Readers have been begging for Gabriel Prescott’s story since 2003, when he appeared in Just the Way You Are, the first book in Dodd’s contemporary Lost Texas Hearts series. Over the next five years, Gabriel continued to intrigue readers with appearances in books from that series as well as Dodd’s romantic suspense, Fortune Hunter series. Now, finally, with the March 3rd release of Danger in a Red Dress, Gabriel’s story comes to life in an unforgettable book that brings the two series together in a stunning conclusion.
When a wealthy, elderly gentleman dies in nurse, Hannah Grey’s care and leaves her a $50,000 bequest, his selfish and vindictive children convince a judge that Hannah slept with their father to obtain the money, causing Hannah’s nursing license to be revoked. Now jobless and increasingly desperate, Hannah accepts an offer from handsome, charismatic Carrick Manly to care for his ailing, difficult mother at their home in another state but it doesn’t take long after her arrival in Maine to realize she has jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Carrick’s charm and apparent concern for his mother hide a devious and manipulative core, Mrs. Manly has a secret that could put her life in jeopardy and Hannah finds herself caught squarely in the middle.
Abandoned as a child, then separated from his foster siblings, Gabriel Prescott has spent a lifetime searching for his family. After recently discovering that he’s the biological son of the infamous Nathan Manly, a businessman who abandoned his company and family, disappearing with billions of dollars, Gabriel is making plans to break the news to Carrick Manly that they are half-brothers. Before he can however, Carrick contacts Gabriel with the news that he has reason to be suspicious of his mother’s new nurse and hires Gabriel’s security company to monitor his mother’s home and gain evidence against Hannah. Wanting to do all he can to help his younger brother, Gabriel takes him at his word and, believing the worst of Hannah, he moves into the Manly home to begin surveillance, but he never expected Hannah to be so lovely or seem so sincere, so innocent. Using an alias, Gabriel works with Hannah to provide security for the Manly Halloween party, falling more deeply under her spell with each encounter, but just as he convinces himself that Carrick must have been mistaken about her, events take an unexpected turn and the fragile trust that had begun between them is shattered, sending Hannah running for her life.
Gabriel and Hannah are both searching for a place to belong but abandonment and betrayal have taught them to be wary of placing their trust in others. Dodd puts them on a collision course where only by trusting in one another will they be able to survive but circumstances present Gabriel with a heartbreaking choice. And when Hannah discovers Gabriel’s true identity will she be able to forgive his lies or will they send her running from him and straight into danger?
Dodd captured my attention from the first line, Hannah Grey couldn’t remember when she’d enjoyed a funeral more, and held it to the final page of this intensely passionate, suspenseful, action-filled story. From beginning to end, Danger in a Red Dress is pitch perfect and an intensely satisfying conclusion for the man who captured readers’ hearts all those years ago.
This one is a keeper.