little, then it picked up again. I wasn't quite ready for the Chapter 35. It was heartbreaking to read. What I didn't like were the long descriptions of the sexual encounters between Grant and Ellie. For me they didn't add anything to the story and sounded more awkward than sexy. I also didn't quite like that Grant often sounded too violent and uncontrollable to my taste. I don't understand why do so many authors portray soldiers/veterans as unstable and violent? Please think of something else. I find it hard to believe that men like this would suddenly become stable and content once they've married.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hollie

    This was a recommended read on kindle-unlimited and I was in the mood to step outside of my usual genres so I gave it a try. I normally like suspense type reads, but rarely do I find myself bored with books in this genre, however, at several points reading this I found myself losing interest. Also, the romance in this book was lacking. It just had a very generic feel to it. It was an ok read and even had a few surprises thrown in there, but the plot was just a bit slow moving for my preference. This was a recommended read on kindle-unlimited and I was in the mood to step outside of my usual genres so I gave it a try. I normally like suspense type reads, but rarely do I find myself bored with books in this genre, however, at several points reading this I found myself losing interest. Also, the romance in this book was lacking. It just had a very generic feel to it. It was an ok read and even had a few surprises thrown in there, but the plot was just a bit slow moving for my preference. I'll still check out more of this writers work, but this wasn’t one of those reads that I loved, or would eagerly recommend.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    I read the second and third books of this trilogy before this one. It was okay, there were not a lot of things that I already knew that the story was spoiled, but if you can read them in order, that is what I would recommend. The story begins with Lee and Kate Barrett being shot and killed while out for dinner. Left behind are their two young children, three siblings and a father with dementia. Major Grant Barrett returns home from Afghanistan to care for his niece and nephew until one of his si I read the second and third books of this trilogy before this one. It was okay, there were not a lot of things that I already knew that the story was spoiled, but if you can read them in order, that is what I would recommend. The story begins with Lee and Kate Barrett being shot and killed while out for dinner. Left behind are their two young children, three siblings and a father with dementia. Major Grant Barrett returns home from Afghanistan to care for his niece and nephew until one of his siblings is in a position to do so. He’s reeling from shock and grief over their murders, and he feels out of his element caring for two small children. Grant’s main objectives are bringing his brother’s killer to justice and the welfare of his brother’s orphaned children. He thinks this the worst of his problems until the house is burglarized, someone tries to kidnap the teenage babysitter and the children, and his neighbour, Ellie, the babysitter's mother, is threatened. What was Lee into? Who is looking for casefiles of a civil suit? Why is a killer after the children? When Hannah and Mac arrive home and band together, the Barrett family will not stop until they know the children are safe and the murderer is behind bars. Grant is a great romantic hero. He is strong, protective, handsome, and determined to find his brother’s killer, but with tenderness that any female would find hard to resist. He was so good with the kids. Six-year-old Carson immediately latched onto Grant, his only security after finding out his parents were never coming home. Baby Faith was a colicky four-month-old that could test any parent’s limits with lungs loud enough to wake the dead. Family and neighbours took turns helping out with the children as Grant adjusted. Ellie was also a great character, a single mom trying to do what’s best for her family. She was scared to death over the threat to her family, and was not sure who to trust, but as she got to know Grant better, she realized that he would also protect her and her family. As Grant and Ellie got to know each other better, they remembered the tug they felt the last time they met. They tried to resist their feelings toward each other as Grant was heading back to Afghanistan after his leave ended. Hour of Need combined all the elements of romantic suspense that I love: danger, mystery, action and a solid love story. Grant and Ellie were likable, multilayered characters making this more than just an action packed mystery, but a story with heart and depth. The next two stories in this series, sharing the stories of Hannah and Mac are just as well written and entertaining.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Martin

    HOUR OF NEED was an exciting and fast-paced romantic suspense novel. Major Grant Barrett is called home from his tour in Afghanistan when his brother Lee and Lee's wife Kate are gunned down on the street in an apparent robbery. They leave behind six-year-old Carson and infant daughter Faith. The kids' babysitter is next door neighbor Julia who lives with her mother Ellie and Grandmother Nan. Grant and Ellie have met when Grant was on leave and Lee and Kate hosted a number of barbecues trying to HOUR OF NEED was an exciting and fast-paced romantic suspense novel. Major Grant Barrett is called home from his tour in Afghanistan when his brother Lee and Lee's wife Kate are gunned down on the street in an apparent robbery. They leave behind six-year-old Carson and infant daughter Faith. The kids' babysitter is next door neighbor Julia who lives with her mother Ellie and Grandmother Nan. Grant and Ellie have met when Grant was on leave and Lee and Kate hosted a number of barbecues trying to get the two of them together. But it was definitely the wrong time then for the two of them. Grant is single-mindedly focused on making General and make his father the Colonel proud of him. Ellie isn't interested in a relationship with another guy who'll leave as Julia's father did when Ellie was a pregnant 17-year-old. Now their lives get more and more entwined. Lee was a lawyer who had taken a controversial case involving the suicide death of a teenager named Lindsay who was bullied by two other girls. The police couldn't do anything because all of the evidence disappeared courtesy of someone with good computer skills. Coincidentally, the father of one of the bullies just happens to be a computer expert. Ellie works as a secretary in the same law firm Lee worked in and her daughter skates at the same club where Kate coached and Lindsay and the bullies took lessons. We get to see the viewpoint of the petty criminal turned murderer who killed Lee and Kate and who is still trying to recover the files that Lee had about the bullying case. He is keeping watch on the house and makes a number of attempts to get in to search and to kidnap Carson and Julia. Carson saw him on the night his parents were killed and Julia fits into the murderer's sick fantasies. Someone is also threatening the people Ellie loves if she doesn't locate the missing file and deliver it to that person. Add in a colicky baby and Grant's hard to locate brother and sister and you have a very stressful time for both Grant and Ellie. While trying to find out what happened to Lee and Kate, Grant also has to figure out what will happen to Carson and Faith when his 30-day bereavement leave is over. I'll admit that Leigh had me following a bunch of red herrings as I tried to puzzle out the identity of the killer and the reason for the killing. I couldn't stop reading until I got to the stunning conclusion. Fans of romantic suspense won't want to miss this excellent title.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anna's Herding Cats

    3.5 stars, 2 heat So I enjoyed this one while listening but I'll admit it didn't "stick" with me even 2 days later as I sit down. I vaguely remembered bits and pieces until I looked at notes. That's not a bad thing in my book exactly since I did ENJOY it while reading/listening to it but just a note. The Gist: Two parents killed. Two little kids left orphaned. One sexy military man rushing home to take care of them and find out who killed his brother and sister in law. And one captivating woman ne 3.5 stars, 2 heat So I enjoyed this one while listening but I'll admit it didn't "stick" with me even 2 days later as I sit down. I vaguely remembered bits and pieces until I looked at notes. That's not a bad thing in my book exactly since I did ENJOY it while reading/listening to it but just a note. The Gist: Two parents killed. Two little kids left orphaned. One sexy military man rushing home to take care of them and find out who killed his brother and sister in law. And one captivating woman next door who might hold some of the answers. The Characters: I liked Grant and Ellie. Grant's all sexy alpha male. Military man. Kind hearted. Taking emergency leave to care for his niece and nephew. He's just a great guy. And Ellie was nice, too. Single mom, fierce, a house flipper. They were nice together. The romance I thought could have been a bit more. I thought at first the whole series would be based around them so it would slowly grow but nope each book is a different sibling. So I would have liked more on that front in this one. The Narration: I'm really enjoying Cris Dukehart. She does a great job with male voices which is often an issue for me with female narrators but really just a fantastic job. I listen to hers at 1.0x speed which works well. Nice pacing, distinction. It's easy to get lost in the narration

  22. 5 out of 5

    WhiskeyintheJar

    First off, be prepared, this is 95% murder/mystery and 5% romance. Adjust expectations accordingly. The writing was really good with good characters, the beginning was interesting and engaging, middle slow and dragged out without a lot of story movement, and the ending was full of about 20pgs rushing to explain/reveal the murder/mystery twists and turns as if the author only had 5 seconds to relay the information. The romance aspect was forced, tagged on, and pretty non-existent; this is what I u First off, be prepared, this is 95% murder/mystery and 5% romance. Adjust expectations accordingly. The writing was really good with good characters, the beginning was interesting and engaging, middle slow and dragged out without a lot of story movement, and the ending was full of about 20pgs rushing to explain/reveal the murder/mystery twists and turns as if the author only had 5 seconds to relay the information. The romance aspect was forced, tagged on, and pretty non-existent; this is what I usually show up for so I was kind of disappointed.

  23. 5 out of 5

    "Avonna

    I really enjoyed this new to me author! Melinda Leigh has written a romantic suspense that had me reading straight through the day. The characters were very realistic and three dimensional, so I had to keep reading to find out what would happen to give them their HEA. The plot was really interesting and even when I thought I had everything figured out there was a slight twist at the end that was very surprising. I am looking forward to reading more from this author!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    The basic idea of this book was good: A couple gets murdered and the family wants answers. The trouble starts with the "lust and desire" of the main characters. Seriously, your brother and sister-in-law were just murdered and all you can think about is having sex with the neighbor? I was hoping for a new series to get into but this is not the one. The basic idea of this book was good: A couple gets murdered and the family wants answers. The trouble starts with the "lust and desire" of the main characters. Seriously, your brother and sister-in-law were just murdered and all you can think about is having sex with the neighbor? I was hoping for a new series to get into but this is not the one.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    Just a few days ago, I had the delightful experience of finishing my first Melinda Leigh novel, Say Your Sorry. It is the first in the Morgan Dane series. I loved it through and through, but I had the oddest sensation that I was catching a book in the middle of a series. It was faint, but there. I did a little digging (okay, I hit search on the author's name at Amazon). Lo and behold, the Morgan Dane series is a spin-off from the existing Scarlet Falls series. Naturally, I had to go back to the Just a few days ago, I had the delightful experience of finishing my first Melinda Leigh novel, Say Your Sorry. It is the first in the Morgan Dane series. I loved it through and through, but I had the oddest sensation that I was catching a book in the middle of a series. It was faint, but there. I did a little digging (okay, I hit search on the author's name at Amazon). Lo and behold, the Morgan Dane series is a spin-off from the existing Scarlet Falls series. Naturally, I had to go back to the beginning and get these stories before pressing forward and I enjoyed another one just as much as the last. Hour of Need was a Kindle Unlimited borrow for me and included audio so I chose to experience the wonderful narration work of Cris Dukehart again after experiencing her reading the first time with Say Your Sorry. Hour of Need began with a traumatic murder scene of a couple, Lee Barrett and his wife. The deaths bring Lee's brother, Grant home from Afghanistan struggling with grief over their death, adjustment to being out of a war zone, and taking care of his little niece and nephew. He seethes with the need to discovered who murdered his brother and sister in law even as he grows close to beautiful Elle Ross next door. He tells himself to resist the attraction since he's only there on leave, but when danger continues to threaten her daughter and the kids, they are brought together. Elle made a huge mistake in highschool with a teen pregnancy and has sworn off bad decisions sense then. Too bad her stupid heart and libido think the tall, fit Army guy next door is a wonderful decision. But, then her life and the life of her family are threatened if she doesn't produce the file on the case Lee was working on. She must learn to trust Grant or face a mounting deadly danger alone. So, this was chock full of all sorts of possibles. There is the murder of Lee and his wife, the killer stalking the house after Lee's file, the flashback story from a dead girl's point of view of what led to her being bullied and driven to suicide, odd things going on at the law office, and all in all, too much interest in Lee's last case which was a civil suit against the girls who bullied another girl severely enough that she took her life. As a result, this was a slow build and slow burn story with a good balance of the romance with the suspense. This was the first book in a series that focuses on the three remaining Barrett siblings. This one is Grant's story, but his sister and brother were both introduced. And, hey, I recognize police detective Brody McNamara from the other series. I loved that this will focus on this family all getting their story in small town Scarlet Falls and that each sibling is so unique so I'm guaranteed a diverse story with each one. As I noted in the other book, Hour of Need did a good job with the details like with plot. Grant struggled hard with combat stress and the need to decompress in a tough situation with a killer on the loose, figuring out what to do for the orphaned kids, grieving, a dad with dementia, and at a crossroads in his own life about duty to his dad's dream for him or his own desires. It was also neat how Elle was a wonderful blend of office assistant by day and home flipper by night. She lives with her feisty gran and teenage daughter. Her parents disowned her when she kept her baby and her boyfriend walked away. These things scarred her so she walked a straight, boring line all these years until Grant. The suspense thread was deceptively simple. It seemed like a situation where the motive was clear and as the reader, I had access to the killer and got the murder scene first hand. Note, I said it was deceptive. This one cruised along the paths I anticipated until whoosh, where did that come from? The hints were there and I missed them. Well played, Ms. Leigh! So, I had a grand time with this first of the Scarlet Falls series. I can't wait to get my hands on more. Romantic Suspense fans need to take a close look.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Hour of Need 4 Stars When his brother and sister-in-law are murdered, Major Grant Barrett returns home to Scarlet Falls to care for their orphaned children. But after a break-in and a kidnapping attempt, Grant and his neighbor, Ellie Ross, realize that someone in the sleepy town is desperate enough to kill to keep their secrets. This is a solid mix of romance and suspense. The investigation into the deaths of Lee and Kate Barrett is compelling. with several suspects and motives to choose from. The Hour of Need 4 Stars When his brother and sister-in-law are murdered, Major Grant Barrett returns home to Scarlet Falls to care for their orphaned children. But after a break-in and a kidnapping attempt, Grant and his neighbor, Ellie Ross, realize that someone in the sleepy town is desperate enough to kill to keep their secrets. This is a solid mix of romance and suspense. The investigation into the deaths of Lee and Kate Barrett is compelling. with several suspects and motives to choose from. There are some tense moments and exciting action scenes although some of the twists and turns of the plot are predictable. Grant and Ellie are an appealing couple and their romance is satisfying albeit somewhat underdeveloped as the suspense takes up the lion's share of the narrative. My one small caveat is that Ellie's (view spoiler)[reluctance to tell Grant about the threats against here is dragged out for too long (hide spoiler)] . All in all, Melinda Leight's direct writing style is very engaging (the children and the dog are an added bonus), and I look forward to continuing with the series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    2.5 stars. This wasn't a bad book by any means, but I found it disturbingly easy to put down. I was hoping that this new-to-me author would be my source of new binge-read material, but it seems like the search continues. I'll attempt to break down what worked and didn't work about this story. Let's start with the romance. One of my pet peeves in romance, contemporary or historical, is the h who "can't help herself". When the h in this story decides that the H is making her rethink her "no casual f 2.5 stars. This wasn't a bad book by any means, but I found it disturbingly easy to put down. I was hoping that this new-to-me author would be my source of new binge-read material, but it seems like the search continues. I'll attempt to break down what worked and didn't work about this story. Let's start with the romance. One of my pet peeves in romance, contemporary or historical, is the h who "can't help herself". When the h in this story decides that the H is making her rethink her "no casual fling" policy, even though he was only there for a month, I lost a lot of respect that I had for her. The fact that the H found sex with the h to be the best therapy was a bit disturbing too. I don't know about other readers, but that reads "unhealthy relationship" to me. I do appreciate that this book featured two older MCs who were both in the 30s, not some young things who can't help wandering eyes, hands, other body parts, etc. There was absolutely no OP drama in this book and that in itself is quite refreshing. The MCs do try their best to make mature decisions, stepping up to the plate to do unpleasant but necessary things for the good of everyone involved. Suffice it to say, the most compelling aspect of this story wasn't the romance but the mystery/suspense. And even that was a bit lukewarm. While I've read mystery/suspense that literally has me checking my locks at night, this one was just ok. It's not that I enjoy being scared out of my mind or having nightmares about the stories I'm reading, but I want to be slightly intrigued and creeped out. Weird, I know. It's a fine line and this book definitely stayed on the not quite intrigued and totally not creeped out side. :( I do feel the need to mention that I enjoyed the author's writing style. While her strange (to me, anyway) acronyms gave me pause, the storytelling had a nice flow. I enjoyed the multiple povs, even Kate and Lee's, and oddly enough, Hoodie Man's too. This story definitely had some sad elements to it and I'll try not to leave out any potential triggers in my safety spoiler. I'm not sure I'll continue on with this author/series. Some have said that this series gets better, so I might give this writer another try. :) Safety (view spoiler)[: infidelity, but not between the MCs, teen pregnancy, thoughts on plans to rape someone, violence (wartime), manslaughter, bullying (I hope I didn't forget anything). (hide spoiler)]

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kris - My Novelesque Life

    4 STARS (I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review). "While fighting in Afghanistan, Major Grant Barrett receives devastating news: his brother and sister-in-law have been murdered in Scarlet Falls, the sleepy suburb of Grant's youth. Emotionally scarred from war, the career soldier returns home on emergency leave to temporarily care for his orphaned nephew and niece. But when someone tries to kidnap the kids and their teenage babysitter, Grant knows it's not a random act.. 4 STARS (I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review). "While fighting in Afghanistan, Major Grant Barrett receives devastating news: his brother and sister-in-law have been murdered in Scarlet Falls, the sleepy suburb of Grant's youth. Emotionally scarred from war, the career soldier returns home on emergency leave to temporarily care for his orphaned nephew and niece. But when someone tries to kidnap the kids and their teenage babysitter, Grant knows it's not a random act... and neither were the murders. Already devastated by her neighbors' violent deaths, Ellie Ross is shattered by the attempted abduction of her teenage daughter so she desperately turns to Grant for help. As they navigate a deadly search for the truth, they struggle with growing feelings for each other and Grant's impending return to deployment. But time is running out. The killer is growing bolder by the hour, and Ellie and Grant must find him before the children become his next victims." (From Amazon) A great romantic suspense novel! The action begins right off the bat with a murder and the suspense does not let up until things come together towards the end. I enjoyed the subtle romance between Ellie and Grant...it happens naturally and the focus stays on keeping their families safe. The ending did seem to wrapped up in some ways but overall I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next book in the series (and her other books).

  29. 5 out of 5

    TJ

    While the overall suspense and storyline was intriguing, I wasn’t nearly as impressed with this story as many others seem to be. Ellie was borderline nasty to Grant throughout the first half of the book (then again at the end) and the villains were pretty obvious right from the beginning so nothing was really a surprise. I found myself wanting to finish just so everyone else (the characters) would finally see the light. Still, I did keep reading mainly because I absolutely loved Grant’s characte While the overall suspense and storyline was intriguing, I wasn’t nearly as impressed with this story as many others seem to be. Ellie was borderline nasty to Grant throughout the first half of the book (then again at the end) and the villains were pretty obvious right from the beginning so nothing was really a surprise. I found myself wanting to finish just so everyone else (the characters) would finally see the light. Still, I did keep reading mainly because I absolutely loved Grant’s character and wanted to see him get his happy ending.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ira

    At last! I can finished this time around and actually is a good book:) The timing wasn't right before, I guess.. Oh, Grant and the children? Priceless!:) At last! I can finished this time around and actually is a good book:) The timing wasn't right before, I guess.. Oh, Grant and the children? Priceless!:)

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