I've always liked a hero/heroine combination that puts a strong, alpha male who likes to be in charge, falling for a quiet, sort of shy and in this case, a nice kindergarten teacher, who turns out to be much tougher than she seems. Amy has come to L.A. to try to figure out what happened to her missing sister, Rachael. She starts asking questions to the wrong people and needs Johnnie's help. On the case, they track a lot of different leads, we're introduced to many people, many potential enemies and Johnnie calls in some help in the form of old friends and new to try and find Rachael.
The story felt well balanced between the relationship for Johnnie and Amy and the suspense plot of finding Rachael and figuring out what she was in the middle of, which turns out to be a lot more involved than anyone originally thought. Johnnie and Amy had instant attraction at first sight. Amy had been working as an exotic dancer, the same place that Rachael had been working at when she disappeared. Amy, hoping to ask the right questions to the right people to get information, runs into Johnnie at the club and their relationship takes off. She makes a couple decisions where I couldn't decide if she was really dumb or really smart, but I will say, she doesn't hold back or hide behind Johnnie, much to his dismay. It's a sweet relationship between them, but one where Johnnie knows that nothing more can come of it. He's not the marrying kind, not looking at ever having a family, she lives in another state, etc. etc. etc. This got a little old as they both believed that even though they loved each other, this wasn't a long term relationship. That said, I did enjoy their scenes together, the scenes in the bedroom...living room...on the beach - all crazy hot and I liked them as a couple.
The suspense and figuring out what exactly happened to Rachael had me flipping the pages at a quick pace. It's been awhile since the suspense portion of a book really grabbed my attention above all other story lines, but I was fully into Rachael's story. The resolution to finding Rachael doesn't come at the very end of the book, there's more to figure out, and I liked that it ended up not just being about getting Rachael back, but going beyond and putting the clues together that ends up with a few fingers being pointed at guilty parties.
A cheat sheet would have been handy going in because there are a lot of different players in this story. It's a little hard to keep track of who's considered good, who's a suspect, who knows Rachael and when - there are many people being mentioned and showing up on page and I was rereading parts to keep them all straight. One portion of the suspense plot that bugged me was a loose end with another missing woman. She's referenced in one scene and I kept waiting to hear what happened to her, but there was never any mention of her again. I think it's safe to assume what happened to her, but I was distracted when it felt like she was just forgotten about which bothers me because of the scene and condition she was found in.
AGAINST THE NIGHT is book 5 in The Raines of Wind Canyon series and can absolutely be read as a standalone. The main romance between Johnnie and Amy was a nice match; Johnnie is especially swoon worthy in many scenes when he's trying his hardest to protect Amy. I was really drawn to Rachael and it packs a solid punch as an interesting side story, one I wish there had more on. An overall nice read, and even though there are a lot of characters packed into the story, that at times felt distracting, the relationship with Johnnie and Amy was well done and enjoyable.
Blog Rating: 3.5/5